Image from an advertisement for the Free-o-Dust Super Surfacer, 1925
It might seem like a weird time to go back and check out the Shimmer Kids UnderPop Association, a Bay Area group that got dismissed at the time as '60s-retro also-rans in the early 2000s, when such sounds were highly en vogue. But the truth is that, even though classic pop influences are still "in" in the indie scene, none of the groups I listen to are really scratching that psych-pop itch just right. And the Shimmer Kids weren't just basking in the dubious reflected glory of the Elephant 6 Collective - they had the chops to cover a lot of '60s pop sounds and could use the various approaches to psychedelia peddled by the Olivia Tremor Control, Apples (in Stereo), and the Essex Green (sometimes going for all three within a single song.)
The Natural Riot is the only Shimmer Kids release in print, but it's got plenty of trippy goodness to keep me satisfied for now - as a self-appointed connoisseur of Beach Boys pastiches, I particularly admire their ability to capture the post-Pet-Sounds sound of the brothers Wilson on tracks like "Another Planet". Falsetto cooing? Check. Sleigh bells? Check. Clip clop percussion? Check. Backward masking? Check. Oh yeah - that's the stuff.
"Another Planet" by Shimmer Kids UnderPop Association