Released in July but only recently coming to my attention, Lisa Mychols And Super 8 create a record of quite beautiful sunshine Progressive Pop music.
Written by: Explorer
ARTIST: Lisa Mychols And Super 8
ALBUM: Lisa Mychols And Super 8
LABEL: The Beautiful Music
SERIAL: Beauty 052
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA, Scotland
LINEUP: Lisa ‘Ellie’ Mychols – voices * Paul ‘Trip’ Ryan – all instruments, voices
TRACK LISTING: 01 What Will Be? * 02 Trip & Ellie’s Music Factory * 03 Timebomb * 04 You & Me, Me & You * 05 The Monkee Song * 06 Flying Close To The Sun * 07 Honey Bee * 08 Peaceful * 09 Witchi Tai To * 10 Laguna Nights To Remember * 11 Your Summer Theme * 12 The Arms Of Water
2020, after getting off to a quiet start release wise has of late thrown up some wonderful albums, and this effort from Lisa Mychols And Super 8 being one of the very best. Released in July 2020 but only recently coming to my attention, this is a record of quite beautiful sunshine Progressive Pop music.
The two players are Californian Lisa ‘Ellie’ Mychols, ‘The Queen of Power Pop’ who has previously worked with the likes of Power Pop stalwarts The Wondermints and Kai Danzberg and Paul ‘Trip’ Ryan, English born but now a Scottish resident, who goes by the name Super 8 for his musical adventures.
Throughout the years both have been releasing quality music on their own, and this their first collaboration has been put together via transatlantic file sharing given the present worldwide climate with quite breathtaking results.
Twelve songs that pull together a myriad of styles from album opener ‘What Will Be?’ which has a slight Brit Pop feel to it with Lisa’s smooth vocals paving the way for the effervescent, jangle pop of ‘Trip and Ellie’s Music Factory’, all this followed up by the marvellous Rolling Stones sounding ‘Timebomb’.
‘You & Me, Me & You’ is dominated by Lisa’s vocals, with a deft arrangement lifting it to new heights, and ‘The Monkee Song’ is a cheeky, fun slice of 60’s flavoured pop with once more an arrangement that’s very clever but without being over-fussy.
‘Flying Close To The Sun’ is a gorgeous, mellow song with psychedelic touches courtesy of the Mellotron, and ‘Honey Bee’ is again a 60’s like tune and has some lovely Bacharach/David flourishes that make for an inviting listen. ‘Peaceful’ is up next with Trip taking on lead vocals duties and once again displays the duo’s canny knack for producing an infectious melody.
‘Witchi Tai To’ is a cover of Jim Pepper‘s 1969 song, but in the hands of Trip and Ellie, it’s turned into a hypnotic, panoramic piece, quite wonderful. ‘Laguna Nights To Remember’, and ‘Your Summer Theme’ stir up memories once more of the 60’s, both with a simple, innocent approach that makes one want to grab the nearest time machine and head off straight back there.
Album closer, ‘The Arms Of Water’ with its backward masking conjures up visions of The Beatles in their psychedelic phase and is an impressive way to round things off. Oh, there’s also a ‘secret’ track which is a collage of what has gone before mixed backwards with the ‘Witchi Tai To’ chant overlaid which makes for a mesmeric listen.
Lisa Mychols And Super 8’s album is a complete triumph, and I would defy anyone listening to it not to have a smile on their face afterwards. It does take a few listens to get to all the hidden depths contained within. On the surface it’s an (unconventional) 60’s/70’s inspired Power Pop album, but yet it’s so much more, and as I said in my introduction I think this is a Progressive Pop album, but hey it’s music at it’s very best.
From the wonderful blend of the vocals from them both and the clever instrumentation that is always complimentary to the songs to the inventive arrangements, there’s just so much to enjoy here. Could Lisa Mychols And Super 8 be the owners of 2020 Album of the Year? You know it just might be.
The Arms of Water