Sunday, June 27, 2021

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have designed a soundscape for our dreams with ‘Butterfly 3000’

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s latest release, ‘Butterfly 3000’, takes us on a new and unexpected journey exploring the realms of synth programming-morphing the conception of psychedelic rock into new and uncharted territory. 

‘Butterfly 3000’ is the 18th album to be released by the band, and we find with each release they seem to evolve; expanding this narrative they have been developing with each new album. Lead singer Stu Mackenzie has previously explained how each release is connected, creating this parallel universe, something we’ve never witnessed in a band that adds more depth to their music.

 It prompts you to uncover the meaning of the songs and look at the bigger picture, especially as the band are known for exploring themes like climate change and environmental degradation. 


In comparison to their previous albums, the likes of ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ and ‘Nonagon Infinity’, in which they play heavily into this prog/psychedelic rock genre, ‘Butterfly 3000’ is almost the complete opposite of that. Each song has been beautifully composed to flow into the next creating this one continuous piece. The album has been designed to be listened to from start to finish and experiencing it any other way would be like reading a book from back to front. It’s a 43-minute long story exploring themes of metamorphosis and dreams-emulating the feeling of drifting in and out of sleep and the dreamlands we explore subconsciously.


Kicking off the ten-track record with ‘Yours’ we are introduced to the familiar King Gizzard drum beat offering us that little bit of familiarity we all look for, whilst still incorporating softer tones with the smoothness of Stu’s voice. The tune isn’t short of guitar, but instead of the usual heavy riffs we are used to, we are offered more of a stripped-back, acoustic melody. The perfect opening for their new venture. 


‘Dreams' is a stand-out track on the album, the combination of the synth and lyrics creates this uplifting piece of music that almost acts as the soundtrack for your own dreams. The fourth track on the album ‘Interior People’ is a stand-out song on the album. It ultimately encapsulates their new style perfectly, the merging of acoustic guitar with synth programming, modern and classical. The sheer diversity of Stu’s lyrics and the change in his pitch take you on a journey, it takes you into their world, something I’m keen to explore more of.


The album finishes with ‘Butterfly 3000’, a beautiful end to a stunning record. The sudden halt at the end replicates the feeling of being snapped out of a dream and back into reality, especially with the intense build-up towards the end. This is exactly what we love about King Gizzard, they create songs that describe the feelings of everyday life. So while on the outside it may seem like their music holds no real relation to our lives, their music and lyrics often reflect the current climate in a really unique and inconspicuous way. 


If this is what they create during a pandemic in their homes, we can’t wait to see what comes next from the band.


Catherine Frediani


Image: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard-Butterfly 3000 album cover

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