Who said psychedelic rock is dead? It’s very much alive in the hands of Ray LaMontagne, who has explored many classic-rock styles, but none with better results than in this new foray into psychedelia. He teams up with Jim James of My Morning Jacket to produce a seeming disciple’s tribute to Pink Floyd. This dream-trippy project echoes Floyd in a myriad of ways, from throwback instruments like the Mellotron and Moog synthesizer to the obscure title “Ouroboros,” which made me think of Floyd’s “Ummagumma.” LaMontagne sings beautifully while evoking a placid feel in “Homecoming” (with lyrics about a “sunset through the trees“) and a spiritual flavor in the new single “Hey, No Pressure.” The slow ballad “In My Own Way” even suggests Floyd’s “Breathe” from “Dark Side of the Moon.” And when LaMontagne’s final song has the lyric “we sat in the grassy field in silence,” you half-expect Floyd’s “lunatic in the grass” to join them. LaMontagne plays exquisite lead guitar throughout, backed by James on celestial harmonies that boost the psychedelic mood even higher. The resulting album is soothing therapy.
Essential “In My Own Way“
LaMontagne plays the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on June 25.