Dreamy, psychedelic pop songs seems to be Zen Mantra's (Sam Perry) signature. And this, his self-titled second album, is filled with shimmering psychedelic lo-fi rock, and reverb drenched guitar melodies.
Following on from his 2013 debut album 'How Many Padmes Hum' the 10-track album sees the 21-year old bedroom producer joining the Flying Nun roster and expanding his focus to incorporate all forms of pop music from ethereal shoegaze to walls of psychedelic distortion.Perry, who is also a member of Yumi Zouma, wrote much and recorded much of it by himself in various planes, trains, homes and hotel rooms around the world whilst on tour with them.
“In the end I wanted to make something that felt like a pop record, but with an underlying sense of dissonance.” Perry explains. “Something that for most part is quite energetic and rhythm heavy, but without forgoing any atmospheric qualities.”
With much of the album’ s inspiration coming from German 1960s/70s psych acts and UK acts like Felt and Spaceman 3 (fun fact: the name Zen Mantra was taken from some of Sonic Boom’ s liner notes), Zen Mantra has a pure pop energy, an expansive sound and plenty of hooks. Yet it’ s not all warm and blissful, with the album’ s darker, emotional themes at times brilliantly warping these ‘ pop’ songs. Leaving the listener with the slight sense of unease, like a sad psych pop record found lying in the sun.
“...warped and woozy .... elicits an eerie nostalgia and the inescapable tinge of vague melancholy that tends to go along with that, but there’s a brightness that comes from Perry’s pop sensibility shining through the song’s dark undertones.”–Gorrilla vs Bear