King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “Paper Mache Dream Balloon” (Stereogum Premiere)
Psychedelic rock is a pretty broad category, and over the course of six albums and two EPs, Aussie space cadets King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have explored various corners of that sonic universe — this year’s Quarters had mellow, groove-heavy zone-outs; 2014’s I’m In Your Mind Fuzz was all freaky, spastic garage-rock; etc. In fact, that continual restless experimentation is more or less the one constant throughout their discography, along with an endearing and surprisingly effective everything-including-the-kitchen-sink, “let’s throw in some spaceship noises here” approach. The band have just announced a new LP, Paper Mache Dream Balloon, and sure enough, frontman Stu Mackenzie has no intention of sitting still:
After Mind Fuzz and Quarters I was starting to get over concept records. I wanted to make an album with a collection of short unrelated songs. I wanted to steer away from electric guitar music, which I feel like we’d explored pretty heavily on the last couple. So Paper Mache Dream Balloon, the concept-less concept album, got a concept.
No electric instruments, just acoustic guitars, flute, double bass, fiddle, harmonica, drum kit, clarinet. Whatever we could find really. We recorded it mostly in an empty shipping container on my parent’s farm in country Victoria. It was all horses, emus, and tim tams.
The record’s first single and title track is charming, a pastoral psych-pop breeze laden with flutes and spiraling harmonies. If you have any affection for this kind of music, just press play and let it win you over, and check out their upcoming North American tour dates below.
08/23 Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest
08/25 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
08/26 Los Angeles, CA @ Echo
08/27 Visalia, CA @ The Cellar Door
08/28 Felton, CA @ Don Quixote’s
08/29 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
08/31 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
09/01 Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
09/02 Seattle, WA @ Red Bull Sound Select at Barboza
09/03 Missoula, MT @ Stage 112
09/05 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue & 7th Street Entry
09/06 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
09/07 Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light
09/09 Austin, TX @ Red 7 (Inside)
09/10 New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
09/11 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
09/12 Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Music Festival
09/13 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
09/16 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Here’s what the gang looks like:
Paper Mache Dream Balloon is out on 11/13 via ATO Records.