Triptides’ excursions in ‘sun-warped psychedelic rock’ have extended for more than a decade now; from the outset directed by the guiding hand of multi-instrumentalist Glenn Brigman. 2019’s Hypnotic Bridge single, pairing ‘Nirvana Now’ and ‘She Is Dressed In Red’, upped their profile and introduced them to a wider audience, and now settled as a trio – Brigman joined by drummer Brendan Peleo-Lazar and bassist/guitarist Stephen Burns – they’ve signed to Alive Naturalsound Records.
Alter Echoes is the first fruit of this partnership; an exciting and revealing album manifesting known strengths and preferences while throwing open further seams to inventively mine. A brief précis says they combine Byrdsian jangle with the exploratory textures of early Pink Floyd, but that tells only part of the story and surely sells them short. You could view the album title as a smart pun; in the course of these eleven tracks, they move through a succession of musical personas, though happily continually reflective of each other so that Alter Echoes remains a definite organic whole.
This variety is a key element in holding the interest, and the twists, turns, and surprises keep the listener alert and stimulated. Both ‘It Won’t Hurt You’ and ‘Let It Go’ begin in Rickenbacker jangle rushes but ramble elsewhere, while ‘Another Dream’ is haunted by a sense of lush drift and tinges of West Coast jazz-flecked pop. ‘Elemental Chemistry’ after a busy beginning makes a run for the gates of dawn while ‘Hand Of Time’ – a slightly longer song – musters the knights of fuzz before riding the organ off to outer space.
‘Shining’ aspires to the kosmiche carrying redolences of Jan Ackerman, before the meditative ‘Moonlight Reflection’ shifts us towards yet new moods; the sunny dispositions of ‘Having A Laugh’ – a touch of proggy Vetiver maybe – the divine bossa nova of ‘She Doesn’t Want To Know’, and winding things up on one final high the pleasing Hollywood pop romp of ‘Now And Then’.
Alter Echoes both delivers to the avid Triptides devotee and provides a perfect introduction for the newly curious; it’s set to be a firm favourite in a year already shaping up as classic.