Espers III

Trippy Philadelphia band Espers strip things down on a record where the songs are left to unfold and expand at their leisure. Although they've been branded psych folk, Espers don't fit easily into any category on III. There's certainly an emphasis on ambience on songs like "The Road of Golden Dust" and "Caroline," each progressing at a dreamy clip beneath clearly articulated lyrical abstractions. But despite the instrumentation and nods to British folk of the mid-'60s, there's an undeniable, edgier indie pop lilt to tunes like "I Can't See Clear" and "That Which Darkly Thrives" that crosses into Slint territory for sure. Espers certainly exhibit a Floyd-like respect for space and psychic expansion on III, and that open-mindedness extends to a relative disregard for generic expectations, enabling them to conjure something rather idiosyncratic. (Drag City)