KUSH K – Lotophagi (blaublaurecords)

LogophagiKush K’s Lotophagi (aka Lotus Eaters) is a wonderful folk-rock-psych album filled with simpatico playing from Catia, Pascal, Nicola, and Paul.

E. Cummings once wrote, “listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go”.

And that’s what Lotophagi does: it opens an interesting door.

So, cut to the pensive songs to justify a folk site review: ‘Long Time No See’ wrinkles the usual female-fronted band sound as a slow introspective melody with an (almost) Eastern flavoured percussion and a guitar oozes slender blood. It’s like being in Salvador Dali’s painting Swans Reflecting Elephants and thinking it’s a pretty great place to hang out for a while. It’s a wondrous song.

Ditto for ‘Young Gun’. The tune slowly hums as Catia’s vocal parcels itself around a warm glance of a melody. This is emotive and expansive stuff that convokes specters.

To throw a wobbler into the mix: Catia’s vocals conjure the magic of Annisette from Denmark’s revered band The Savage Rose in their quiet and sensitive moments. By the way, Kush K, I believe, hail from Switzerland.

There are up-tempo tunes. The initial ‘Forever Only’ percolates and pogoes into a less camped B 52’s sound with a grooved guitar riff that (almost) surfs the rough waves of Big Sur. There’s also an echo of Debbie Harry and Blondie. ‘MRK’ pulses with a Magenta (from Rocky Horror) moment that slows with big screen dramatic cinema acuity, but then pounces like a Chrissie Hynde single.

‘Special’ is spooky and recalls the minor key dissonant sound of The Raincoats.

‘Rest For The Wicked’ gets big and ephemeral, with swirling keys, almost recited vocals, and warm vibrations that wrap acoustic pharaohs into eternity.

And then, things start to pleasantly dissolve. ‘Her’ is deliberate and lotus-eater languid, like a real Alice in a real Wonderland. A flute bounces, time drips into the odd rabbit hole, and the guitar drizzles sad logic of yet another Salvador Dali painting, like The Persistence Of Memory, in which clocks melt.

The final tune, ‘Yasumi’, is just ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’ Pink Floyd stuff. This is big jowl space music (not usually found on folk music sites!) that softly pulses with the rhythm of Nasa’s Voyager 1, as it yawns, with huge sonic wonder, into the immense “known unknown” beauty of the universe.

Sure. And as (the great) E. E. Cummings also wrote, “wish by spirit and if by yes”. Lotophagi sings that sentiment, too.

Bill Golembeski

Artists’ website: https://www.facebook.com/kushkkushkkushk/

‘Forever Only’ – official video: