Working under the name of GUM, Jay Watson, mostly known for his work with Tame Impala and Pond released something quite intriguing in the form of his second coming “Glamorous Damage”.
You are welcomed to the colourful world of GUM’s synths and guitars, sometimes funky, sometimes psychedelic. What would be the best way to describe this piece of work? Psychedelic-synth-pop-rock-euphoria.
“Anesthetized Lesson”, relying on funky pop, is indeed all about funk but he turns to the more psychedelic inspiration with “Glamorous Damage”, but you kind of feel you have been put back to the 80s computer world boom… the track is more of an instrumental with the spoken part talking about synthesizers as machines that need to be plugged in… back to the 80s I say. “Notorious Gold” is my personal favourite, heavy melody punching me in the heart with a mind blowing chorus, and no, it’s not about the lyrics, but the sound that again leans on some time travelling; I wish I am back to the psychedelia of 60s, glam of the 70s and synth pop of the early 80s, but this is now. “As long as you see the way to try with all your might”… we should all try, with all our might… to see, to hear, to breathe, to stay in this confused world, where sometimes what you hear can make a difference. “Elafonissi Blue” is another pure synth funk injection to lift you up and remind you what this album has to offer; danceable funk groove.
On the next few tracks he plays with psychedelia, which is especially evident on “Science Fiction” but “Ancient” goes back to the recognizable synth sound he devoted this album to; 80s computer world described by sound in the new millennium, this time combined with the sweet and innocent melody. “Greens and Blues” is another psychedelic piece which can seem light only at first, but carries a lot of melancholia and followed by even gloomier one “She Never Made It to Tell”. The unusual twists in melody make this one more complex at the first listening, but you really need to dig into it to find the thread of Watson’s thoughts and feelings. As you really need to dig into the whole release to get the idea of what inspired this young author; the sound he gives a new dimension to, playing with the music history influences.