Skygreen Leopards Life & Love in Sparrow's Meadow

If ever there were a duo that suitably mirrors the essence of the psych-folk moniker within its modern existence, it could very well be the Skygreen Leopards — the most song-based extension of California’s Jewelled [sic] Antler Collective. By incorporating an incredibly loose and improvised nature into their poppy and blissful folk sing-alongs, they equally evoke and employ both the improvisational exploration associated with psychedelia and the poetic assuredness found in folk songs. The Skygreen Leopards attain the breezy essence of a joyous and spirited life through their happily sauntering songs, but, sadly, there’s something missing from their usually stultifying offerings on Life & Love in Sparrow’s Meadow — that most sacred of their elements: the field recordings. Taking the Skygreen’s away from the buzzing and chirping gardens and fields where they always recorded past albums (most of them self-released on CD-R, and last year’s brilliant One Thousand Bird Ceremony on Soft Abuse) seems like stripping a rainbow of its colours, but Life & Love still succeeds as an album on the strength of its own loose songs and kind vibes, proving you can take the leopard out of the green sky, but you can’t take the green sky out of the leopard. (Jagjaguwar)