Seventies throwbacks have rarely sounded so good...
Australian/Swedish psyche folkers Perfect Blue Sky operate on the very fringe of what might be termed Sentinel Daily-worthy, but with The Eye of Tilos they’ve come up with such a perfect slice of classic rock we couldn’t really allow it to go through to the ‘keeper without some form of comment and, more importantly, approbation.
Coming on almost like a modern day version of seventies rockers Buckingham Nicks, vocalist Jane Kitto and guitarist/vocalist Pna Andersson (who does the odd turn in Swedish extreme metal outfit Netherbird, rather amazingly) have some sort of otherworldly bond that seems to make them utterly invincible and, musically at least, totally and utterly compatible. Easy listening may have nasty perjorative connotations in our world, but The Eye of Tilos really is an incredibly easy album to listen to, again and again.
The band are most at home weaving folky seventies tapestries, soundscapes that not only recall Fleetwood Mac but also other contemporary names you’ll be familiar with from that storied decade. Kitto has an easy weariness to her voice that owes as much at times to Marianne Faithfull as it does obvious comparison Stevie Nicks, but it’s the way she uses her voice in tandem with Andersson’s that really counts for most on The Eye of Tilos. This is best exampled on the sublime Wasteland, which melds proggy Renaissanceisms and bucolic Canterbury scene wooziness into a framework that allows both vocalists to shine in deliciously understated fashion.
Winds Ransom is slightly more urgent though no less classy, and although it’s the most overtly derivative track on the album (OK – it’s a dead ringer for Rhiannon in places) the sheer class of execution means the closeness in sound never really becomes an issue. This music is the equal of what’s gone before, so what’s the odd drum riff between musical peers?
Incredibly accomplished, irresistibly attractive, insidiously addictive, The Eye of Telos is all these things and a whole lot more. It’s not metal, it’s barely even rock in places, but it’s unquestionably one of the most intriguing albums I’ve heard in quite some while. And that makes it worth a punt, surely?
Perfect Blue Sky have their new album, The Eye of Tilos, released tomorrow.