The revival of 1960s psychedelia has been an enjoyable game in rock music, well, since the 60s ended. What indie rocker Doug Tuttle uniquely brings to this game is revealed by his tape cuts.
For example, you’re easing into “Can It Be?” — an inspired, full-bodied restoration of electric folk rock circa 1965 — and maybe wondering if a nugget like the Buffalo Springfield’s “Sit Down I Think I Love You” is the source material, when suddenly the tape of the recording comes to a loud, jarring halt. On his new album Peace Potato there’s no time to realize this song has ended, because Tuttle has moved on already to the next track — an even shorter, faithful snippet of 60s psychedelic pop that in turn comes to a similarly abrupt halt.
The delightfully curious Peace Potato raises questions like, Do we really need another album of 60s psychedelic revivalism? and, Why are these songs so short? Answering the second question suggests how Doug Tuttle might answer the first one. For an album whose arrangements are lively and affecting, it’s frequently, perhaps purposefully, a little thin in compositional structure. Many tracks consist of just a verse and chorus; a couple, like “Home Again,” are essentially ideas for a really great outro. The sound of the abrupt tape cut signals Tuttle has moved on to another deep yet brief dive into stylistic restoration.
Listening to Peace Potato is like falling down a Wikipedia rabbit hole: the pleasure comes not from absorbing a coherent system of information but anticipating the next jump to an unexpected source of fascination. This very contemporary sensibility, which really should be experienced over the length of the album (stream Peace Potato on Bandcamp at the link below), suggests Doug Tuttle can teach the psychedelic generations of and since the 1960s some cool, new tricks about the music they know and love.
Peace Potato is out now on Trouble In Mind Records.