L.A.-based Morgan Delt has been making quite a name for himself since he first emerged on the so-called neo-psych scene back in 2012 with his debut Psychic Death Hole. Since then, he's jumped from label to label (Inflatable Tapes, Trouble In Mind) but now appears to have found a home over at Seattle-based Sub Pop, with whom he signed a contract "to extend throughout the known universe" in January 2015.

With new album Phase Zero, Morgan Delt brings forward his rich Californian musical heritage, with the sole exception of his psych-oriented sound seeming closer to San Francisco than to his hometown of Los Angeles. This is essentially evoked through an experimentalism allied to a lighter-than-air atmosphere that crowns the whole album, placing it nearer the likes of Moby Grape or It's a Beautiful Day than Strawberry Alarm Clock or Little Feat.

The album opens with the darkly tropical 'I Don't Wanna See What's Happening Outside', an avant-propos that serves as a brief insight of what lies ahead: introspection, reflection, internal floating. The apparent musical abstraction of Phase Zero is paradoxically its most palpable core, appearing as a constant that transforms dispersion into cohesiveness.

Another recurrent theme of Phase Zero seems to be the Sun both as a symbol and a dominant sound force; not only it is the central element of the album's cover, but there are also two tracks that mention it in their title ('Sun Powers' and 'Some Sunsick Day'). Curiously, and symbolically speaking, the artwork is more reminiscent of the Moon's Tarot card than the Sun's, which rings as a semiotical clue to the darker undertones of some corners of Phase Zero, as if the Sun appeared as an utopic goal instead of an a priori quality. Take 'The Age of the Birdman' for an example; the track seems encapsulated in a hypnotic bell jar that is in its turn illuminated by a harvest moon rather than by a midsummer sun. This nocturnal feeling continues on following track 'Mssr. Monster', with Morgan Delt keeping us blindly submerged without letting us know of our own involuntary apnea.

With 'The Lowest of the Low' and 'Escape Capsule' both installing itself in your brain as a psychological heat stroke, you lose track of time and barely realise you've arrived at the end of this (rather short) journey: 'Some Sunsick Day' seems to pull us from the water just in time. Was it all just a dream? Morgan Delt's Phase Zero navigates that thin line between rêverie and acid trip, drawing an accepted state of temporary and discreet insanity.