by Mykhailo Vil’yamson
The first full-length album by Paige Drobot is a veritable time machine, but not only because of its largely 70s-inspired aesthetic. She definitely took her time on this one, as all of the songs on the project first came into existence many years ago with her band, The Psychics. In fact, all of the songs on The Psychics–except for “Each Another’s Creation”–can be found on the 2016 release Live at the Graffiti Gallery, which was captured on the fourth anniversary of the original band’s formation, bringing us all the way back to 2012.
So why did it take so long for The Psychics to be released? And whatever happened to The Psychics’ You Don’t Have to Be Afraid album we were promised? Were these songs ever studio-recorded before the band’s final show in 2018? Was the record clandestinely redacted from the internet by a secret society that didn’t think the world was ready for it? Or was Drobot simply too busy entrancingly shredding at live shows, masterfully teaching the way of the axe to apprentices, and deservedly winning a 2021 Manitoba Loud Music Guitarist of the Year Award? It’s a mystery. As for The Psychics album itself, it’s a trip. These seven tracks provide listeners with an experience of feeling like one is in the exact same room as the band, including Drobot and reunited members Cody Rey Valentonis–on bass, keys and vox–and second-generation Psychics drummer Nolan Hildebrand. Songs like “Alright” and “Nicotine Smile” lean heavy into funk, “Space Music” and “Formula of Grand Design” venture into the psychotomimetic realm (featuring lead vocals by Valentonis), which leaves “Spare Time,” “Each Another’s Creation” and “Each Passing Day” to round out the thirty-minute collection with various elements of folk, rock, jazz and pop. Expect many iconic guitar solos throughout as well, which, as they say, are alone worth the price of buying the album on Bandcamp.