From its surreal title and occult cover art to its grand buffet of vintage sounds and period production moves, Sam Kogon’s Psychic Tears is a lavish, painstakingly detailed work of modern-retro guitar pop. But what distinguishes the Brooklyn artist from the psychedelic pop herd is not his access to Mellotrons, Vox Continentals, and Russian fuzz boxes. It is Kogon’s vast and fluid command of chamber pop harmony and arrangement. It’s his long-arc melodic genius and his sweet, understated crooning—the real reasons why we revere Sir Paul, Brian Wilson, The Shins, or New York’s own baroque pop institution, The Left Banke, for whom Kogon served as lead singer during a short-lived reunion in 2015.
Alberta ex-pat and current Montréaler Emma Austin blends dreamy lo-fi guitar riffs with haunting harmonies in her project, Maggy France.