Upon first hearing this album I was quickly whisked away into a mind blowing psychedelic trip leading me through a myriad of adventures and experiences. This album is not just something you listen to, but one you immerse yourself in with all of your senses. An interactive journey of the soul.
Artist Ryan David Platt embarked on this solo project as a mad scientist of sorts. He’s amazingly adept at expertly mixing sounds and effects that you might not ever imagine working well together, but somehow he nails it, every single time. On this album, Platt is responsible for almost every detail ( with the exception of the inspired addition of vocals by artist LeeRoy on “Jan Toro’s Oceanic Adventure”). Platt is the guy playing every instrument, singing every note, and was the writer of every lyric. From wailing guitar solos on “Jan Toro’s Oceanic Expedition” to the pounding beat of “Bad Acid”, to the trippy and dreamy “Pisces”, this record hits every mark and leaves you wanting for nothing. Platt captures more on this album than other artists do on 3 or 4.
Stand out tracks on the album include the ethereal and trippy “Pisces”, which is a beautifully layered, multi-dimensional song that makes you feel as if you’re wandering through a dream. Platt’s melodic vocals interwoven with a gorgeous melody make this track one you’ll keep coming back to.
“Bad Acid “ takes a totally different approach. It’s pounding and heavy feel takes you through the emotions and sensations you might imagine when a trip goes wrong. Menacing, pleading, driving, and heavy, there is still something gorgeous about this track. The emotions it stirs up are ones we have all felt at one time or another, with or without the psychedelics. The heaviness totally subsides during a beautiful interlude in the middle of the song that provides respite until the pounding melody returns again, only to come back in a haunting and celestial ending, calling to mind the peaceful eastern influences that bring the listener out of the mind trip and back into the comfort of reality.
“Jan Toro’s Oceanic Adventure” takes the listener on another turn entirely . Beginning with an infectious guitar riff the additional instruments begin to work their way in, leading to a richly layered experience. The lyrics on this track, coupled with an exceptional guitar solo, really make this track among my favorites on the album. The adventures of Jan Toro are epic, and draw the listener in . You just want to hear more of the story. The song delves deeply into the life of the mythical Jan Toro and his adventures both above and under the sea, then segues into the rich vocals of guest artist LeeRoy, who’s style evokes Alice In Chains. That may sound out of place with the rest of the album, but that’s the beauty of it. It makes the song unexpectedly perfect, another example of the genius Platt displays with his quirky combinations and inspired originality.
I asked Ryan what his goal was in making this album.
“For a long time I felt like I was never gonna make music again, just because I started to feel stagnant and didn’t know what direction I wanted to go to. Last spring I got really into older psychedelic music as well as some modern psychedelic bands, and felt like it might be fun to try my hand at making something like what I was listening to. I also wanted to artistically convey some of my own world views and aspects of my own personal psychedelic experiences. The goal of this album was more to make something for myself than for other people.”
Who are some of your Influences?
“Some of my biggest influences have been Babe Rainbow, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizards, George Harrison, The Beatles, Tame Impala, Jefferson Airplane, and a whole bunch more that I can’t think of right now. A lot of it was very directly inspired by George Harrison and the eastern scales and tones that he would use, especially in his solo album “All Things Must Pass”
What was the writing process like?
“The writing process was really interesting with this one. 90% of it was recorded at like 3 or 4 in the morning in a dark room with funky lights on, and almost all of it was just jamming and recording. Very little was planned before sitting down to record, and most of the lead parts were entirely different in each and every take. I probably couldn’t play some of the things I did the way they’re recorded a second time. A lot of the time I was delirious and about to fall asleep, which I think contributed to some of the dreamier portions. Overall though it was a weird process but I genuinely think I always want to write this way now.”
Music is supposed to make you feel, but my god, this album makes you feel everything. It’s a journey that envelops your senses, leaving you satiated, joyful and spent. I’m not sure I’ve heard such depth of originality in a very long time. Do yourselves a favor, friends. Take a few listens. I imagine you’ll love it as much as I do.