Delorean Highway: Manic Space Ballad


Once wondered how’d be like if member of Tame Impala independently makes music without Kevin Parker’s name hovering, Delorean Highway gave me the answer.

Imagine you are sitting in a spaceship that flies on track somewhere in another dimension where everything is a complete dark-blank, where you could see no end. Sometimes the dark are covered with thousands of shining stars. Sometimes they turn colors into colors in some wavy and layered cosmic patterns. Sometimes you want to fly fast. Sometimes you just want to slow down. That’s Delorean Highway to be like.

Delorean Highway is the solo project of Jay “Gumby” Watson aside his big bands’ (Tame Impala and Pond) hectic agenda. Like in his other bands, Jay created something that is not un-psychedelic. (Don’t insist me to change it into a positive sentence. Lol.) But it is not the same either. There’s fusion of influences from 80s dance pop, 70s psychedelic rock, even 90s shoegaze and such. It’s a psychedelic shoegazey layered dreamy spacepop. Yes, that’s the term I could best describe Gum’s music. (Hm, okay.)

Beginning with a very slow and lazy tempo of the first track “Delorean Highway”, you will just sit there in your spaceship. You close your eyes and let your body sway to and fro leaving it to anywhere the gravity will take you. And, you realized that the next track is playing.

“Growing Up” is a gloomy one for you will just stare blankly to whatever in front of you until “The Sky Opened Up” awakes you. This track (The Sky Opened Up) is one of my favorites. I love how every part of the song comes in turn and increases in tempo until it colides in a complete acidic trippy track and just stops at once leaving the fade-out synth that brings you to one decent cover of Genesis’s “Misunderstanding”.

To the cover, Gum has successfully given a touch up that is more gumby-like. After that, “Summer Rain” follows. The track is even getting more sombre. The music is so desperately shoegazy. You know, the slow tempo, the floating vocal, the dry sound of guitar, and such.

There is “21st Century Radiaton” after. This one is the opposite version of its previous track (Summer Rain). It’s higher in tempo. And, I think this one is more Pond-like with Jay singing. You know, the mad guitar riff and etc.

And, here’s my most favorite track: “Pink Skies”. I really really love how everything is well assembled in this track. It starts with Jay’s singing:

“I am sitting around watching the day go by… I… Spending all of my time wishing that I could change… Change…”

Then the chorus plays in a complete-complete different tune. And, it comes back to how it starts, and chorus again, and on and on. Gosh, I really love how the song is perfectly composed. Phewh, lets continue.

Comes next “Living and Dying” where Gumby’s voice mostly sounds like Damon Albarn’s (what also happened when I first listened to Pond’s “Sitting Up on Our Crane”). And, the short instrumental “Day of Triffids” is played in a desperate frantic sound from the guitar and eventually will bring you to the point where you could see the end. Then, you’re ready to land, and “Can’t See Past My Eyes” will sum up your journey with Jay’s laid vocal, comforting guitar sound with harmonica’s playing near the end. Whoo.

Jay Watson, do you know this piece is too serious and too big to be called side project?

I know, Jay and his Perth Spinning Top ‘gang’ are well known for their insane creativity and productivity in making good music in the midst of this banal music industrial era. But, I personally put a trust on Jay alone. That this young talented multi instrumentalist can stand out among his psyche brotherhood. You could even sing better than Kevin, Jay. Lol. (I still love you tho, Kev.) 😀

Well, way to go, Jay! And… Great job, Spinning Top! 😉

Favorite Tracks: Pink Skies, The Sky Opened Up, Summer Rain, Living and Dying


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