Frances Chang – Psychedelic Anxiety [Streaming]

Today the Brooklyn musician Frances Chang dropped the album Psychedelic Anxiety via Ramp Local.
The album is a blend of indie experimental lo-fi synth-pop rock music kind of like a weirder Mitski & Bjork.

About the album by Frances:
Psychedelic Anxiety, as a mood, goes something like this: overwhelming, existential, vertigoic. It arises when we can no longer hide from ourselves, when we’ve ignored too many signals, when we stare into the void. This metaphysical unease also serves as the title for Brooklyn-based musician Frances Chang’s second album, and as a feeling it’s present throughout, charged by all things occultish.

Primarily home-recorded by Chang and partially by engineer Andrea Schiavelli, featuring a cast of revered NYC DIY players, including Schiavelli (Eyes of Love) and Liza Winter (Birthing Hips), Psychedelic Anxiety relishes in discovery, in the refining of aesthetic, in the electricity of improvisation, in balancing bleakness with humor when contemplating the divine. It’s an idiosyncratic body of work, roomy and playful, capturing a genre Chang refers to as slacker prog — offbeat, charming, but brimming with spiritual and emotional resonance. It infuses artifacts of the mundane with an otherworldly aura— even the love songs live more in the realm of fantasy (or horror) than the romantic. It’s also the psychic twin and mirror image of Chang’s 2022 debut full-length Support Your Local Nihilist. As a departure from Nihilist, Psychedelic Anxiety is less urgent, a fire dulled to embers, leaving space for more nuance and storytelling. Together, these albums represent a new cycle of creativity for Chang, a reset to zero.

“Eye Land,” the oldest song on the album, was written while Chang was on tour with a friend around the Irish and English countryside. After a series of major life changes, she was feeling creatively blocked. But then something shifted, she felt capable of writing music again. “Eye Land” pieces together moments from that trip. Waking up on a beach in Cornwall, riding on an airplane, staying in bed to write instead of going outside. “Lying around your spare room,” she sings, “Sky is cloudy here in June.” Around her, guitar sputters and stops. Vocals branch off like vines on the side of an old house. It is a profoundly lovely song, a freaky miniature in the way that a Broadcast song is a freaky miniature.

Chang refers to “First I Was Afraid” as the record’s honorary theme song. Not because of the subject matter, but because the melody (a sort-of-kind-of cover of “I Will Survive”) embodies the mood of psychedelic anxiety. The song formed in Chang’s head before going on stage to play a set. Her vocals are searching, bare and full of information. Wind arrangements, courtesy of Michael Sachs, give a haunted, resigned feeling. Like a ship at sea at night. “Darkside” opens up with a particularly memorable moment of narrative. “Last night I saw Parasite,” sings Chang, describing how she saw it alone, how regular life that week was acute, weird, intense. All coming back to that sensation of being resigned, but this time finding a kind of comfort in it. After all: Psychedelic Anxiety is a serene, bizarre record full of alien sounds and big introspection.
Psychedelic Anxiety gets: 📷📷📷📷📷📷📷/10.