Summer Love - The Narcotic Daffodils 🌞❤

1. Summer Love
2. Naturally High
3. Guardians
4. Hypnotized
5. You can't get
6. Bruxelles
7. Atomic 53

It's been three years since the band's last album, Cellex, was released, and there have been a number of personnel changes since then, with Luna taking up vocal duties, Arne the drums and Maria the Guitar. I remember hearing Maria playing with an all-girl band many years ago and they blew me away, so the prospect of her joining the Narcotic Daffodils was exciting. As before, the bass is supplied by the inimitable Flupke with Simon providing Sitar and keyboard licks on the Hammond.

1. Summer Love

Any fears that the new lineup have lost the spirit of the old are quickly dispelled by the opening and title track of the album, Summer Love. Gilly Smythe, Gong# style, whisper-voices draw you in before Flupke's bass kicks in with the Hammond, underpinning, proceedings. The song ends with a melange of Sitar and synth, underlining the fact that the Narcotic Daffodils are back with a bang and mean business.

#As an aside The Narcotic Daffodils are on the same bill as Gong at the Festival Prog-résiste in Soignies on April 22nd.

2. Naturally High

This song was written by Flupke about a fan of the band, who always went BIG at their concerts, rocking out 110% without the aid of drink or drugs and totally into their vibe. Naturally high on the music and the spirit of the band. 
I can definitely relate to that.

3. Guardians
Guardians kicks off with a low down dirty organ sound, reminiscent of Gimme Some Loving by the Spencer Davis Group, and sees the band dipping their toes into the sort of distorted reality they have dabbled with in the past, with tracks like Weathered on their previous album, a swirling maelstrom of sound that sucks you in, spins you around and spits you out. Groovy!

4. Hypnotized
This one reminds me a little bit of the Kinks. A song about a Flower Power Man, a real hippy Superman, travelling around the globe spreading love and joy. I think the world needs him today. Lovely stuff.

5. You Can't Get
Some nice harmonies going on here, like a Gregorian Chant on acid. This song features the albums-only Hammond solo, and it's damned fine. There's also a lovely solo from Maria, a fluid sound that mixes seamlessly with the vocals.

6. Bruxelles
Sung in French and Flemish Bruxelles is the band's love song to the Belgian capital, with the haunting sound of the city's Metro floating over it all backed by some more excellent keyboard work from Simon.

7. Atomic 53
Atomic 53 is based on one of Maria's riffs.  Atomic 53 opens to the sound of sitar and is a nice slow burner, grooving into the kind of sound you can see yourself head banging to at concerts, the kind of song you never want to end. Great vocals too and the perfect way to end the album.

I think that Summer Love is a less diverse album than its predecessor, but is a much more cohesive album overall.

The world is a strange place at the moment, slipping back to a darker, more dangerous time, when Nationalism and xenophobia were on the rise and ignorance was king. The new Narcotic Daffodils album also turns back the clock, but to more enlightened times, to the days of Woodstock, the days of Janis & Jimmy and the summer of love. The perfect antidote to today's news.

Flower power has returned once more and the Narcotic Daffodils are blooming again, a cause for celebration.

***** C’est magnifique!

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