Mystic Chords of Memory - Mystic Chords of Memory

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Available for the first time on vinyl - a 20th anniversary release of The Mystic Chords Of Memory's seminal, unique DIY psych-folk debut. By Beachwood Sparks singer/songwriter Chris Gunst & Aislers Set's Jen Cohen. Mastered at Abbey Road. The seeds of this exquisite album are scattered among the tracks of Make The Cowboy Robots Cry - the LP Beachwood Sparks hung their hats on before a ten year break. A further step forward from west coast country psych towards something with folkier roots but new, mysterious and above all free. Chris and Jen's conjuring of magical, unforced, domestic spirituality. Recorded in a little wood cabin amongst the redwoods overlooking a running creek with a range of collected musical toys. Just give it 5 minutes once you’ve dropped the needle & you’ll be right there. Here’s Amanda Petrussich’s brilliant write up in Pitchfork - “With its soft melodies, sweet vocals, and scratchy DIY production, Mystic Chords of Memory is also an overwhelmingly intimate record, focused and domestic - much closer to Elliott Smith than former-benchmarks the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield…. The duo's wordy moniker was lifted from Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural address, a lecture delivered in the spring of 1861 and boldly eternalised at the base of Mount Rushmore... Appropriately, the band's sound is just as archaic as a truly striking political speech: Gunst and Cohen blend tinkling bells, melodica, harp, keyboards, bits of samples, tinny drums, and strummy guitars, presenting a vaguely contemporary update on the British folk phenomenon of the late 1960s with more blips. Mystic Chords of Memory is a surprisingly coherent re-introduction to Gunst, and his professional coupling with Jen Cohen has proven both a freeing and inspired move.” Two decades later it’s obvious how seminal a record they conjured up. They forged a path that came to define the wave of US indie that followed for a while. In our opinion, the original has a natural, guileless, effortless beauty that trumps them all. Without a whiff of Starbucks. "Mystic chords of memory speech I interpreted the meaning as the underlying psyche fabric we are all creating on this land together.  Jen and I thought it would be a great name to inspire our music together.  This was really close to post 9/11 times and we were thinking about all of this and also wanting to improve our own contribution to the psychological fabric of the world.” Chis Gunst

Available on green vinyl, with art print