With a name like Mythic Sunship (stemming from Sun Ra’s Of Mythic Worlds and Coltrane’s Sun Ship, a psychedelic jazz pedigree if there ever was one) it’s really no surprise that the best way to describe the band is with the word “journey”. Mythic Sunship channel the kind of vibes that meld free, often abrasive jazz, all horns blaring and canvas expanding, with the tripped out fuzz of psychedelic rock. These two genres might seem entirely different but when you look at their meta attributes, the kind of things that make them appealing and keep them going, you discover much in common. Most in common might be their ambition and the length they end up taking up, massive compositions which build up from seeming chaos into emotional heights.
Mythic Sunship take full advantage of that common ground on their latest album, Another Shape of Psychedelic Music, creating music that’s broad, far-reaching, and ambitious. The components are what you might expect; the first track, “Resolution”, begins its fourteen minute journey with tortured brass, echoing in the minimalistic spaces created by the freewheeling bass and drums. The track takes its time building energy, almost like the titular sunship, gathering energy across its now slow/soon fast cosmic journey. As these forces begin to intensify, fuzzy guitars straight from the 70’s add their voice, as the bass and drums gather towards a more classical “rock” structure.
The two sides of the coin keep gathering mass though and, by the end of the track, executing their own, complementary versions of chaos. There’s not exactly a nature of improvisation but it definitely feels as if the two parts are bouncing off of each other, feedback loops taking the track higher and higher as it reaches its own resolution (get it). “Backyard Ritual” which immediately follows it channels more groovy rock n’ roll into the mix (in the vein of The Bakerton Group for example), channeling in certain stages the psychedelic influences of the track before it into more accessible and beat based melodies. The rest of the album continues this method of exploration, taking its time in crafting huge tracks which feed off of themselves to propel the music ever forward. The result is a rich and not easy to digest album but which, nonetheless, contains much to be adored for fans of psych rock, jazz, and all the beautiful spaces in between.