You never know where you’re going to discover new music (or sometimes really old music). In Thomas Pynchon’s novel Inherent Vice, Pynchon peppers the book with references to 60’s surf and psychedelic bands, some fictional, and others real. Some of these were so obscure I had to Spotify or Google search to see which was which. When the protagonist Doc is driving through Santa Monica and hears Fapardockly‘s “Super Market” come on the radio, I was betting the group was fictional simply based on the name.
Welp, I was wrong. Fapardokly was formed from the remnants of guitarist/singer Merrell Fankhauser’s Merrell and the Exiles in 1967. Having also spent time in surf band The Impacts, Fankhauser brought a heavy Southern California surf sound to the new psychedelic act. Listening to their self-titled album, comprising songs recorded from 1965 – 1967, one can hear a variety of influences; The Beach Boys, The Hollies, The Beatles, and even a bit of The Sandal‘s “Theme from Endless Summer”.
From harmonica-laced rock n’ roll, to quirkier pop rock numbers, there’s some consistency with the psychedelic guitar playing from Fankhauser. And while there’s something good to be said about most of the tracks on their lone album, the album stand out is “Lila”.
Opening with a breezy acoustic surf pop sound, Fankhauser’s voice has a drifting quality to it, while the backing vocals create a lazy island vibe. One can hear a light mariachi influence in the percussion and horns, and the vocal harmonies are pure sixties folk. All of these influences blend together exquisitely for a track that would be perfect on any summer soundtrack.
Check out this lost gem here!