Gulp is a project devoted to expanding. Kicking off with their debut full-length ‘Season Sun’ (out 14th July on Sonic Cathedral), the project - initially that of Guto Pryce (Super Furry Animals) and Lindsey Leven - has since welcomed in more psych-leaning members. There’s guitarist Gid Goundrey and drummer Gwion Llewelyn joining the ranks, with Leven on synths/vocals and Pryce at the helm of a band that exist to look outwards. Their first record is one that circuits woozy, dream-like textures alongside the kind of restraint and ice-cool calm you might not find back in psych’s ‘70s heyday. There’s a referential side to ‘Season Sun’, but it also feels like a product of today, something that wouldn’t exist without Guto’s continued sense of adventure and his bandmates’ vital application.
Below, we’re delighted to bring you an exclusive stream of the record, alongside a track-by-track guide from both Lindsey and Guto.
Tonight (10th July), Gulp launch their record at London’s Shacklewell Arms (tickets).
Stream ‘Season Sun’ above the band’s track-by-track guide.
Lindsey: I like to think of ‘Game Love’ as a track to accompany a horse ride through a desert. There was a folk influence when writing this which may make it sound as though it is a nod to the a time gone past but with the added electronics I think of it as being a fairly timeless piece. I love Gareth Bonello’s cello drone, subtle but beautiful.
Guto: This is the first song we finished together and the first we recorded. I’d been on away on tour and when I got home Linds had written most of it on acoustic guitar. It still has an acoustic feel but it has a lot of electronics going on. It’s got all our initial vision for the band in it - organic sounds, electro sounds, pop, drones and tremolo. And bird noises. ‘Game Love’ was recorded with Dafydd Ieuan from SFA on drums and Gareth Bonello on acoustic guitar and cello. Long time friend Kris Jenkins recorded it in the docks of Cardiff over a couple of days. We’ve not had the luxury of a sustained period in a ‘real’ studio since then.
Guto: A sunshine pop song inspired by the ultra-optimistic sounds of the Laurel Canyon lot. The synth solo is inspired by public information films, the sound of my youth.
Lindsey: This track was recorded in mid-winter and I think we were longing for some sunshine! In a world where everyone seems so busy and caught up, ‘Let’s Grow’ is a reflection of the simple things in life. Beauty in watching plants grow and how simple things such as this can be so pleasurable in a world that can be full of angst. Part of the last batch of songs to be recorded. We did the drums out-of-hours in a local community centre.
Clean & Serene
Lindsey: A secret love, lost in Europe. A mysterious relationship.
Guto: It’s a Germanic thing and the Roland 505 features highly.
Guto: This was a tricky song to nail but we got there and it fits the initial vision of Suicide meets Bo Diddley meets waiting for my man. Inspired by my time playing with Sonic Boom’s Spectrum.
Lindsey: This is a favourite. It has always sounded great playing it out live in the studio but it was hard to get it sounding the way we wanted. Got there in the end though and I think it was worth the effort!
Guto: Country psych rock with Vangelis synths to keep purism at bay. Double tracked flanged drums played by Daf. Gid on guitar and previous drummer Jonny Gumbo on shaker.
Lindsey: A darker song about lasting friendship and love. How being in a loving friendship or relationship with someone can provide colour to an otherwise grey existence.
Lindsey: I wrote this looking out the window of our sitting room one morning when summer was moving into autumn. Again, I guess it explores a need to celebrate the simple things in life - a colour of a leaf or a memory of an eerie looking tree that once caught my attention. That feeling of the change of season was very much upon me and the colour of the sun was amazing, I almost wondered what it would taste like. It gave me a sense of calm and I expressed it in this song. When the synths were added I think the song took shape and perhaps a darker edge was introduced.
Guto: The last song to be written for the LP. Some nice vocal stuff going on and I’m looking forward to more of this in the future.
Guto: When we started we’d play music while imagining we were riding horses to give it that groove. This is one of them. Initially it had a dancehall beat then Daf did some tribal toms for us. Soundtracks and TV themes were a big inspiration.
Lindsey: Yes. Horses (again), desert, tribal drums sums it up for me.
Lindsey: I love swimming outside in the sunshine. Guto actually wrote some of these lyrics cos he knows I love that! An ode to some travelling we did together in California.
Guto: A nod to the Beach Boys. Sometimes they sang about just a happy moment in time like when a humming bird comes to visit in the garden or how great vegetables are. Some Rotary Connection fantasy and escapism in there as well.
Guto: A smooth vibe – I pictured The Seeds starring in an episode of Miami Vice.
Lindsey: A smooth duet with Gwion Llewelyn.
I Want To Dance
Lindsey: A song of lighthearted desire and dusty romance.
Guto: Features an autoharp with three tremolos giving it a cool flutter. One bit of the song is a total nod to Grandaddy. I’m super happy with the arpeggio Moog (thanks Cian!).