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Stay - The Mean Solar Times (Picture In My Ear Records)

album art for The Mean Solar Times from Stay.
4 February 2016

This new release from Barcelona’s Stay is their fifth album! I must profess to never hearing them before, until Chatham Rise brought them to my attention. Andy Bell was probably the bigger draw, at least initially, because he plays on several songs here (“Smiling Faces”, “Pinkman”, “Dirty and Alone”). Produced by Owen Morris (The Verve, Oasis), this group has created a familiar and relaxing trip through the softer side of psychedelic music, painted with warm washes of organ and charmingly accented English. Some touch points include The Stone Roses along with snatches of The Byrds (“You Know It’s Right”) and Oasis (“Always Here”). The band worked for three years on this release, and added sitar on some songs. “Dirty and Alone” describes a night at a music club during a concert, and the emotional fallout from a very short and self-destructive affair. “Pinkman” has groovy heavy guitar and organ swirling through it, and hearkens straight back to the Manchester scene. I also like the delicately placed acoustic guitar at the song’s center, and the way it twines with the sitar.

“Shake the Sun” borrows a page from the Teenage Fanclub playbook, while “Last Time” lays down a funky groove that will get your feet moving. “Mind Blowing” makes good use of sitar married to tasty organ riffs, and I love the way the sitar percolates through the mix. “You Know It’s Right” is a lovely slice of psych-tinged pop that closes things out nicely and leaves the listener with a smile. Recommended for all fans that appreciate all the groups mentioned herein. Check the band out at Facebook and on their Bandcamp page.