Inspired by the cycles of life, Sam Teskey, guitarist of critically-acclaimed, blues-soul band The Teskey Brothers, announces his debut solo album, Cycles, a collection of music influenced by the great English psychedelic bands of the late ’60s & ’70s, out now on Decca Records. The first track on the album, Love, is a stirring, pastoral folk song that establishes the album’s own life cycle, ending with the reprise Then Love Returns.
Born out of lockdown in early 2020, with touring at a stand-still, Teskey relished in the opportunity to return to his vast back catalogue of incomplete musical musings he’d amassed whilst writing for The Teskey Brothers over the years. Painstakingly digging through old demos, spending time with the development of the songs, keen to make a record that would be enjoyed as a complete body of work. Starting where most finish, he settled on the track-listing before recording a note, thoughtfully building on the original ideas, with each track evolving to seamlessly melt together with the next.
On his debut album, Teskey says: “When on the road touring, I spend most of my time writing songs, so I have a massive collection of songs and ideas ready to go. Once I figured out that they all work together like that, it happened really organically. I love listening to albums that have progression and take you on a journey. A big point of this album is for people to create their own journey and their own story. I can say many things about the record, but I want to leave the experience up to the listener. It feels nice to put the creativity back in the listeners’ hands.”
Cycles offers a thrilling and immersive journey; the seven tracks ebb and flow like a stream of consciousness, shying away from traditional song structures and negotiating a range of genres from orchestral balladry, dissonant and ambient soundscape, all the way through to folk and heavy psych-rock. Determined to capture the music in its purest form, Teskey, enlisting the help of musician friends, live recorded the album almost exclusively live to tape at his analogue home studio in Warrandyte.
The Importance of experiencing this album as a whole is evident. In much the same way that a poem is the sum of its parts, and particular lines can be beautiful on their own, here, each track can be happily taken in isolation but holds much more weight when experienced as one.