The modern psych movement and all its subcategories were bound to capsize. It didn't happen with Thee Oh Sees going on hiatus, but the announcement had the feeling of a death knell, the inevitable come down. As San Francisco suffocates itself into harsher vibes, useless Los Angeles odes are getting penned by transplants, and the last high water mark splashed across Topanga Canyon in the apartment of Morgan Delt.
There will be those, like Tim Presley, who soldier on oblivious to the passing hour, but if Dwyer's Damaged Bug project or the evolutions of Ty Segall, Tim Cohen, and Ariel Pink are not glaring indications of just how over and done psych is, then we will not kill your high, maaan. But as you wander off into the poppy field to meditate on the tiny gods in the songs of birds, we'll be in the real world where it's all done on Abelton. How fitting that the last great psych record of this generation was originally titled Psychic Death Hole and how sweet a goodbye it is.
The Best Album of January 2014
Delt’s self-titled opening salvo on Trouble in Mind, an augmented version of the Psychic Death Hole cassette that surfaced late last year, makes none of the concessions to the format we’ve come to expect, such as willful smallness or self-effacing irony. He doesn’t assert himself as a time-warped shaman, dispensing Dylan-esque truisms from another era, nor a lo-fi Sisyphus, humbly struggling against the boulder of cassette compression. He’s the rare meditator who zones out on the anonymity and enigma of the Byrds’ voices rather than the harmonic complexity that enamors most. He allows his guitar and vocals to meld into a single, constantly mutating surface that coats Morgan Delt like neon jelly in a vacuum, continuously rippling and hovering in all directions. The overall effect suggests the sound of a crafty intellect worming its way through the pleasantly foggy maze of an Rx-abuse cloud.
Further Reading: Morgan Delt: Braving the Psychic Death Hole