France has never been known for its neo-psych ecosystem, at least when it comes to the latest wave of artists to invade the musical landscape over the past decade. However, last year le pays des baguettes gave us two excellent records: one was Alba Lua's Inner Seasons (I pity you if you haven't heard it yet), and the other Sudden Death of Stars' Getting Up, Going Down.

The Rennes-based band had a very busy 2013; having released their album in early January, they toured extensively over the Summer and even recorded a Christmas single ('What Is Winter Good For?', released by Ample Play and backed with Beat Mark's 'Christmas Blossom'). So, I was somewhat surprised to see them putting a second album out so soon, especially when Getting Up, Going Down was still growing on us ('Supernovae' is an absolutely astonishing tune). But here it is, little more than a year after their full-length debut, Sudden Death of Stars release a 40-minute wonder called All Unrevealed Parts of the Unknown - a delicious prelude to Spring made of delicate melodies and trance-inducing instrumental riffs (check the last two minutes of 'Magical Mirror' to see what I mean).

It's actually interesting to see how SDOS approach the sub-genre of neo-psychedelia though; not having a great psych tradition in France - apart from lesser known artists and bands such as Messieurs Richard de Bordeaux et Daniel Beretta, Jean-Pierre Massiera and the franco-British band Gong - French music always appeared to be more connected to the new sectors of electronica. This results in the band gathering multiple influences that range from the Syd Barrett-coloured 'Why Won't You Try' to the VU-goes-Funk 'Inside Out' in order to establish a new French-psych aesthetic that isn't as baroque as Jacco Gardner's, nor as space-folky as Halasan Bazar's (again, check Alba Lua's debut album for more American-British mixing-and-matching, with special emphasis on Velvet Underground's proto-DIY sound.)

While tracks like 'All About You', 'Pony Tails', and 'Bright Sunday' are much more contemplative in a Small Faces-meets-The-Electric-Prunes way (a special shout-out for 'Bright Sunday''s beautiful ending, that keyboard sure hit the spot), 'Over The Top' is a danceable Lou Reed-inspired tune and 'The Break Up' a New Wave rock'n'roll duet, both establishing important moments within the records's line-up. And then there's that perfect gem called 'The Love Substitute' closing the album - a four-minute track that begins with a symphonic caress, suddenly increasing in tempo during the chorus but quickly returning to orchestral heaven.

For me, as a huge fan of the melodic side of psych (was never a Doom girl myself), this is a very beautiful album and more mature that Getting Up, Going Down - despite following a similar direction (there's a smarter use of the sitar for example, but the structures used for laying down the tracks seem very alike); it appears as if greater care was taken with the production, so no rough edges are to be found in the final mix. Where Getting Up, Going Down was experimental, All Unrevealed Parts of the Unknown is clearer and more assured. They were one of the first bands to be announced as playing this year's Liverpool Psych Fest, and listening to this impeccable collection of tracks, you can easily understand why.