The Striped Bananas is a psychedelic indie rock band husband-wife duo from Hartford, Connecticut, and the group has been active since about 2012. The group has released a total of six albums thus far, in addition to a live EP and some singles. This album, Dreams Upon the Mast (2021), is the group’s most recent release, which was released less than a week ago at the time of writing this, on July 16th, 2021. The album’s Bandcamp page includes tags such as alternative, psychedelic rock, rock, garage, garage rock, power pop, psych, psychedelic pop, and Hartford. I’m pretty stoked to give this album a listen, so with that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“Silver Heels” starts out with some super groovy psychedelic pop and modern west coast garage rock guitar lines that immediately make me think a bit of Frankie and the Witch Fingers. Holy smokes, I really dig the organs/keys in this track. Oh wow, there are some really nice, warm horns in the mix as well. Holy smokes, now there’s some sitar in the track. Oh wow, I really dig the resolution back to the sort of chill, seemingly surf-inflected garage rock guitar line. Oh wow, the track seems to be building up more and more momentum as the song continues. Wow, great track, and I’m excited to hear more.
“Dr. Kane’s Arctic Expedition” starts out with a really groovy mixture of what sounds to be an light acoustic guitar, a fat bass guitar, a steady beat, and a sort of mystifying mellotron or something similar. Oh wow, I’m really digging this track. The way the organs come in reminds me of some whimsical psychedelic rock songs from the mid-to-late 1960s, while the acoustic guitars remind me of sort of neo-psychedelic artists like The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Wow, great track.
“Claudia Jennings” gets started with some really sweet acoustic guitar that has a bit of a folksy nature. Oh wow, I really dig the treble-y, mellow guitar line that seems to gently come into the soundscape behind the acoustic guitar; the tone of the electric guitar feels a bit reminiscent of rockabilly guitarists from the early 1960s. Oh wow, I really dig the bopping forward movement of the electric guitar and bass guitar. Holy smokes, the soundscape really mellows back out nicely to the acoustic guitar intro after building up some momentum and intensity. Wow, super sweet tune.
“Be an Ant” immediately gets started with some slick, sort of echoey guitar that sounds like a musical representation of ripples on the reflection of the full moon in the middle of the night on a calm ocean. Oh wow, I really dig the keys in this track, which sound like some mellow mellotron adding a nice layer to the chill soundscape. Super sweet track.
Oh wow, “The Daredevil of Niagara Falls” gets started with an almost bluesy slide guitar-sounding line that immediately caught my ear. I really dig the beat in this track. Oh wow, I’m also really digging the use of the acoustic guitar in the rhythm section while the electric guitar seems to echo the vocal lines to some degree. Holy smokes, I really dig the slide guitar lines, which almost add a bit of country/southern flavor to the soundscape. Great tune.
Oh wow, “The Wheatfield” gets started right away with some plucky banjo and a smooth acoustic guitar chord progression set to a sturdy rhythm from the drums and the bass guitar. I’m really digging the long vocal lines in contrast with the quick, pluckiness of the banjo. Super sweet track.
Oh wow, “Dreams Upon the Mast” immediately starts out with a sort of psychedelic, spacey strangeness from the tremolo’d electric guitar/keyboard lines while the acoustic guitar plays some mellow chords, as though providing a wave for you to ride through space on. Holy smokes, I really dig the super sweet, lead electric guitar lines that come in to complement the tremolo’d guitar/keyboard lines. There also seems to be some organs that come into the soundscape as well that I really dig. Wow, great track.
“She Lives in the Sea (Of Colors)” gets started with some mellow, dream-inducing instrumentation and vocals for the intro that I’m really digging. Oh wow, the song really picks up with some super groovy organs and electric guitar chords that harken back to psychedelic rock circa 1967. Holy smokes, there’s a bit of sitar for the outro to the song. Wow, great track.
Oh wow, “Run to the Night” gets started right away with a strong rhythm section with a sturdy beat, a low, groovy bass line, and some jangling acoustic guitar, with some somewhat heavy, slightly distorted electric guitar lines that I’m really digging. Oh wow, I really dig the organs and the bass line as the track seems to continually build up more momentum at each chorus. Holy smokes, there are some super groovy horns in this track too that add a lot of feeling to the soundscape. Great track.
Oh wow, “Strange Visions” is a really interesting, groovy, dream-inducing soundscape right away, filled with quick, jangling acoustic guitar, swirling organs, and a fat, somewhat crunchy bass line that I’m really digging. The beat sounds like there’s a ton of weight behind each snare. Wow, great track.
“Lonely Highway” gets started with a fat, bopping combination of bass guitar and a slightly distorted electric guitar, with some jangling acoustic guitar as a backdrop. Oh wow, the vocals change up near the end of the song as some classic late 1960s and early 1970s rock licks are played from the guitar. I really dig the organs in this track too. Super sweet tune.
“Lady Moonshine” gets started with a sweet harmony of vocals backed by a bit of jangling, folksy acoustic guitar work. I really dig the sort of pop-y, indie folk rock feel of this track. Super sweet tune, and a super sweet way to finish up the album.
I’m definitely glad that I checked out this album tonight, and I certainly want to check out more of The Striped Bananas in the future. I really dig the combination of the psychedelic rock sounds reminiscent of the mid-to-late 1960s, with the sort of neo-psychedelic sound created by the use of acoustic guitar, organs, and electric guitar, along with a sort of indie rock/folk feel as well. If you’re into psychedelic sounds from the 1960s, and/or enjoy combinations of acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and swirling organs, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, then I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.