Kill Rock Stars, 2001
Like the lusciously mysterious feeling of sleeping under the stars, Detroit four-piece girl band Slumber Party’s second release, Psychedelicate, combines infectious Lou Reed-esque sensibility with a gauzy take on charming girl pop-rock. These 11 songs spin languid fairy tales back-lit by the poetry of dreams, offering lamentations and rapture in equally delicate measures.
Lead singer Aliccia Berg’s vocals seem to be filtered through a time machine, recalling an imperceptible and perhaps imagined past of poetic proportions. Here, time is but a confusing reminder of the transitory burdens of life. Often difficult to separate from the music, these wistful lyrics frequently hypnotize with their loveliness, while simultaneously spinning a sweet mystery and sense of existential perplexity over the listener ("Call my skin a thin disguise. I wish you would ease my pain"- "Depression is Best").
However, this hazy sense of idyll coexists with an undeniable feeling of strong determination. Perhaps the album’s most tenacious and graceful track, "I’m Not Sad," is a lamentation despite its title, filled with blossoming resolve in the face of heartbreak and recovery, spinning an atmospheric sentiment akin to being the last ones at a dance in a quiet hall, the night wind blowing in, slow-dancing while the band plays for you alone. Although Berg sings that "he’s come back to me to stay, and that’s why I’m not sad," the tone is slow and sprinkled with grief and subtle self-preservation.
Psychedelicate is girl power seen through a mystical fog. It’s luscious, and it’s hard to dispel from either your brain or your stereo. Subtlety never sounded so fierce, or so ravishing.