Psychic Shakes is the project of Max McLellan from Southampton, who according to label Hail Hail Records specialises in “tinny vocals, down-tempo beats, smooth noodling and washy, shimmering 7th chords”. Upon pressing play on his new release, Psychic EP, it’s pretty clear that McLellan hasn’t given himself many rules for the project, instead drawing on a huge range of influences and just creating, seeing what happens. There are traces of jangle pop, surfy vibes, and something more minimal and severe.
The EP opens as it means to go on with ‘Kings’ a warm and dreamy pop song that’s as calm and languid as it is sweetly melodious, although the lyrics reveal something a little more introverted and self-conscious.
“Everywhere I go
on a busy street
walking very slow
keep looking at my feet”
‘Holy Solitude’ is like a lo-fi bedroom version of jangle pop, while ‘Stay Close to Me’ sees McLellan’s vocals float amongst intricate guitar work. Final track ‘In Ribbons’ brings back the breezy pop sensibility in a gauze of psych rock. The song has a warm and fuzzy sense of empowerment, almost reminiscent of The War on Drugs. The perfect track to burn to CD and blast on your car’s stereo before summer says so-long for another year.