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The White Kites: Missing

New psychedelic contenders take Pole position.

There’s been a mini flurry of nu-neo-psych in the Prog postbag lately. Blighty-based acts such as Soft Hearted Scientists, Vienna Circle, Schnauser and Hidden Masters are carrying on a fine tradition of quirk, strangeness and charm, as others such as Goat, The Black Angels, Jacco Gardner and Tame Impala take it across the globe.

So how about something from Poland in this vein, something that’s not of typical metallic magnificence? Cue Warsaw septet The White Kites, led by ex-pat Sean Pom Palmer. Sung in English, much of their material achieves an easy, swinging ’68 familiarity.

Take Stowaway Sylvie, with its Britpop jauntiness, or perhaps the Tull-esque baroque mischief of Should You Wait For Me. Other songs on Missing evoke The Nice, Robyn Hitchcock and Dukes Of Stratosfear, but at times the melodic focus is lost on long-form narratives, as is this listener’s attention span.

If this album had been about four songs shorter and punctuated with preceding single Love Doctor and its excellent flip Evening Walk, we’d really be off to a flyer. Nonetheless, their fastidious musicality and intriguing tunes make this a striking and ambitious starting point.