Label: Spinning Top Records
Release Date: 12th June 2020
"Despite GUM being at first relatively inconspicuous to the unaware and mainstream-music listener, this album is full of sheer talent."
GUM, real name Jay Watson, has continued his solo (and vividly psychedelic) journey with the release of new album Out In The World. In all their creative glory, these ten tracks deliver music that’s apt in its blatant sense of cool. This is perhaps Watson’s most groovy, smooth and shrewdly nimble album yet.
Despite being inundated with commitments to Pond and Tame Impala as a multi-instrumentalist, Jay Watson throws everything and more into his fifth solo album. Producing five albums in just over five years is no easy feat, but Watson smoothly delivers his unique content in a seemingly effortless way. Despite GUM being at first relatively inconspicuous to the unaware and mainstream-music listener, this album is full of sheer talent.
We can see the jangle of a familiar 80s sound in GUM’s melodies, but this is warped and given further character alongside crystallite psychedelic influence. Incorporated in the ten-song mix is single ‘Out in the World’, for which the album is entitled. It’s savvy in the undermining of a cyclical reality: “It’s morning again / I’m sensing a trend / I don’t know how it takes so long to get to sunset”. The perfect reflection of a lockdown reality.
By giving us glimmers of interchanging synth and guitar, the melodic songs are unpredictable and thrillingly weird. Fans of red-hot modern psychedelia such as Morgan Delt, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Moses Gun Collective and Post Animal need to be bursting into the bubble that is GUM’s punchy sound.
What makes this album stand out amongst the vastly accumulating psych-rock scene is the multisensory textures. With every listen you discover a laced 60s influence or a robotic, manufactured sonic layer. It’s glittering and it delivers a sound you didn’t realise you craved. With Watson’s imminent work ethic, we have to question what other delights are around the corner.
Whilst the irony stands that a global pandemic confines us from physically getting out in the world, GUM’s latest album may well be the next best thing. This creatively crafted album is certainly a great form of escapism.
Words by Megan Johnson.
17th June 2020.