Album review: Beautify Junkyards – The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards

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Source: album artwork

Words by Kathleen Savage

Acid-tinged six-piece, Beautify Junkyards, are set to release their third album, ‘The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards’, this Friday 9th March on Ghost Box Records. Led by João Branco Kyron on vocals and keyboards, Rita Vian on vocals and synth, João Moreira on acoustic guitar and synth, Sergue Ra on bass, Antonio Watts on drums, and newest member Helena Espvall (formerly of Espers) on cello and acoustic guitar, the band have successfully managed to take an interesting blend of genres from different corners of the world and weave them together to create a sublime mixture of English acid folk and Brazilian Tropicalia. This is especially apparent on the song “Aquarius” which has influences of Latin style percussion infused with echoes of cosmic acid-medieval England, a period of time that I’m not sure ever even existed. Think Os-Mutantes meets Stereolab meets The Incredible String Band.

Three songs into the album and I feel as though I’m being swaddled in a fantasy, the faint sound of bird song pleasantly surrounds me and paints a picture of nature – this is the song “Prism”, perhaps it is named so because, like many of the songs on this album it is almost three-dimensional. Like a sound-painting framed with the melancholic mixture of male and female vocals, and hung up on display inside a woodland fairy-tale.

Beautify Junkyards

One song that really stands out for me is “Cabeca-Flor'” possibly because it’s slightly more stripped back than the others, just João Moreira’s rippling guitar, sounding like South American sunshine from 1969, dreamy synth tones and vocals which hold a sweet naive fragility that reverberates through time and almost carries you back to the days of Fairport Convention.

The production is laced with a haunted electronic palette which separates the band from it’s competitors and slightly subdues the more dream-like elements, creating the perfect balance of light and dark. One of the less sunshine songs on the album would be the very last song ‘Trackways”, which may leave you with a slightly more eerie feeling than the previous tracks. A woman’s voice echoes numbers and words like alien poetry. This sounds a lot less fairy-tale, and a lot more paranormal.

This talented Lisbon bunch have woven together an eclectic mix of sounds to create a futuristic medieval tapestry, sprinkled with echoes of the Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Stereolab, Os Mutantes and strange pagan gatherings attended by cosmic-acid entities. Somehow ‘The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards‘ takes you back to a place of psychedelic nostalgia while simultaneously blasting you off into a time that has yet to exist, a time that we can only dream of existing!

The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards‘ will be released on the 9th March 2018, pre-order the LP from Ghost Box Records here

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