Stating it out on the very beginning, Euphoria‘s sole album Gift From Euphoria is amongst the best psych albums I’ve ever heard in my life. And I heard quite a few.
This US duo, existed for a very short time, released their debut back in 1969. With so many psych albums being released on a day to day basis, the echoing guitars in the streets of LA hadn’t really penetrated the studio when Euphoria was playing.
I’m saying it just to point out that this is not the typical fuzzed out guitars, groovy drums patterns and reversed vocals. Not at all.
What we have here is a collection of beautiful songs that touches bluegrass and folk, elements of blues and even baroque in some places. Picture the Greatful Dead meets Gene Clark (we’ll mention him again in a shortwhile) But what’s really interesting in this album, is the high budget the duo got for production. I don’t know the number of course, but whatever it was – it was enough to get the best session players, and strings arranger.
That’s why Gift sounds like no other. No, really. It reminds me of No Other, by Gene Clark.
High production value, powerful emotional strings, band that sits perfectly and tight, and most of all – sounds more professional then almost 90% of the music that was going on in what they call psych rock.
Too bad this album had never achieved a cult status like, say, Forever Changes. But that’s probably because Arthur Lee is a genius and the guys from Euphoria are just a plain fantastic duo. Nevertheless, you don’t have to be a high psych fan to like this album, it’s easy and nice and even the fuzz guitars are not that harsh. For some reason, it always brings to my mind the cult album In An Aeroplane Over The Sea.
Maybe it’s that wilderness mood that’s hovering above, maybe it’s the combo of folk-psych-bluegrass that the two bands share, and maybe it’s because they’re both an idiocentric albums that one needs to dig hard to find, but when you do find them – you hit the jackpot.
Buy : Insound