Coke Weed seems to have jauntily arrived just on time. Get ready for some vintage-sounding psychedelic rock.

On “Back to Soft,” the third effort from these dreamy rockers from Bar Harbor, they have taken just a bit of a detour. The title makes sense once you listen to their previous recordings.

Coke Weed stays in a very spacey and laid-back place in this CD. Working with patient dual electric guitars, seducing lead vocals and hypnotic rhythms, they paint a picture of a lighthearted serene place that they are in no hurry to leave. And if they aren’t leaving, then neither is anyone else.

Fuzzy and warm, each song brings the listener along artfully and effortlessly. From the first track, “Sunseekers,” we are introduced to the upbeat yet stoical free-form-sounding ditties that emanate throughout this 10-song compilation.

The guitars are a bit distorted and hazy, and sound perfect for this type of music. We are then introduced to Nina D’s alluring voice. She is a calming force in a spaced-out, kind of imperfect way, which works flawlessly here.

Joining her on and off with vocals is songwriter/guitarist Milan McAlevey.

One of my favorite songs on the album is “Anklet.” It has nicely balanced fuzzy guitars, is vocally indulgent and is full of ’60s reminiscences.

Actually, one could probably say the same for each of these tunes. While all the songs have a similar feel and layered textures, each little gem is polished with a different spin to stand out with elastic tenacity.

They all bend and sway to a composed yet loose songwriting style that is dripping with nostalgia for a day when there were many issues to deal with socially and economically, and just as much yearning for a reprieve from an ongoing dialogue with no resolve.

Coke Weed takes us there in a contemporary way, with hints of illusion and disillusion, slightly irreverent tones and good taste.

“Back to Soft” is available on CD and as a digital download. Vinyl will be available in August.

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Kristin DiCara-McClellan is a Portland freelance writer.


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