What’s That Sound? Drakkar Nowhere – s/t

It’s no secret that Brooklyn-based psych label Beyond Beyond Is Beyond is one of my absolute favorites.  After stumbling upon the radio show of the same name on EVR (now on Viva Radio) a few years ago I’m not ashamed to say  I was smitten.  There have been few labels whose output has turned me on as consistently as BBiB.  It’s remarkable, and a testament to the sharp ears of label bosses Mike & Dom.

Their latest release, the hilariously named Drakkar Nowhere’s self-titled debut, keeps that trend going.  It’s a breezy culmination of varied vintage influences and tight, melodic song arrangements spiced with modern pop touches.

“Any Way”, the album opener, is what Odyssey and Oracle would’ve sounded like if Paul McCartney wrote songs with Colin Blunstone.  Follow up “How Could That Be Why?” is unbelievably funky, the beat pulling at your hips as synth lines punch up it up and lift you into the lower atmosphere.  If a shroomed-up Drake had been backed up by WAR on an alternate-universe recording of “Hotline Bling” it would sound like DK’s “Higher Now.”  “At The Edge of the Mangroves” is another funky space trip that leads into the ambient soundscape “At The Edge of Time.”   It’s a wild ride, and that’s just side A.

Side B treads similar sonic ground, mixing psychedelic synth with danceable beats and insanely catchy harmonies.  The songs are excellent, yes, but there’s more to it than just that.  Drakkar Nowhere utilize vintage sounds while avoiding typical throwback-band pitfalls, effectively infusing modern psychedelic music with a dose of modern pop and even hints of R&B .  They’ve pulled off a neat trick in repurposing psychedelia for a contemporary audience and, joining other trailblazers such as Tame Impala, step boldly toward bringing a vital “underground” scene into the mainstream.

Will they succeed?  I hope so.

Drakkar Nowhere is available now in all formats.  Pick it up today from Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records or tell your local record shop to get on it!

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