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Aura Blaze - Open-Mindedness (Self-Released)

14 January 2022

Aura Blaze is back with Open-Mindedness a new EP that continues and expands his kaleidoscopic take on sunny 60s and 70s psych-pop. Everything was written, produced, and recorded by New Jersey musician Rhode Rachel, and there are two originals as well as a Charlatans cover. The three songs on this EP are reminiscent of the revisionist psychedelica of Tame Impala and MGMT, and it sounds like the meticulous creation of an individual who deeply loves music. There are hints of everyone from The Doors to Pink Floyd to The Beach Boys’ early 70s output, but the songs constantly stay lively, fresh, and surprising, never drifting once into tedious jam rock noodling.

The title track “Open-Mindness” is a perfect slice of 70s funk/soul at its core, but it’s viewed through the lens of a hazy, druggy dream. “The Summer Solstice” could happily find a place on any number of Ariel Pink’s albums or XTC’s Skylarking and the sunny harmonies actually sound a lot like Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding. Finally, the cover of “The Only One I Know” lifts the original out of its Madchester mold, and brings it back to the 60s, fully emphasizing the psychedelic touches on the original. With only three songs on Open-Mindnedness it’s difficult to resist wanting a little more, but what Aura Blaze has given us here is breathtaking in its scope and truly impressive in its beautifully lush production.