Here’s a bouquet of ten selected albums spanning the area of elegant rock. From instrumental to psychedelic, sometimes jazzy or progressive, or all in one time. As always, each work comes from the different place.
1. Holy Monitor – Southern Lights (2021)
🇬🇷 Our journey begins in Greece, with the 5-piece rock band called Holy Monitor. This year, the “Southern Lights” appeared like a new star in the firmament.
When the lights are on, we experience this groovy matter, interacting with the skin and the hearts. This story is about a long way along the land, the oceans, and the cosmic area. Being optimistic and upbeat, “Southern Lights” seeds a handful of melodies which grow in your imagination to bear pure joy and light spirit.
2. Haasta – Stworki (2020)
🇵🇱 Straight to the North in the search of good progressive rock, we find ourselves in a city of Gdańsk, Poland. I’m happy to tell a word about the local band called Haasta.
The trio invites us for a trip through magnificent forest, where the magical creatures live. Following their pathway, we’ll listen to nice compositions with the bright voice of the leading guitar, cheerful bass lines and friendly drums. Tasty keyboard arrangements are exactly where they should be and sound cool, especially in the lat track with a strange title, “O’ahu”.
3. Lightpole – Daylight (2020)
🇮🇹 Italians Lightpole take the helm. Their “Daylight” album opens with a touching rhythm which increases your heartbeat. Like a fresh air coming with a sudden wind, the music is something to refurnish tired souls.
Full of sensations of the transcendent, the album leaves you in the distant galaxy, talking with the ocean and barren land. But don’t worry, as you are not alone there. Just find some living creatures around you, the stars and their satellites included.
4. Flying Moon In Space – Flying Moon In Space (2020)
🇩🇪 It’s time for our space jet to arrive at Leipzig, Germany. Here we visit a gig by outstanding collective, “Flying Moon In Space”.
How accurate they are! Picking the best from kraut and psychedelia, the septet stays something special, unique and unobtainable like the moon.
Losing themselves in these wide experiments, these guys always have a place for us, the guests. Join this action and get prepared for the next life.
5. Elephant Tree – Habits (2020)
🇬🇧 Now, it’s turn of some mighty fuzz. Elephant Tree is a great project from the heart of Great Britain. Seriously, just follow the sequence in “Sails” to understand how great they are. Then, you’ll have a dozen of other moments of excitements as well.
I really enjoy this wall of sound, gradually taking all the surface. They’re taking their time, tuning in for the intergalactic frequency.
6. Onségen Ensemble – Fear (2020)
🇫🇮 And we go heavier, as we encounter Onségen Ensemble from Finland. Since the very first sounds of the “Fear” album, we are captivated and holding silence.
I’m unable to define their style and that’s mot really needed. Onségen Ensemble successfully blends various genres and intonations. Lighter melodies, dense riffs, jazzy influences, some post-whatsoever stuff all imbedded into fair rock.
7. The Grand Astoria – From the Great Beyond (2020)
🇷🇺 Next to the neighboring St Petersburg Russia, welcome home from the great beyond! This is an interesting act half acoustic and half electric, experimental and surprising.
Mainly guitar-based, the compositions allow all instruments to sound organically. Even the flute and banjo parties take place. Well, how could powerful “Us Against the World” join airy and fragile “Anyhow”? You’ll surely get your answer after you’ll listen to whole album.
8. Arlstape – Arlstape Vol.4 (2021)
🇯🇵 This time, we are in Japan, in a very good company of the Arlstape project. Being active since 2013, last year these guys decided to publish their oeuvre in EP format. Since that point, it seems, the fountain is gushing and a lot of fresh compositions came into the world.
What do they play? I’d say it resembles the blues, turned inside out. Sounding pretty funky, reaching a listener’s mind so fast and running about there.
Get this album via bandcamp
9. Sraigės Efektas – Snaigės Defektas (2018)
🇱🇹 Back to Europe, Lithuania this time. Sraigės Efektas presents their experimentation which is barely definable.
The trio creates the soundscape full of vibrations, noises and beats, and wrap all this in arrangements. Yes, the album consists of the compositions, but it seems conditionally. I’d rather say we make steps inside the psychedelia, breathing deeper and deeper on this strange way.
10. Khan – Monsoons (2020)
🇦🇺 Our last point for today’s adventure is Melbourne, Australia. The Khan trio fuzes hard rock with stoner and psychedelic essence. Their “Monsoons” starts from the gloom and evolves steadily.
It is a collection of stories without an end. They do not hurry while working out each riff and each single transition. Hypnotic and boosting effects have a synergy here! Jest let it happen and see what’s going on.