For a single genre, psychedelic music offers up an enormous congregation of influences and combines them into various flavours and textures ranging from the soft and warm to an all-out fuzzy assault. Sydney psych band Raindrop manage to insert seamlessly between the two extremes on their second EP, Crowded Brain. An ocean of vivid sounds and textures rushes through each of its four tracks showing a band with great promise having honed their skills both together and individually in various projects over a number of years.
Crowded Brain packs a dizzying punch from the outset with pulsating guitars and mysterious vocals, setting a tripped-out precedent for the rest of the EP. Like a chocolate Labrador walking on two legs wearing a cloak of mousetraps, Crowded Brain combines friendly familiarity with elements of the experimental danger that we’ve come to expect from any psych band worth its salt. To lead us through the journey, main man Miles Devine has untangled the web that is Crowded Brain and put it into (semi) coherent words for us.
Miles Devine walks us through the jungle of synths, guitars and sneaky tricks that went into making Raindrop‘s psychedelic assault of a second EP, Crowded Brain.
“Crowded Brain wasn’t initially recorded to be an EP. I just had 5 songs written and really felt like putting some stuff out, either as singles or to be built into an album. It wasn’t until I had the 5 recorded that I could sit down and work out which songs worked with each other, and the 4 more suited were picked!
All the original members apart from me had left and what I thought Raindrop was had changed, so I learnt to become less reliant on a “band” to help churn songs out but more on myself. So I made a few demos and got in touch with some friends and made it happen.”
Out of Sight
I wrote this song a few years ago (the oldest) on my 4 track and it was developed over a few years. It definitely is more influenced by kraut rock, thus why we needed our kraut master and dear friend Oscar Wuts, producer (The Seaport & The Airport), to play some drums on it.
It also goes down path of bands that inspire me like Mazzy Star and My Bloody Valentine. This is the only song on this EP that was completely recorded to tape too, and I loved that process. It helped me commit and will be the chosen format from now on. Our friend. The secret trick to THIS song was a Roland RE-201 space echo, but i wont say what we used it on exactly ;)
This is the first sad song I’ve ever written. I tried to go somewhere that i hadn’t before because often i’ll write songs when i’m starting to feel better about something that made me sad. The song itself was transformed a lot by SPOD in the studio where he stripped back a lot of the parts I did to pretty much make it drums, bass and guitar. It was cool to hear those parts come out more. The way he mixed the drums into the mix was super dark and romantic. He also used some weird magic tricks to make my voice go into another world.
Until You Go
This is the song I wanted to have the most playful-ness about it. Its sort of inspired by the attitude of a Brit-pop Blur vibe, but then taken into fuzzy land with a bunch of synths and guitars. The song always had more of a punk vibe live but this recording had such a nice jive that it sort of transformed it all. The end part is my favourite moment of the EP. It came about by accident when Tim played this part after it that sounded a little like Dear Prudence, but then I took the whole thing apart and went to town on it with SPOD (don’t wanna be rippin’ them Beatles off).