Causa Sui Credit: Courtesy of El Paraiso Records

When things got dark in 2020, some bands leaned into anxiety, loneliness, and rage, but others embraced silver linings—especially if COVID shutdowns allowed them a more relaxed pace of life that helped them refocus and pursue quieter personal interests that might otherwise get pushed to the back burner. And if there’s a musical equivalent to the pandemic home-baking movement, Causa Sui’s new Szabodelico would qualify. The Danish four-piece have spent the past 15 years blending heavy psych, desert rock, Krautrock, and more, but with Szabodelico they nod to the mix of jazz, pop, and folk developed by the album’s namesake, legendary Hungarian guitarist Gábor Szabó. Built on sessions from late 2019 and early 2020 and fleshed out and mixed this summer by guitarist Jonas Munk, these instrumental tracks conjure a variety of moods and atmospheres, but even when they skew haunting or pensive, they never turn despairing. Szabó’s influence can be felt throughout, including on the gold-hued “Gábor’s Path,” the loungy-turned-dreamy “Vibratone” (which shares its name with an innovative effects unit introduced by Fender in the late 60s), and the bold, rhythmic title track. The warm instrumentals and airy production often make it feel like you’ve stepped into the band’s practice space, while the rich, shimmering “Lucien’s Beat” invites you to join them on a winding, cosmic adventure. Music that not only challenges the mind but also relieves stress-induced muscle tension without completely sidestepping reality is always welcome, but Szabodelico couldn’t have arrived at a better point in time.   v