One of Los Angeles’ most eccentric and talented characters, Farmer Dave Scher has stood at the nexus of several waves of California music. Over the years, he has lent his smooth vocals and instrumental prowess to the likes of Beachwood Sparks, The Skiffle Players, All Night Radio, Jenny Lewis, Kurt Vile, and countless other cutting edge acts. Though far less prolific as a solo artist, the projects with Dave’s own name on them are where his spirit truly seems to run wild. His latest venture, a self-titled LP in collaboration with The Wizards Of The West, is an enthralling exhibit of Cosmic American space rock.
Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, the album is comprised of atmospheric compositions which regularly ascend into freeform grooves that equally reference psychedelic pop, surf rock, and jazz, Dave’s whirling keyboards and Ben Knight’s streaking guitar always leading the charge. Highlights include the astral garage rock of “Cave Walls” and the hazy “Babe Got Plans (For Me),” which features one of the record’s most intoxicating instrumentals. Another standout, “Ocean Eyes” infuses Dave’s idiosyncratic playing style with beautiful coastal imagery and harmonies.
The songwriting leans more into spiritual references and visceral feelings over standard narratives. In that way, Dave can sometimes appear more like a lively MC than a traditional singer, riffing on the vibration of the moment in order to communicate a particular sentiment, such as on the uplifting “Right Vibration.” Even then, he’s keen to drop in a gorgeous vocal line from time to time, never failing to blend seamlessly with the album’s beachy vibe.