Gum – Out In The World

Jay Watson is the kind of artist that everyone with a creative endeavor should strive to emulate. Despite being a full time member for prominent psych rock bands Tame Impala and POND, he manages to make more music on his off time under his moniker GUM. Consistently releasing new material in the past five years.

Out In The World is GUM’s fifth release. Watson still has the dreamy-psych characteristics from his other projects, but GUM leans on a more pop-focused sound. Making use of synths, samples, drum machines and electronic techniques without the punchiness of his other projects. Guiding the listener to a very light and accessible listen despite its technical complexity. Out In The World is a dynamic experience, it offers a supply of fresh and interesting sounds that will keep you glued from start to end. 

This is perfectly captured from the opener “Weightless in LA” where a bed of crooning guitars and yawning synths eases you into a dreamlike trance. “Airwalkin” picks up the energy. Reminiscent of 90’s hip hop, with a beat that came straight out of a boom box. It evokes memories of dancing in the street while listening to the Beastie Boys.

The title track “Out in the World” pulls from a lot of musical influences. It takes you to a time travel montage of 80s music with a slightly western vibe, where its main character embarks on a journey through a vast landscape. “The Thrill Of Doing it Right” has majestic horns and grand synth flourishes that could make for a great cinematic soundtrack. “Down The Dream” channels brit-folk in an airy and theatrical flair. Carefully mixing the old and the new.

There are also oddballs in this album. “Alphabet Soup” is full of retro futuristic imagery. A neon glow of synths weaves through a tight drum groove with Watson riffing effortlessly on the beat. “Low to Low” is like a robotic bossa-nova. With a drum machine prancing in a Latin dance rhythm and bright horns intertwining with a buzzing bass. A song from a Cantina in the far reaches of space.

Watson clearly has made his own concoction with GUM, distinct from any other artist while easily within reach for any listener. Out In The World is his most cohesive album yet, each track flows so well with the next that you can just lay your head down and let it guide you through a kaleidoscope of styles and colors.

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