Joyful escapism in King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard's eighteenth album
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
Throughout the past year, one question seems to come up in relation to art and the pandemic: Can we still make stuff that's happy? Art that is fun? Is it even allowed?
Many artists have answered that with a resounding 'no' and opted to produce work that is introspective and to a certain extent depressing. Take Charli XCXs latest 'How I'm Feeling Now', for example, a desperate cry of loneliness set to the tune of glitchy synths or Bo Burnham's 'Inside' which, among other things, is an exploration of his depression and entrapment when placed into mandatory isolation. Heavy stuff.
So it's a relief to hear from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard who have subverted this trend and created a joyful slice of escapism through their signature psychedelic rock pieces. The band's 18th album, (yes,18 albums since 2010), recorded during the pandemic, is a submersive experience that leaves the listener feeling as though they are floating in a hazy cloud as the layers of synths wash over them.
Each song functions as a barrage of 80s inspired keys, distorted vocals and fast paced drums - all of which blend together to make a vivid experience that is enjoyable front to back.
The album begins with the chirpy 'Yours' which feels like summers day with its infectious bass, quick tempo and vocals that are very Tame Impala-esque.
This feeling stretches to the albums closer 'Butterfly 3000' which builds and builds through layers of reverberating vocals, synths and percussion, before exploding into a drum 'n' bass inspired peak. It feels like the culmination of what the album has been working towards.
As a form of escapism that was born out of the pandemic, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard have excelled. 'Butterfly 3000' is uplifting and succinct. Here is an album that shows us that art, even in the midst of a pandemic, can be happy.