I'd just landed back in town straight from Levitation when I got invited to Gloria's first ever gig. Although I became a fan the moment I first listened to their track 'Beam Me Up' earlier in the year, I honestly didn't know what to expect; I didn't even know what they looked like due to them not having a Facebook page, no website, no anything. Even the videos for 'Beam Me Up' and 'In The Morning' were built around archive footage from the '60s, giving us no information about the band whatsoever.

Gloria are a six-piece band, with three girls (one of which also handles keyboard duties) providing the breathtaking vocals that undoubtedly constitute their signature sound. Formed by composer/musician/producer Kid Victrola, Gloria are as magical live as they are on record, a feat achieved by a combination of musical competency, excellent melodies, and an overall magical aura that is both refreshing and comforting like a good pink lemonade.

In Excelsis Stereo, their first full-length, is a discreet yet powerful showcase of top quality, fuzz-filled garage that sees them drinking from the same spiked fountains Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, or The Mamas and The Papas did. However, their pièce-de-résistance is indeed the Ronettes-on-Acid vibe provided by the three-part harmonies that turn each song into an exotic valley of synesthetic sensations.

The album opens with 'Braindead', an enthralling and earworm-ish track that sets the mood for the LP and smoothly yet steadily flows into first single 'Beam Me Up'. Much mellower and sweeter, 'Beam Me Up' slowly lifts you from the ground like a good 100th anniversary Hoffmann does; voices join in as the harmony gains an almost palpable texture, reaching a peak with that amazing vocal solo towards the end. And as the beginning of 'Shelter' makes you think of Spencer David Group due to the fuzz-fuelled opening riff, other tracks such as 'Show Me Your Trail', 'Exotica', and 'Shame' blatantly pull the hypnotic card which, combined with the omnipresent siren-like vocals, rock you directly into paradoxical sleep. Yes, it's all very dreamy and melodic, but it also gets its fair dose of heaviness and density every now and then.

A special mention for 'In The Morning', their second single, due to its ability to distance itself from the fuzz ambiance while retaining an addictive quality that pushes you towards self-reflection. 'Howlin Stones', probably named after their Paris-based label Howlin Banana Records, and 'The Highlight', complete the bouquet. The album comes to an end with 'Requiem For a Witch', creeping in via an impromptu acoustic guitar that serenades us to sleep, gently pulling us down as we end our journey.

The overall mood of In Excelsis Stereo is early 1966 San Francisco, with the hippie takeover in full steam - yet before the media appropriated Haight-Ashbury as the neuralgic counterculture point of peregrination to the Bay Area. You can almost hear the sound of Gloria coming from the basement of the Russian Embassy, both exciting and reassuring, soundtracking an Anger-like dark twist to the change that thickens the air.

In Excelsis Stereo is stunningly beautiful due to the many ways it establishes its relevance as a complete, solid work and not a mere nostalgic trip. And the biggest proof of that is it being so incredibly familiar, while at the same time it becomes impossible to pinpoint a specific band or genre to compare it to. Although numerous influences come to mind, this particular mix is truly an original, yet so brilliantly achieved you can't help but thinking you've heard it before. Gloria's album is an unexpected flashback in a way, but due to its distance in time and place, it can become even more satisfying than the original trip. The album picks up where the Summer of Love left off, making an exquisite 50-year leap as if nothing and everything had happened.