Ten psych acts to watch in 2014

The Cult of Dom Keller is one of the ten psych acts to watch in 2014.
The Cult of Dom Keller is one of the ten psych acts to watch in 2014.

Good psych-based music has certainly never gone away. While it may not have necessarily been as prominent as other styles over the years, it has always existed in one form or another, particularly in the worlds of vinyl collectors and audiophiles. With the success of bands like Tame Impala and The Black Angels, more and more people are opening their ears to bands that are taking cues from the 13th Floor Elevators and early Pink Floyd. Here's a look at the ten psych rock acts to watch this year, groups fit for taking you on psychedelic journeys that can put you both in a trance and a freak out.

See also: Ten jam bands to watch in 2014

10. Strangers Family Band Coming in with a big, guitar-driven sound and a wild psychedelic projection light show in the vein of The Black Angels and Spiritualized, Strangers Family Band recently made the move from Orlando to Los Angeles. The act has an appropriately sun-drenched, West Coast, paisley-pop sound that would have fit right in with the late '60s Sunset Strip scene. It's music made for driving with the top down. The music is really complemented by the keyboards texturing the sound so that it's trippy yet soft and instantly makes your body move to the beat.

9. The Spyrals Taking cues from early Rolling Stones, this trio from San Francisco has perfected the West Coast psych garage sound. The production has a vintage muffled feel that makes the music a pleasure to listen to. Jangly guitars and tambourine complement front man Jeff Lewis's reverb-laden rock and roll preaching, creating a fun to listen to dichotomy of rough and clear sounds. While there are many competent bands trying to replicate this sound, the Spyrals rise above thanks to its knack for creating song upon song of seriously catchy melodies with just the right amount of grit.

8. Temple of the Smoke Staying on the heavy, space rock side of things, Temple of the Smoke, from Belgrade, Serbia, plays music that is very deliberate. The music, inspired by science fiction and local politics, contains less of the wild freak-outs typical of other psych acts; things here are more composed with a heavier weight and stoner rock feel to them. The use of synthesizers create ambient instrumental jams that bring in a trip hop flavor to some tracks, but the near primal drums, thumping bass and guitars-through-vintage-amp rock keeps the sound grounded firmly in a '70s post rock with krautrock influences. This is truly an eclectic band.

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