Album review: Electric Looking Glass – Somewhere Flowers Grow

Source: album artwork

Words by Alexandra Dominica

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small – go ask Alice when she’s ten feet tall. Follow this LA quartet down the rabbit hole and you’ll find this technicoloured Electric Looking Glass. MOOF Magazine are delighted to announce the debut LP from this many-hued motley crew. ELG are a charismatic Carnaby Street concoction, taking a dose of The Left Banke with a dash of The Beatles and a sprinkle of Small Faces. This baroque pop quartet bring us a 1967 springtime reverie with “Somewhere Flowers Grow” all the way from Los Angeles, CA. 

Electric Looking Glass are a sum of their influences. This album is sugar-coated with sunshine and power pop with a whimsy and quirk that is both charming and infinitely heartwarming. With visuals reminiscent of The Monkees and a wardrobe to rival Procul Harum, you’ll be bewitched with their magical mellotron, honeyglazed hammond, jangly guitars and lilting harpsichord. This LP will transport you back through the time vortex to 60s London in full swinging gear.

With every member boasting such an eclectic variety of talents, ELG is the marmalade at Mad Hatter’s tea party; composed of Arash Mafi, Brent Randall, Johnny Toomey and Danny Winebarger. Living in their own anglophile analog wonderland, the nostalgia that runs ever-deep in the baroque sound is captured so perfectly, so much so you wouldn’t think to question their origin at all. A melting pot of paisley peppered sounds, SFG recalls London’s Honeybus and 60s power pop duo Lyme and Cybelle. No doubt about it, it sounds like the real deal. 

Electric Looking Glass

The first track “Purple, Red, Green, Blue & Yellow” is a loving homage and recalls The Sorrow’s “Pink Purple Yellow and Red”. “Dream a Dream” is a candied lemon of the Sgt Peppers variety while “Find Out Girl” is a change of pace – a darker, bass driven but rousing Turkish delight. Backing vocals burst through a Leslie speaker on “Rosie in the Rain”, winking at The Beatles’ “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”.

We then grow curiouser and curiouser, falling through the clouds with “Don’t Miss The Ride”; a mind-altering, dimension shifting slow dance into a merry un-birthday. Bounding in then comes the Mad March Hare with “Holiday”, a harmoniously orchestral baroque composition with moody, gloomy and existential lyrics that wistfully state “there’s too much pain in the world today…it might be the same tomorrow…” asking the listener to put aside their political views and religious views, following optimistically with a unifying “Come together let’s outshine the sun.” It’s a sweetly sentimental haven for all the hookah smoking caterpillars. 

We then find ourselves whimsically transported upstairs to “Daffodil Tea Shoppe”, a perpetual tea time where every day is Sunday. Sounding like a B-side from 60s obscure band Tomorrow, cheerful piano playing is married with spectacularly Lennon-esque vocals. “Death of A Season” is too favourite, beautifully poetic – encapsulating that golden hour feeling of summer transition into bittersweet autumn melancholy. Finishing off the LP with “If I Cross Your Mind”, it’s a gentle return to reality where the looking glass is “looking clearer”, but still there’s a yearning for that somewhere, where the flowers grow. This LP is bound to put a Cheshire smile on your face, truly a must have for the baroque enthusiast and collector. This debut is an ode to longing, a foreword to fantasy and an artisanal amour for the psych and baroque pop genres.  

Somewhere Flowers Grow is due for release April 30th on Canadian label We Are Busy Bodies.

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