Syd Kemp has been described as a “lo-fi psych pop wunderkind”. Who described him as that? People, that’s who. Anyways, he recently played in London’s Lion Coffee+Records in celebration of Cassette Store Day. I’m sure he played some songs off his new The Horror EP there, as well as sold a few cool cassette copies of the EP.
Whether Syd Kemp is a wunderkind or not, I don’t know. I do know that he can make some catchy music. “As I Don’t Get It” has an Unknown Mortal Orchestra vibe, mixed with a little Mac Demarco wooziness for good measure. This music really isn’t lo fi as much as it is a little gritty. You don’t hear too many horn sections in the lo fi music from my neck of the woods, but what do I know? Anyways, moving onto “The Horror”. This track lies very much in Deerhunter’s wheelhouse, with Kemp even doing a quite nice rendition of Bradford Cox’s medicated serial killer coo. It’s a deceptively simple track that carries an element of dread underneath its laid back exterior. “At The Old Blue” has a great 60s vibe to it, with a bass line that was pulled right out of Revolver. There’s real classic psych vibes going on in this track’s hazy groove. The production is pretty spot-on here with lots of things going on to keep your headphones busy. “Marble” starts out sounding like some lost Portishead track, all reverb, tremolo, and mystery. Kemp’s vocals ooze into the mix like a stalker appearing from the ether. It’s a disorienting track sure to make you have an anxiety attack about half way through. There’s touches of psych, yes. But there’s also a good chunk of avante garde and art rock in there for you folks that like things a little weird.
The Horror EP is an excellent listen for those days when you want something more than the ordinary. If Deerhunter, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Mac Demarco, and Alex Calder trip your trigger, then snag a copy of this. I’ve decided, Syd Kemp is a wunderkind. Yep.