It’s hard to comprehend that this astonishing acid-folk masterpiece has been languishing in obscurity since 1973, an ultimate cult psych artefact finally seeing proper release through Chicago’s esteemed Drag City operation.
Margaret Morgan and Patrick Cockett met while roaming the Hawaiian islands in the mid-60s, inspired to write songs by the idyllic surroundings, later recording at a small Honolulu studio after experiencing and being influenced by California’s acid-rock scene. Morgan wrapped her dulcimer and Donovan-like vibrato around Cockett’s Hawaiian folk flavours and plaintive vocals, while studio engineer Dave Choy experimented with his new ARP synthesiser and Carlos Pardeiro added harmonies and sitar. After Morgan’s parents whisked her back to college, Cockett completed the album with local musicians for local release on the studio’s tiny Sinergia label.
Nearly 40 years on, the album unfolds like a soft-focus, lysergic picture book. Of Broken Links and Garden Botanum re-enact otherworldly collisions between Pearls Before Swine and Kate Bush, out-foxing Fleet Foxes when the ethereal harmonies kick in, while the spooked Psyche 1/Share Your Water bathes Fahey-like steel string ripples in haunted Hawaiian mist, splashing in swirling electronic washes as Morgan becomes chillingly ghost-like. Anyone pricked by RC’s recent acid-folk features, look no further for the ultimate flashback.