Can you imagine what Jerry Seinfeld would be like today if he moonlighted as a music journalist when not blessing audiences with his stand up duties (and raking in barrels of liquid cash from the Seinfeld reruns)? Chances are that he would do a bit that goes a little something like: “What’s the deal with the Jagjaguwar label? They’ve got all theses artists that are all either Canadian and/or hairy that are at the helm of this uber-bohemian movement in music, and yet they all seem to congregate on this label. They’re hippies in the traditional sense of the word, but they’re not playing meandering Phish jams or freak folk. Whaaat’s the deal?!” I couldn’t tell ya Mr. Seinfeld, but it is rather distinct.
The Skygreen Leopards are led by the duo of Glenn Donaldson and Donovan Quinn who first met at a park in San Francisco with their acoustic guitars and continued to play there for a couple of months until they got pinched by a ranger for “corrupting an underage mime.” Disciples of California was recorded mostly outdoors and is bountiful with pastoral mostly acoustic guitars and an adept mix of droopiness. The harmonies are blanketed one atop another as a slow psychedelic drizzle built upon a foundation of meat and potatoes psychedelic druthers and a raggedy sunshine pop absolution with some alt-country touches.
The title track is a jangly serving of some earthy granola while “Sally Orchid” sounds like it goes out to all the stoners in 2 AM land. By the time “Egyptian Circus” rolls around with its enclosed droning and super sedated slide guitar, it’s here that the band knows that it’s as good a time as any to throw in the tambourine. Drummer Jasmyn Wong loves the brush sticks and makes dishes out the good ambience with the frizzing pitter patters. Other numbers include the dark road blues of “Golden Pilgrim” where it becomes clear that the Skygreen Leopards must hail from a magical land somewhere between Nashville and Laurel Canyon.
M. Ward – Post War
The Flying Burrito Brothers – Gilded Palace of Sin
Beachwood Sparks – Once We Were Trees