The Lickets: Journey In Caldecott

Recorded in Chicago during 2006-07, Lickets’ Journey In Caldecott collects fifteen hallucinatory forays into multiple genres, with haunted psych-folk the most prominent. Mitch Greer and Rachel Smith deploy a mini-orchestra violin, cello, guitar, double bass, flute, Farfisa, mellotron, vibraphone, Theremin, Mini-moog, chimes, xylophone, and percussion to create their thoroughly trippy travelogue. Often it’s a challenge to identify the instruments within a given piece when they’re so wholly subsumed within Lickets’ densely layered mix; some instruments manage to stay at the surface, while others blend into the overall hazy fabric. The material sometimes calls to mind the image of a mushroom-addled escapee from the 60s (e.g., the hazy drone Pollen with its Doors-like organ warble, and Eye of Horus Computer Repair Shop, where sitars blaze over its swirling masses); leaving nothing to chance, the mere title of Smoking Hippie gives the game away.

The mix of vibes and lazy head-nod in Children’s Magical Death could pass for crate-diggin’ instrumental hip-hop but generally Lickets opts for hypnotic, aggressively thrusting streams of acoustic guitars, whispered vocals, vibes, and cellos. Standouts include Crowd of Pimps in the Rain, a meandering, sleepy flow of willowy acoustic sounds, Tears Into Leaves, a vertiginous psych-folk drone filled with haunted voices and swirling harp strums, and Costa del Concrete, whose harmonium-like wheeze is generated by a mix of organ smears, string sawing, and xylophone percussion. Melodically, one of the most distinguished pieces is It’s All at the Co-op Now whose wistful melodies elevate it above the rest. The perfect gift for both your resident 60s survivor and fellow psych-folk fanatic. –Textura

Available here.

The Lickets: Fake Universe Man

Sounding almost like a naturally flowing folk band plucking away at perfected instruments driven by nature?s desires and passions, The Lickets deliver a desirably tripped-out record of high standards.With added electronica beats and structures, Fake Universe Man feels as though it should belong to an epic sci-fi/western movie in places but in other places it could be part of a carnival but experienced through DMT? Think following the Pied Piper in 2022 across all lands and gradually building up a band of all sounds with an aim to drive out the mechanical rats. The LP sways in and out of beauty and misunderstood underdogs yet effortlessly showering sounds of beauty over the scape before itself. Conjuring images of conventional scopes of natural sound and many layers softly peeled away, showing shimmering effects. Both relaxing and constantly intriguing, this record is perfect for summer days sitting among the trees watching the haze of the evening drift to dark dancing nights. –The Fly, Adam Gill

Available here.