What is it, exactly, that makes music “psychedelic”? The answer is in the mind of the beholder, but there’s no other word for the sounds pouring out from Kelley Stoltz’s head.
His debut proper, Antique Glow, is psychedelia in the truest sense — boundlessly exploratory, opening up myriad inward paths and spiral stairways for the most wigged-out of listening pleasures. The opening track, “Perpetual Night”, builds quickly from the chime of an acoustic arpeggio to a kaleidoscopic whirl, an exhilarating takeoff which augurs well for the satisfying and often blissful trip that follows.
A next-generation flower child of San Francisco, Stoltz pays respect to the fellow travelers who went before him — Syd Barrett, Nick Drake, Ray Davies, Arthur Lee, Ian McCulloch — summoning their headiest influences into a dreamy riot of his own imaginings. Stoltz is relentlessly experimental in his approach, guided always by a vivid sonic awareness and his obviously brilliant and expansive musical instincts. The layers of audio and visual imagery, wobbles of volume and broad textural strokes create an intriguing canvas, with bold splashes of color glistening upon a dark, Velvet Underground-like underlay.
Stoltz’s musicality veers deliriously from ragged slide-laden blues such as “1000 Rainy Days” into fuzz-rock overdrive such as the piercing “Are You Electric”. It’s a mostly home-recorded affair, with a few friends from the San Francisco underground making guest appearances. Antique Glow is a real find, and evidence of a bold and burgeoning talent.