EP Review: The Movement by Free Whenever

You may remember a post we did not too long ago about a Brooklyn-based psychedelic act, Free Whenever, and their new single, Camino. Well, the band has released a new EP, The Movement, today, and we’re here to tell you it’s the type of psychedelic jamming that could be right up your alley.

About The Movement

Free Whenever’s founding members, Neil Guleria and Trevor LaVecchia began the band out of their Brooklyn apartment in 2020. The band’s guiding philosophy and approach to music-making is rooted in the ancient practice of long-form improvisation. The result is a distinctive blend of vintage psych, dub reggae, eastern modality, and African rhythmic traditions.

From their humble bedroom recording setup, Free Whenever has put out five releases over two years, garnering the attention of a growing international audience. The duo of Neil and Trevor added live contributors Brendan Steuart on drums, Greg Spiropoulos on percussion, and Andrew Trautmann on keys recently. This has enabled them to take their music from the street corners of Manhattan to venues like the Sultan Room.

This new four-track EP, The Movement, represents Free Whenever’s latest musical journey. It’s focused on the core trio of guitar, bass, and drums. And as we’ll discuss, the EP delivers concentrated psychedelic flavor in a tightly composed and addictively catchy package. The band says The Movement EP is one of many things to come in 2023 from their “psychedelic groove factory.”

The Songs

The EP starts with Automobile, which the band released as a single and also comes with a nice little music video. The great thing about Automobile and all the tracks on The Movement is the totally chill atmosphere it evokes. It’s a jam-out, improvised song but comes in a tight package of less than three minutes.

Desert Wanderer comes next, another supremely chill track. This could be your soundtrack for the season as the weather warms up and you head into those summer daze. Desert Wanderer is a poolside tune to listen to while you’re working on your tan or, even better, out on the beach by the ocean. Free Whenever’s musical chops are also on display here, with another tightly crafted psychedelic jam that combines many elements of world music.

Nightwalker is longer at over four minutes. It’s another excellent track that displays how the band combines various styles like trip-hop, electronica, and desert psych rock. LaVecchia brings his affinity for chordal movement and song structures to the bass on Nightwalker, while Culeria complements this with the warm, breezy melodic, and atmospheric layers. The backbone of Afro-Latin percussion and hip-hop-inspired drums are the icing on the cake.

Camino closes the album with another shorter track, just over three minutes long. The Afro-Caribbean feel is evident in this one, too, another good trip into sun-drenched eletcro-psychedelia. Camino is a strong closer to the EP and more evidence that Free Whenever is highly talented at what they do.

Final Thoughts

Since writing about Free Whenever a little bit ago, I’ve listened to more of their releases and really dig what they’re creating. This new EP, The Movement, is a shorter collection of songs, unlike some of their more extended jams. The listening time will go by quickly, so add these tracks to a larger playlist of Free Whenever’s music and other psychedelic instrumentals.

This Brooklyn-based band makes music that feels like a celebration of life in a world that now desperately needs that type of positivity. There is almost a spiritual aspect to the music they create, as the instrumentals are fluid and emotive and evoke feelings of bliss, happiness, and ecstasy. After all, the band says their music sits somewhere between form (saguna) and formlessness (nirguna), so you know these spiritual feelings aren’t created by accident.

Free Whenever’s The Movement is streaming everywhere you can find music right now, so give it a listen – you won’t be disappointed.

Support Free Whenever by finding them on Bandcamp, their official site, or social media (Facebook, Instagram).

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