To no surprise, Australian psych-lords King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have released their second album of 2021. Oozing synthesizers from every beat, Butterfly 3000 is an intergalactic safari so estranged from anything we’ve encountered in their sumptuous, genre-bending back catalogue. A concept created from the depths of lockdown, the band’s 18th studio album plays out 10 sensory stimulating tracks continuously, looping oddball arpeggios and modular synthesizers that filter into euphoric Gizzard-style dream-pop.
Fans of the band will adore its exploratory nature while appreciating the artistic strategy behind Butterfly 3000’s production. Isolation from one another in 2020 proved prosperous for them, spending much of it spinning samples and sending eccentricities to each other in an attempt to commit to an album produced defiantly in the major key. The result weaves happy mistakes and meticulously placed broken sounds that form an arty bricolage bordering on retro-futurism. As such, the oriental optimism of “Shanghai” soars as an album highlight in partnership with “Dreams,” a peppy lullaby that whizzes delightfully from ear to ear. In true Gizz-fashion, the interpolation of their signature nouveau-psychedelia is most evident in “Interior People,” welding together those ever-recognizable vocals spearheaded by Stu Mackenzie into a super-hybrid genre. Be it labelled psynth-psych or something entirely out of this world, the sonic landscape of everything we love about this group percolates throughout each minute of the album.
A true creative treasure, Butterfly 3000 is revealed to be a digital smorgasbord of wacky sounds that blend together so perfectly. It is a mere reflection of how a little solitude during the pandemic has transposed an extraterrestrial band even further into the realms of the atmosphere.