Christian indie/psychedelic folk band Pacific Gold are gearing up to release their album Sing My Welcome Home on the Bad Christian Label, and BREATHEcast had the opportunity to review the album.
The very talented band repurposes old hymns and brings them into modern times, but with a catch - they send them back in time.... What Pacific Gold does is manage to take a number of different influences and styles, most notably those of '60s psychedelic and folk pop. The band takes influence from the Beatles and Beach Boys as far as harmonies, and even musical exploration. From the more modern scope of things, they grab some sounds from Radiohead or a band such as the Postal Service. The unique blend mixes together to create unique and sometimes breathtaking musical experiences.
"A Day is Coming" kicks off the Sing My Welcome Home album off strong with its upbeat and instant smile inducing sound. The song is reminiscent in production to some of the song's you would hear on the Beatles' Revolver with the backwards guitars at the end that pay homage to "Tomorrow Never Knows."
The next track, "Gone to the Grave," picks up right where the last left off, but takes more of folk-pop vibe to it. The harmonies that track along with the verses, then flow into the chorus, are brilliant.
Next up is the Postal Service inspired "I Will Know Him," featuring airy-effected guitars with even more spacious and reverb filled vocals. For lack of a better word, this is just really cool, and filled with something new to catch the listener's ear with something new every time they press play.
"Song in the Air" features all around great instrumentation with beautiful piano, littered about electric guitar riffs, and a strong bass backing the whole song. The "Ohhh ohhh" part that matches the music is pretty awesome too.
"Spirit of God" strips away some of the electric and deep effects from the track, and hits quietly and simply with just an acoustic guitar and a clean sounding electric guitar. The vocals are light, yet powerful and add a powerful feel of depth.
Up next is the piano driven "Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul" which now taps into an almost Beach Boy-like vocal arrangement around the first chorus. Around the midway point of the song the full band kicks in and the songs picks up in heaviness a bit. The last few seconds of the song flow into dissonance.
"The Sands of Time" has a terrific bass line that really sticks out here. The pulsing chords that kind of serve as a bridge to different parts of the song are infectious and induce rhythmic head nodding and foot tapping (just listen and try not to).
"Once I Had a Glorious View" is another piano ballad, and has a wonderful piano/vocal break in the middle of the song. This one part of is perhaps one of the best things on the entire album, and arranged so perfectly. After a series of "oh's and ah's," the song flips into something else entirely new - shades of the Beatles "A Day in the Life."
The '60s influence is strong with "Shed a Beam of Heavenly Day" as it is filled with harmonies galore, and great guitar picking with a piano overlay. For the first time on the album there are some horns introduced to the album, along with a lovely string arrangement to carry it out.
"Sweet Rivers of Redeeming Love" is yet another catchy upbeat piano rock song with a folk twist tacked on. The chorus vocals are just the song name repeated over and over, but the magic lies within the production layers and vocals interlaced throughout it.
The final track is "The Sands of Time (Reprise)," which starts out with the sound of water and acoustic guitars. The water theme goes along with the lyrics of the song "Christ, He is the fountain/ The sweet well of love/ Of what on Earth I've tasted..." The vocals are multi-tracked harmonies that remain consistent and constant throughout the duration of the short topper on the album. It truly is a great finish.
Over the course of this album the user is transported through different musical realms and atmospheres. What the band does such a great job of, is taking those well known influences, and adding new life to it without it sounding like a rip off. These "old hymns," never sounded so good or fresh. The harmonies are on point, and the all the instruments are perfect over every part. The biggest standouts are the musical arrangements, and the steady and pushed to the front bass.
Sing My Welcome Home will be releasing on March 24, 2015. The pre-order is available on iTunes for $8 here. The band's site has a number of special pre-order bundles ranging from $50 down until the album's selling price. Check those options here.