For From Psychedelia… To a Distant Place to be considered a ‘difficult second album’ for Fuchsia would perhaps be a mild understatement on their behalf. Fuchsia’s original, self-titled debut album was originally released in the early 70s after which the band went their separate ways. Their album has gained a cult following since then after Mojo published it as a forgotten classic.
More than forty years on they have reformed to bring their second musical child into the world. Despite the vast 40-odd year gap between these releases, it’s clear from the opening track Melancholy Road that nothing has changed in their musical prowess. The most easily noticeable element that has changed would be the quality of the recordings themselves which have a clearer, crisper sound than their last album but beyond that, to listen to the albums consecutively you wouldn’t have them considered as having been gone for more than a year or two.
Despite some more gloomy sounding songs, such as Lost Generation and the aforementioned Melancholy Road the whole album is filled with lively, bounding folk tunes with an articulate, rocky edge to them. This immensely positive folk-rock is instantly evocative of a sunlit village green environment, retaining its sense of wonder and joy in the more traditional side of folk music while exploring its own more contemporary boundaries.
This village green feeling when coupled with Durant’s prim, soothing vocals is almost reminiscent of the likes of Ray Davies solo work. It’s rich, vibrant and uplifting, each of his songs with a deeper and more explicit meaning than is conveyed in just one listen. The music itself is wondrous, with a symphony of acoustic guitars, drums, pianos, accordions and some incredible violins dancing throughout the album. It comprises something for the lover of every aspect of music as songs like I’ll Remember her Face take on the mantle of the more gentle, folky songs with the music itself required in equal measure to the music. Songs such as Lost Generations explore their rockier edge, opening with an addictive fiddle tune which turns into a fast, brooding blues tune which gets you moving.
You might think that a gap of more than forty years would cause a band issues when coming back together for the first time, but this album is proof that not only can they retain the beauty in their original work, but they can hone it and allow it to evolve before re-releasing it into the world. One thing is assured for this album, they can scrap the ‘forgotten’ part before they label it a classic.
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Review by Joe Knipe