Quicksilver Daydream is not so much a group as it is a state of mind. And that mind is the striking singular vision of one Adam Lytle.
Lytle hails originally from Ohio, but he did what many have done before him: leave his Midwestern home to take a stab at making it in music in the big city. Lytle headed for Manhattan and spent considerable time alone with his music and his thoughts. What emerged was a distinctive sound of genuine depth.
Lytle’s just-released debut album, Echoing Halls, is a tour-de-force psychedelic outing. It drips with brooding Gothic ambience, but it’s tinged with glimpses of sunshine. On a first listen, I found it hard to believe that an album this well-conceived and executed was a debut.
What is surprising isn’t so much that Lytle has made an album that is an homage to the 60s. No, you’re stunned that he has the musical talent to create poetic lyrics, musical textures and songs which grab your attention not by screaming but by whispering.
Some influences are obvious, but Lytle’s sound is all his own. There is the thoughtful songwriting style of the late Arthur Lee and his band, cult sensation Love. Also apparent are touches of the cryptic and clever wordplay we associate with Robyn Hitchcock. And, of course, there are echoes of Pink Floyd. Think of the early Pink Floyd led by Syd Barret. That band first launched under the musical direction of Joe Boyd, who also brought Nick Drake and Sandy Denny to a larger audience. That psychedelic folk connection is a key to understanding just how special Lytle’s music is in 2017.
Lytle receives ample production support here from TW Walsh who has worked with Foxygen, among others. As this album gets heard by many people, Walsh’s phone will also be ringing.
It might be too early to pick the best debut album of the year. But it’s no pipedream to say Adam Lytle has built a bridge to a bright musical future with this exquisite album.