Jackson Scott

Sunshine Redux

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With his 2013 album Melbourne, lo-fi neo-psych weirdo Jackson Scott made a strong debut, full of oddly pitched vocals, time-traveling arrangements, and the kind of songs most neo-psych weirdos wish they could write. His second album, 2015's Sunshine Redux, is even better, even weirder. Scott seems more in control of both the recording process and his songwriting. The sound is more blown-out, trippier, and super-altered in places (check the bonkers "PRPLMTV" for some proof of that, especially the spiraling 8-bit finale), while the songs have hookier hooks and even a few spots that qualify as emotionally charged. The beautiful one-two punch of "Save the World" and "Merry Nightmare" have Scott twisting sound into odd shapes, but never at the expense of delivering devastatingly pretty melodies that get you right where it counts. The album mostly sticks to the same winning template as the last one, with detours into straight-ahead creepy psych on "Dissonance, "a few short sound collages, and the epic "Ripe for Love" show that Scott can write weird long songs just as well as short one. All this goodness plus an insular lo-fi ballad ("Ripe for Love II") to end the album on a suitably queasy note. When someone's made a pretty great debut album, there's no shame in the follow-up being something of a carbon copy. Scott could probably keep releasing this same kind of crazy, funhouse psych pop record forever and it wouldn't get tired, especially if he keeps writing songs this catchy and keeps giving subtle tweaks here and there.

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