Mojo (Publisher) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "APRICITY is oddball, trippy pop music that leapfrogs boundaries and eras."
Mojo (Publisher) - Ranked #18 in Mojo's 'The 50 Best Albums Of 2016' -- "[T]he epitome of 21st century progressive pop. One for 'heads' who dig heart and soul too."
Personnel: Liam Magill (vocals, electric guitar, synthesizer); Raven Bush (vocals, tenor guitar, mandolin, violin, keyboards); Joel Magill (vocals, bass guitar); Josh Magill (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixers: Syd Arthur; Joel Magill.
Recording information: Echo Park, CA; Five Star; Skyline Studios, Topanga, CA.
On their third LP in four years, British psych-rock quartet Syd Arthur forge a new path, altering both their personnel and overall approach. For most of its existence, the Canterbury-based group has been a contained element, exploring, rehearsing, and producing its dynamic prog-inspired work from its own homegrown studio, Bramble Hall. Arriving in 2016, Apricity sees not only the departure of longtime drummer Fred Rother, but also the band's first collaboration with an outside producer in California pop maestro Jason Falkner (Jellyfish, TV Eyes). Replacing Rother on drums is Josh Magill, younger brother to both singer/guitarist Liam Magill and bassist Joel Magill, making strings/keys utility man Raven Bush the only member not bearing the family name. While Syd Arthur's penchant for unconventional time signatures and clever jazzy riffing remains, Falkner's influence draws out the band's emerging pop tendencies, further melding the catchy with the complex. "No Peace" is probably the best example of this, with a hooky groove oddly reminiscent of Wham!'s "Everything She Wants" and plenty of the offbeat interlocking melodies that Syd Arthur do so well. "Sun Rays" is another darker pop-inflected track with more straightforward melodies than the band is usually willing to offer, though it's not without experimentation and exploration. A greater emphasis on synths and present-day psych textures can be felt throughout, with Bush's violin and mandolin work taking a back seat to his role as keyboardist. The spiny instrumental track "Portal" is a bright electro-prog ramble and "Seraphim," another highlight, is layered throughout with dreamy cascading synths and shimmering ornamentations. After a pair of lovingly crafted though similar-sounding albums, Apricity is a welcome venture into uncharted territory for Syd Arthur, and displays their willingness to grow and expand. ~ Timothy Monger