‘The Bardo Story’ is the new album by Baltimore-based musician, film maker and artist Michael Collins, AKA Salvia Plath, set for release by Weird World on July 8th 2013.
The latest in a series of off-centre pop perversions by space cadet Collins (not to be confused with his namesake, the actual astronaut who partook in the NASA moon landing) ‘The Bardo Story’ follows on from low-key but much-loved releases under the Run DMT guise, beginning in late 2009 with Bong Voyage, a collection of dank, ultra-vivid textural vignettes that offered a glimpse into Collins’s green-fingered deft psychedelic touch and disorientating pop potential.
2011’s ‘Dreams’ followed, taking the palette of colours and textures mixed up by its predecessor and daubing them on to more fully realised, cohesive song structures. Coming across
like hyperactive doodlings in the great American song book, ‘Dreams’ was easily one of the most imaginative and unashamedly fun records of the year and served to cement Collins’s status as one of the US underground’s most singular characters.
Since then, Collins has drifted along in a classic itinerant artist’s daydream, spending time in, and taking inspiration from, Boston, New York, Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles over the course of two years and writing and recording a huge amount of new material – both alone and with numerous collaborators – thirteen euphoric, extraordinary moments of which make up ‘The Bardo Story.’
Finding Collins’ at the delirious peak of his peculiar craft, ‘The Bardo Story’ is a truly twisted joy-ride through the warped psych-pop canon, as indebted to Monty Python and the Dukes of Stratosphere as it is Magical Mystery Tour. The vision is focused, yet fried, with Collins and his band of cross-continental loons skipping between sun-struck, fevered freeway sing-a-longs ripe with coy mystery and arch humour such as first single ‘House of Leaves’ or the parallel universe drive-time classic ‘Bardo States’ and beautiful, hallucinatory instrumental vignettes recalling the very best of his earlier, more abstract material.
The result is a thrillingly engrossing, positively filmic experience of a record replete with all the mystery, magic and delight that life can harbour – as comfortable being effortlessly charming as it is spectacularly confounding.