King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “Kepler-22b”

The reason why I didn’t start listening to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard earlier is because I honestly didn’t know where to start!

Seriously, the six-member Australian experimental rock band has put out twenty albums since stepping on the scene in 2010. Twenty. They’re extremely frickin’ prolific, both in releases and in their touring habits.

King Gizzard’s sound is all over the map, bringing in elements of ’60s psychedelia, progressive rock, elaborate baroque pop, metal, folk, and more, fearlessly diving into new and different approaches constantly and going all the way in. It’s a stupefying trip hearing them jam out over eclectic, surreal, constantly shifting sounds. The band also has a lore that has persisted across records which fans have dubbed the “Gizzverse,” and hone in on topics such as Australian history and environmental issues. Pretty interesting stuff, and I need to hear more.

Omnium Gatherum is the band’s second release of 2022, and the first record I’ve listened to from end to end. I’m impressed! They fully had my ear 6 minutes into the fantastical ride of the 18-minute opening jam, “The Dripping Tap,” but this one has stayed on repeat.

“Kepler-22b” is such a chill, effortless listen with an addictive bassline, wispy vocals from main vocalist Stu Mackenzie, and charming lyrics about a boy who discovers a planet far, far away. It’s a relatively subdued moment compared to some of the boisterous other tracks on Omnium, but I welcome how calming and cool it is. This one brings me a lot of peace!

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