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Beautify Junkyards - The Invisible World Of Beautify Junkyards album review

Deep in the woods glows a masterpiece from Beautify Junkyards

Beautify Junkyards - The Invisible World Of Beautify Junkyards album artwork

Densely lysergic of texture and ethereally pagan, Lisbon’s Beautify Junkyards take late 60s UK acid folk as a launch pad. The band caress the swooping vocal interplay between keyboardist João Branco Kyron and Rita Vian with intricately shimmering backdrops forged around João Moreira’s rippling acoustic guitar, Sergue Ra’s bass, Antonio Watts’ percussion and Helena Espvall’s autumnal cello. There are sprinkles of Incredibles or Forest here, Principal Edwards or Trees there, certainly echoes of the ornate riverbank reflection garnished by Robert Kirby for Nick Drake. But something deeply special to Beautify Junkyard glows in their dense reverie, including their love of Brazilian Tropicalia that infuses their psychedelic cauldron and gives any Tyrannosaurus Rex-style woodland bongos exotic grounding. Technological evolution is one key element the band have over acid folk’s original pranksters, enabling them to lace Ghost Dance with Mellotron flute, bathe The Masque The Hidden Garden in Medieval tomb ambience and coat everything in synthesised luminescence and mystery. It all elevates their 21st-century psych folk to a magical higher level.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!