Four years after the release of his first solo album Cold Coffee, former Kassidy front man Barrie-James O’Neill is back with new LP Psychedelic Soup.
Dropping his surname for this release, Barrie-James has established himself as a prolific writer with credits in tracks such as Brooklyn Baby and Black Beauty by Lana Del Rey. Whilst his debut, produced by Rob Schnaff (Elliot Smith, Fidlar, Beck), was recorded during his time living in Los Angeles, his sophomore album was created in the Glaswegian’s home town.
The album begins with Moody Blues, a mellow tune which sees a backing band accompany the singer who discusses the potential meet up with a female whilst in a hungover state.
The drum-free Moonlight follows with Barrie-James stating his love for this woman, claiming that she gives “me reason to live, you make me feel like I’m a kid”.
If the second track makes you think O’Neill is now happy in love, Madman has the singer making you feel otherwise. The performer tells of cutting a part of photograph where his lover used to be. Listeners may recognise this number, as a music video for it was released on YouTube in January 2017.
The relationship between singer and lover looks to have come to a conclusion in the bouncy Act of Horror, with O’Neill proclaiming that “I feel much better now, let’s move”.
Just like Cold Coffee, this album comes with four interludes. Funky, Drop D and the psych rock infused Moonroom consist of just instrumental parts, whilst Interlude features a lady singing acapella for just over 20 seconds.
Float is the sixth song on the album and was the album’s first official single. The tune has already gained support from eclectic tastemaker Nic Harcourt (host of the weekday 88.5 FM Morning Music Mix at KCSN in California) and Brazilian station 89 FM A Radio Rock as well as being added to the ‘Brand New Music UK’ playlist on Deezer.
The King Crimson-esque Free like a Bird may also sound familiar, as it was released as a single November 2018.
Barrie-James ditches his electric guitar for an acoustic sound in the waltzy Magic Me. An album highlight, the song tells the story of a man reminiscing over an old female friend and what could have happened were that courtship was still alive in the present day.
The album starts to wind down in the final third, with ballad-like Flame and Ages Away showcasing O’Neill’s musical prowess, playing both guitar and piano in the two songs.
Witches gives listeners one final taste of grunge before the album closer Orion brings festivities to a close, with Barrie and his piano duetting one final time.
Lasting 44 minutes long, Psychedelic Soup is another fantastic edition to Barrie James’ already flawless catalogue. Music fans already aware of Barrie’s work will no doubt love this new release, with new listeners sure to enjoy the album.