Psychedelic rock is too often bogged down in cliches, but Mythic Sunship’s 2018 album, Another Shape of Psychedelic Music, was a revelation. By choosing an album title that referenced Ornette Colman’s groundbreaking 1959 LP The Shape of Jazz to Come, they were either making an ironic joke or setting the bar for themselves stratospherically high—and though it turned out to be the latter, they pulled it off. The instrumental Copenhagen group had grown weary of the relatively conventional stoner rock on their first few records, and with the addition of saxophonist Søren Skov, they radically fused the realms of psychedelic music and jazz.
I saw Mythic Sunship in action at the 2019 Roadburn Festival, where they played a daytime set at a historic church converted into a concert venue (sadly, it’s since been turned into apartments). They surpassed my expectations—and, judging by the reaction of the packed crowd, everyone else’s too.
Like many concert nerds, I’ve had plenty of time to reminisce about the highlights of my life in live music since last spring, and among the shows I’ve caught in recent years, Mythic Sunship’s church set has often sprung to mind. The band played three times at Roadburn in 2019, and I was glad to see they chose that concert to release as the 2020 live album Changing Shapes.
But even more exciting—since it confirms the possibility of more great concerts in the future—was the announcement of Wildfire, Mythic Sunship’s latest album of all-new material. Recorded over four days at RMV Studio in Stockholm, it captures the raw, unbridled energy of the band’s live shows in five tracks of cosmic space rock. Built from dreamy melodies, tight grooves, and feral improvisations that sometimes race like liquid fire, it’s beautiful and fresh—and just like springtime and COVID vaccinations coming to Chicago, it’s helped put me in a better state of mind. v
The Listener is a weekly sampling of music Reader staffers love. Absolutely anything goes, and you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.