Albums, Music, The Revue — February 13, 2018 at 5:05 am

Quicksilver Daydream – ‘A Thousand Shadows, A Single Flame’ (EP review)


The name Quicksilver Daydream evokes images of horse-drawn caravans crossing the vast deserts of the southwest USA in search for riches and a new life. These are the days when the horizon stretched for miles and uninterrupted by the resident cacti, rattlers, coyotes, and hares. The arid lands, however, have a mystique to them. They are filled with mystery and enchantment, which also describe the band’s new EP, A Thousand Shadows, A Single Flame.

Led by mastermind Adam Lytle, Quicksilver Daydream have created a mythology that is part fantasy and reality. It is the desert meeting the ocean, and where the past and the future collide. A late-’60/early-’70s, Gothic psychedelic-folk soundscape reverberates across each of the record’s five songs, and it provides the canvas for Lytle’s imaginative storytelling. Fittingly, the EP commences with the aptly titled, “Beyond The Iron Gate”. With its cosmic, groovy vibe, Lytle distantly narrates a woman’s abandonment, her eventual enslavement, and the only place she can find salvation – within “the garden of her mind”.

“Coyote Spirit Child”. The tune is a psychedelic-folk masterpiece that extends from the groovy and trippy vibe and Lytle’s fantastic songwriting. The song, however, isn’t pure fantasy, as he describes one person’s experience with modernization. How he has witnessed nature transformed into concrete jungles and run over by the “big wheels turning”. Quicksilver Daydream then deliver their most extravagant number in “Ferryman”, which takes trippy to dreamy heights. As the mellotron and the harrowing electric guitar strike in the background, Lytle brings us inside the mind of a vagabond who has seen it all. This slow, psychological journey is tantalizing in both the beauty of the music and the deep-seated yet simplistic desires of the lost soul.

Like the sunshine bursting through the clouds, “Ravens Eye” swoops in and rattles the air with its cool, groovy rhythms and fuzzy guitar riffs. The tale could be from another age of the Game of Thrones saga, where the raven is a woman who comes to us in our dreams. Or it could be the preceding chapter to “Coyote Spirit Child”, where our protagonist is touched by a higher being and given his purpose on this planet. A purpose that only he knows.

The finale comes in the form of “Brother Mountain”, an upbeat and even optimistic psych-folk-rock number. As a haziness akin to The Beatles’ psychedelia fills the air, Lytle delivers a tale that could be mistaken for a Native American legend. “Brother Mountain” in this case is either a deity or a sacred place around which all life and its events revolve and evolve. It represents serenity, peace, and hope, things that we still continue to seek today. Or maybe it is simply just a place or a person in which / whom we place our complete faith. Whatever the case may be, Lytle and his band mats have done the extraordinary – allowed our imaginations to run wild and make us believe in the mythology he (or is it we?) have crafted.

A Thousand Shadows, A Single Flame is out, and it is available on Bandcamp.

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