Us battle-hardened 20-somethings who’ve grown up with a) Amy Winehouse being called northern soul, b) hipster culture putting a neo- on anything it bloody well likes and c) EDM (sigh) know that when a “new” genre is born, it’s often something to be wary of.

Step up to the plate, the “New Psychedelic Movement.” This pompously named curiosity is apparently a cross-genre crusade of drug-taking longhair guitar bands, warped producers and anyone who quite likes listening to Wimple Winch. That means Tame Impala, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Django Django, Yeasayer, what the Guardian’s calling “new black psychedelica” like LA’s Oddience, Seth Troxler, and FlyLo – apparently.
 
There’s not always that much in common genre-wise there so what’s movement-ish about the New Psychedelic Movement?
 
The slow rise of EDM – from Will.I.AM’s clumsy forays into dance-hop to Swedish House Mafia’s chart-destroying sell-outs (both senses) – has turned into some sonic Big Bang, deafening everything else around it. Alternative-types are always going to moan about contemporary pop (as much a cultural archetype as elderly people hearing dance music and reaching for the broom), but recently contemporary pop has been really quite especially shit. So it was only a matter of time, wasn’t it?
 
Tame Impala are the new it-band. Micro-blogs and Guardian Music supplements alike are amping up the coverage. Which demonstrates the cross-over appeal of guitar music styled on 1966 Lennon-McCartney, Haight-Ashbury and Woodstock with an equally heavy dose of modern 21st-century production. In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Tame Impala’s man-of-the-moment Kevin Parker complained that all this talk of psych was getting in the way of a newfound pop sensibility. “It was disheartening the way people only heard the 1960s thing,” he said. “But, at the same time, I just love to hear that gritty sound coming back at you; those 60s and 70s sounds have a fantastical effect on my brain just in the way that they're more distant and foreign.”
 
Maybe then the New Psychedelics are just pushing the boundaries away from the mundane mainstream into distant, foreign lands – and the obvious vehicle to fly there on is psychedelica, the genre that soundtracked 25% of America’s youth in the Sixties to drop LSD (compared with around 8% now), that re-defined art, philosophy and counter-culture and that often rears up its weird, colourful head at times when reality starts getting a bit much. Like Cosmic Scouse or the three-day week. 1968 or 2012.
 
We’re seeing a renewed interest in weird, warped production techniques – often with more than a nod or a wink at 1960s psych. Maybe it’s pop, maybe it’s something in the water. But the music press telling us this is some kind of longhaired crusade armed with its own counter-culture, drugs and hit tunes sounds a bit like muso wish-fulfilment, harking back to the days of the Airplane and Sergeant Peppers’.
 

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