From the jump, Psycodelics’ flavor of Black American music has blended foundations of blues, jazz and disco with fresh funk rock.
Formed in 2019 as a four-piece consisting of bassist/vocalist Cam Wescott, keyboardist Noah Jones, drummer Sean Bing and guitarist Whitt Burn, the R&B fusion group has already taken many forms, adding guitarist James Rubush and drummer Demario Kitt to its ranks and giving free rein for local musicians like Kanika Moore, Hrlum, Will Blackburn, Jeff Caldwell and Abstract that Rapper to drop in.
The Psycodelics’ stage presence is as multifaceted and emotive as its lineup, and with each member singing backing vocals, the already-potent sound retains even greater magic to make you get up and dance.
While Wescott and Jones have taken the lead on penning the music for Psycodelics’ upcoming debut album, the songwriting and recording process has been collaborative, to say the least, considering every member writes music solo and with other local projects, such as rhythm and blues outfit Fox Hunt and the psych rock band just voted Jam Band of the Year, Little Bird.
And if City Paper’s 2021 Soul/R&B Act of the Year knows anything, it’s that music is boundaryless.
“There’s not a single person on the planet who doesn’t listen to some kind of music,” Wescott said. “If you go outside and hear the birds chirping, you are listening to music by default. To go to the beach and hear the soundscape of the ocean is to hear music. It’s what draws us together. It’s the one thing we can all agree on.”
With stylistic influences ranging from Earth, Wind & Fire and Parliament Funkadelic to Prince and James Brown, Psycodelics doesn’t relegate itself to any one specific mood.
“We’re going for a big powerful sound while also being able to be balanced and do slow sensual stuff and do the J Dilla hip-hop and all the influences, all the jazz that’s tucked in there,” Wescott said.
Having knocked everyone’s socks off at The Royal American’s inaugural Boogieman Fest on Halloween, Psycodelics will keep the momentum going by closing for CeeLo Green at The Commodore on Dec. 4 and performing with local hip-hop artist Slim S.O.U.L. as Slimadelics at the Pour House on Dec. 9, with hip-hop groups MiKE L!VE & Good Trouble and JAHSCRIB.
Not every tune nd album will break through, so keeping friendship at the center and letting go of material gains are values that drive Psycodelics.
“It’s about maintaining the love for the craft and letting all the other stuff come second,” Wescott said. “It will come just as a byproduct of staying focused on what it is that we love. I think we can all agree that 2021, despite all the humps that we had to get over, it was a year of miracles. We’ve been getting things in order to come out the gate super strong and keep it there.”
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