Flyying Colours’ efforts to release their sophomore album may have been delayed heavily due to the ongoing pandemic, but that doesn’t stop Fantasy Country from being a fantastic experience. The Melbourne-based outfit announced their lead single “Goodtimes” back in late 2019 and were slated for a European tour the year after, which had to be canceled. Yet instead of folding back the band hunkered down and refined their new album to perfection – making it one of the most exciting psych-shoegaze albums of 2021.
The first two tracks have been out for a while. ‘Goodtimes’ is a ray of optimism, with soaring riffs and a gorgeous melody. The riffs and vocal layers are carefully balanced to create a sense of dimensional bliss. An experience which, you may find, happens quite often in this album. Follow-up ‘Big Mess’ talks about a tumultuous mind-state, represented by its urgently paced riffs and a washed-out spiralling effect. Both tracks have been out for a while, yet they blend in quite seamlessly with the rest of the album.
Later highlights include “It’s Real”, which from the opening bars transports you directly to the 80’s. It borrows heavily from the Bruce Springsteen hit Dancing in the Dark, only topped off with dreamlike textures and effects. “White Knuckles” is an especially unique song, starting with a repeating mantra (”White knuckles / eyes open”) that alternates with an evolving melody of shoegaze richness. A hypnotic experience that reaches out to the limits of sound and burrows deep into the boundaries of the mind. It’s followed by “Eyes Open”, which serves as an epilogue that eases the senses back to reality. Together these songs feel like a Buddhist ceremony crafted with modern instruments and embellished with krautrock magic. An interesting concept that shows the craftsmanship of Flyying Colours.
The album ends with a similar double-hitter. ‘This One’ and ‘Boarding Pass’ are both energetic rock songs with riffs that continually soar upwards with glorious energy. Evoking a sense of awe with its dazzling textures and inspiring hues, no doubt channeling the band’s triumph over the world’s recent challenges.
Flyying Colours pulls off a rich and dreamy collection in Fantasy Country. Proving that we can keep pushing on to make beautiful art despite the world’s setbacks. For those looking for great shoegaze, dream pop and psych – this is definitely a must-listen.