Acid Blue | Quinlan Porteous

“… Quinlan’s resonant delivery of Acid Blue’s bitter-sweet lyric deserves the same opportunity”

There’s a psychedelic revival happening. Tech-bros are micro-dosing, entrepreneurs are attending ayahuasca ceremonies, because when there’s money in the air people will do what they need to come up with fresh ideas, and nature’s brain-candy is the source du jour. I’m sceptical about that financial motive, but the principle itself is sound enough, which amateur psychonaut Billie Reid explores here in a song he wrote looking at the impact of hallucinogens on a depressive episode.

Bringing the words to convincing life is the voice of Quinlan Porteous and Australian dubstep producer SquidEyes. The transition from world-weariness to synaesthesia and inspiration is well-depicted, “… the rainbows in my head spill into my coffee cup. I stir them around with a silver spoon, as they turn into tunes.” It’s a succinct description of an experience that allows, for now anyway, some respite from a murkier version of life.

Musically, the song goes from something reminiscent of poppy Pink Floyd to a drifting interlude that’s equal parts Beach Boys chorals and rave keyboards, bridging the two previous psychedelic ages nicely. Then back to a rocky outro which acknowledges the whole of what’s happened, and that the pills won’t be a long-term solution.

Richard Ashcroft had it right when he was with The Verve and sang “the drugs don’t work.” But the glimpses they give of a something better that creativity emerges from are an understandable lure. Ashcroft’s song was the stand-out from the band’s album ‘Urban Hymns’. Quinlan’s resonant delivery of Acid Blue’s bitter-sweet lyric deserves the same opportunity.

Charlie Reynolds