You are ambling through an uncanny carnival in the middle of a clearing; there is no moon or stars, and the October air chills you to the bone as carnival music cuts through the night. You realize you are the only one there as you slip into the House of Mirrors. While you walk through, amidst the flashing lights and cackling of clowns, the music begins to grow more frantic, then docile, until it swings into something more eerie, more psychedelic. You have lost your way in the valley of mirrors, but you are strangely at peace in this otherworldly place, in this ethereal space in time.

Though it may sound like the plot of a Twilight Zone episode, this is the aura of June Bloom’s “Behind the Times,” their latest track and video. “Communicating an idea or feeling through a song is such an amazing and abstract way for humans to relate to one another,” says Patrick Carr, the man behind the mellow, psychedelic vocals of June Bloom. “It’s what excites me most about music. I attended Berklee College of Music and while I was there, I realized it’s what I wanted to do as a career. Not for fame or fortune, but for my own enjoyment and happiness.”

The Boston-based musician has been impassioned about his mind-bending work since he was young. “Piano lessons were my first start in the musical world,” he recollects. After leaving the classical music world, Carr delved into what would be his psychedelic roots: The Doors, The Beach Boys, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, and The Zombies. He also garners influences from science fiction—most notably, American writer Phillip K. Dick. “Science fiction gives you an appreciation for reality and what it is to be human,” Carr says. “I try to read classic literature to alter my approach to writing.” 

Through his inspiration, he has grown significantly as a musician over the last two years, having self-released an EP, entitled Bloomin, in 2017, which he recorded himself on a 4-track cassette recorder. Since, he has progressed into studio recording, beginning with the single “Anywhere,” which was recorded with a full band. “‘Behind the Times’ is a product of those full-band recording sessions,” Carr says. “Those sessions were an experiment to see what we could make in the studio.”

The process of making the video was inspired by Griffin Ersick’s work: oil-on-glass animation and rotoscoping, a technique where an animator draws onto a video recording to give a cartoon effect to the video. “With hand drawn animation, rotoscoping, and oil-on-glass manipulation, this was just enough to create a visually exciting video,” Carr says. “It reflects the frantic nature of the singer, who sings, ‘Seems my step is far behind the times.’”

The video for “Behind the Times” is a classic homage to the psychedelic rock greats of the 1960s, bursting with vibrant colors and illustrations, and exploding into hallucinogenic patterns that melt into one after another. Sonically, Carr’s cathartic drawl echoes that of a concoction of Liam Gallagher and Colin Blunstone; it’s raw and gritty with a hypnotic mellowness to it that strikes hard with the lyrics, “There’s a zen master giving lessons / But he just left to chase the time.” The track spins the narrative of a hapless person who cannot keep up with what is going on around them. “It’s a feeling that you are one step short or out of time with the rest of humanity, both through circumstance and your own actions,” Carr explains. “It’s the feeling that there’s something happening just out of your reach that could be really cool, but you’re just not with it. I want people to be okay with it. It’s okay to be behind the times.”

You can check out Patrick Carr playing a solo show November 23 at the Lizard Lounge.

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