Walking into Ash Reiter’s Oakland basement is the musician’s equivalent of stepping into Toys’R’US. (Note: Ash, like any good TRU patron, I only browsed the goods).The room is stocked with stringed tools of all assortments, a well-worn piano, synths, a plethora of classic amps, gig posters, mixing boards and enough percussive gear to keep the ADHD amongst us preoccupied. This is exactly the environment I had imagined Reiter’s band Sugar Candy Mountain would be born from; a collaborative space where capable songsters let ideas flow.
After a number of excellent solo albums and ensuing tours, Ash Reiter recently decided to focus her efforts on Sugar Candy Mountain. Moving from side piece to main thang has pushed SGM onward. Reiter, Will Halsey, Michael Fortes, Thomas Edler and Bryant Denison form the current version of the band. The group describes their music as "psychedelic pop and Tropicalia". Their 2013 LP Mystic Hits is a great place to start. Sugar Candy Mountain deliver bright, Californian tunes without bowing to the banalities of this style. The music is also complex, nimble and layered that rewards attention.