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  • Writer's pictureBOOT - - - MUSIC

Hear the darkly atmospheric new album from Seattle's Psych Rock project Spirit Award!

Spirit Award is the Psych Rock project fronted by Seattle-based songwriter Daniel Lyon. He has built up a reputation for dense atmospherics, darkly tinged, twisted vocals and a fiercely unflinching energy. All the above and much more is in abundance on his new record 'The Fear'.



The opening track 'The Shadow' sets the tone of the album, beginning with a haunting guitar line that plucks along while strange ambient sounds tumble and swirl around it, gathering momentum. The drums then kick in to enhance this rolling tension and the vocals begin to scatter their angsty remarks underneath the surface of the song before expanding into an almost overwhelming flurry of dense Rock instrumentals that make way for the first big hitter on the album 'Guilt and Shame'.


Opening with a sinister electronic pulse and moody vocal lines, the track then begins to open up and really showcase the anthemic prowess of Daniel Lyon. It balances these fuzzy electronics with his harsh vocals that radiate tones of both Surf and Punk styles. It is as if there is a constant war between these vocals and electronics as their viscous back and forth in the chorus makes for a volatile, mosh-worthy atmosphere.


'New Energy' is another instant mind-melter with its intricate drum rhythm and distorted Psych-toned guitar chords. The high energy and distant, echoed vocals make for a fantastic sonic escape from the real world. The track invites you to get lost in an immersive, Rock-fuelled whirlwind that is filled with hypnotic vocal refrains that really channel Daniel's Psych influence.



'Pushing Forward' then follows with an equally hypnotic, rolling rhythm that builds up layers of fuzzy guitars, electronic drums and a beautifully incongruous piano line. 'Western Violence' offers what is perhaps the strongest guitar display on the album with the bold Rock riff, reminiscent of The Black Keys, providing the perfect platform for Daniel to show a little more vocal flair and swagger in his performance. However, the shattering finale of the track still allows for that trademark whirlwind of high-octane layers of Rock-fuelled distortion. The most singalong moment on the record lands in 'South Dakota Cops'. This track rings of Cage The Elephant and the title lyrics are delivered with an infectious passion that begs to be sung back.


A fantastically dense record that demonstrates Daniel Lyon's love for Psych Rock layering, fuzzy guitar tones and primal vocal weavings.



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