Photo by Kenny Jossick
Blurriness has always been a virtue to New York duo Psychic Ills, who have only recently begun to take an interest in things like structure and pattern. Before, the group was simply content to float along in the ethereal nowhere, a place that somewhat resembles a smoke-filled living room on a Sunday afternoon. Psychic Ills’ new album, Inner Journey Out, retains that smoky feel, but props it up with a greater sense of agency — you might even say urgency — than the band has ever known. Crisp acoustic guitars puncture the haze on tracks like “I Don’t Mind” and “All Alone”, while the album’s seven-minute centerpiece, “Coca-Cola Blues”, meanders less than its length would suggest, anchored by a chord progression that never risks getting lost in the fog of exploration.
Don’t worry, though; the blurriness is still there in all its chilled-out, laid-back glory. “Making this one was kind of a blur, definitely a journey like the title suggests,” says lead singer Tres Warren. “I was holed up in a motel in the San Fernando Valley some of the time and I’d call Liz [Hart] back in New York at night and run things by her. I’d be being dishonest if I didn’t say that there were times when it seemed like we might not finish it.”
Still, Warren has warm memories of writing and recording the album, a process that seems to have involved a fairly probing look inside himself. “It’s a long record with a pretty wide emotional and sonic spectrum,” he says. “If it connects with even a few people, that’s good enough for me.”
Inner Journey Out, the group’s first album since 2013’s One Track Mind, is out via Sacred Bones on June 3rd. Listen to the full album ahead of its release below.
Inner Journey Out Artwork: