Spiritualized UK

Sailing serene through the winds of musical fashion, Spiritualized have reached their fourth decade as a paragon of musical constancy. When highly influential English psychedelic rockers Spacemen 3 splintered in 1991, singer and guitarist Jason Pierce aka J Spaceman, formed Spiritualized, extracting more melodic songwriting from droning, Velvet Underground-inspired minimalism of Spacemen 3. Spiritualized incorporated both gospel and blues influences and wistful orchestral pop touches that took cues from Brian Wilson and Phil Spector’s teenage symphonies to God, reconciliating extremes: minimalism, maximalism; euphony, cacophony; buoyancy, heavy-heartedness.

1991 saw the band’s debut LP, Lazer Guided Melodies, the blissed-out result of Pierce’s obsessive studio fine-tuning and remixing. A new level was reached with the lush atmospheres and sad-hearted beauty of iconic Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (1997). Albums trickled out slowly throughout the new millennium, until the latest LP, the post-Covid Everything Was Beautiful (2022). The Stooges, gospel, blues, free jazz, the Rolling Stones, et al., finessed into a hypnotic mixture, capable of both savage intensity and benzodiazepine drift. More than anything, though, it refers back to the band’s own gilded history.