The Pacific Northwest is stereotypically known for its rain, but did you know eastern Washington is essentially desert? Desert landscapes brand Peyote Ugly, a self-proclaimed "ectodelic synth-psyche threesome" out of Seattle. Their name conjures images of mind enhancing trips through the doors of perception, and their debut EP brings just that.
"White Feather," off the Peyote Ugly EP is an example of DIY production gone right. It's a well-written track full of 70s crunch guitar chords using oscillating filters, synthesizers parading megalithic melodies, and moving bass synchronizing with a consistent drum groove.
The song fades in to an expansive, repetitious soundscape with unison bass and synth lines. There's a spacey background with ethereal noise over percussive drums. Then guitar breaks the daze with a crunchy hook, joined in by synth. Lyrics sift through the dream state, like "I got cold feet," and "I have a retroactive mind." We hear that lyric later on in the song, which only enhances its meaning.
Nice vocal harmonies lay down a chorus, where the drums depart from the groove and the band ascends, as the vocals sing "It was a long time ago // it happened fast // Now I wanna go back." The music replies to the lyrics, and returns again to the psychedelic trip that repeats and echoes onward.
Classic songwriting tricks here. The bridge enters new minor territory, setting into a simple guitar solo, and the emptiness depicts a bad trip. Reflective voices enter the background. Imagine a 1950s projector screening in an abandoned warehouse. The trip went sour, but the beat comes back, and there is hope.
Peyote may feel like they're "just like the million who follow blind" (a very real feeling in this saturated, confusing age), but they're not blind at all on this track. Great song progression and production. It's the psychedelia that only a modern band could provide. Only comment is I wanted more after the bridge!
Watch the music video for "White Feather":