MOJO’s favourite San Franciscan psych auteur is back, after a three-year break in which he has reportedly refurbished his garage, turning it into a bona fida home studio. Or, as we prefer to imagine, a vault of anglophile enigma from which emanate the sounds of Soft Machine, Echo & The Bunnymen, Syd Barrett, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Donovan, Banshees, Kinks or even Strawberry Switchblade, all filtered via Kelley’s own cerebral jukebox into magical new platters of sound. The first taste of Double Exposure, his new album and first for Jack White’s Third Man label, Kim Chee Taco Man arrives on a glassy chords and bouncing bass that propel the same whistle-able playground melody as Altered Images’ Happy Birthday. Bowling along on chiming rococo guitars and wheezy, “whoo-ee” effects, only a coo-ing double-tracked female backing vocal suggests that Stotlz wasn’t alone amongst the oil cans and punctured bike tires. In fact, the album was mixed and mastered to a polished finish by Mikey Young from Melbourne’s Eddy Current Suppression Ring.
For all its dreamy sonic exoticism, Kim Chee Taco Man plays out as a subsistence-based road trip in search of street food, and in particular “the kimche taco man/in the white sedan”. Stoltz’s credentials for the quirky recasting of domestic life in a magical setting reach back to 2004’s Antique Glow, his second joyous, four-track opus and the album which sealed his bid for cult hero status.
Convivial and infectious, this song has had as many repeat plays in the MOJO office lately as Mark Professor’s Oystah Card. Great company indeed. Listen to it here: