- Jeremy Harple, Fluffanutta
Step right up to the Magical Mystery Tour! At least that's what comes to mind when the organ and tabla kick off Jeremy Harple's latest album, Fluffanutta. The West Glover-based musician leans into his self-described "psychedelic-jam-pop" sound throughout, with traces of those who forged the way before him.
The six-song album is short and sweet — no 13-minute keyboard solos or wandering guitarists that take half a track to find their way back home. For that, this reviewer is grateful. What works onstage doesn't always translate to a record, and Harple — also a member of Vermont jam band the Aerolites — seems to have cherrypicked the best elements of the genre.
Opening number "Ear to the Ground" is the album's most psychedelic, introducing layers of instrumentation until the vocals appear more than a minute in. With an organ sound reminiscent of the Doors' Ray Manzarek and an Indian-inspired drum beat, this song could have hailed from the 1960s.
"Valley of the Vultures" brings a more modern flair to the album, though still grounded in '60s roots. You could almost swear John Lennon and Paul McCartney contributed to the "oohs" in the chorus. At times, it sounds like Harple is channeling the Liverpudlians.
"Flow" is another nod to the Beatles, particularly in the bass line that starts the song and the sitar-inspired Dobro — played by guest musician Wake Clinard — that comes in halfway through.
The next two tracks follow suit, combining the swirling sounds of the psychedelic era with some contemporary touches. Each of Harple's compositions is interesting and varied, and he does a solid job of sticking to the genre without slipping into repetition.
The title track, which closes the album, lands closer to the present — somewhere between Beck and the Flaming Lips.
Fluffanutta as a whole is upbeat and lively and makes for easy listening. Harple performed and recorded the majority of the instruments and all of the vocals, an applause-worthy feat.
Fluffanutta is available for streaming at jeremyharple.bandcamp.com/releases.