Nashville outfit The Inscape's 2017 release "We're All Wrong" is reflective of bandleader John Condit's 10-year musical evolution. Having founded the band in 2007 in his native Santa Cruz, Calif., as an outlet for his early love of San Francisco psychedelia, Condit moved to Nasvhille after high school, and acquired a latter-day appreciation of heartland rock and Americana.
"We're All Wrong" ably reconciles those interests, its Walden-esque soundscapes haunted by heavy reverb and lines of sinuous guitar. For want of a suitable genre pigeonhole, Condit has labeled the resulting rural-psych fusion "surreal Americana."
"The psychedelic thing is hot right now, which is cool, because there are so many good bands getting recognized," says Condit. "There's been a resurgence of that music and that cultural mindset.
"So I think you now have some Americana artists trying to incorporate more psychedelic vibes into their music. I'm coming from the other side of that equation. I'm a psychedelic guy trying to be more Americana."
Condit says he founded Inscape while he was still a Santa Cruz high school student, enamored of early '60s psychedelia in the vein of Jefferson Airplane, and of modern psych-rock outfits like the Brian Jonestown Massacre.
Moving to Nashville, he absorbed the southern and country sounds of Music City, with those influences manifesting more palpably with each successive Inscape release -- from 2012's "No Expectations" to the follow-up "Paradise Lost and Other Sounds" to the most recent "We're All Wrong."
The band's most epiphanic transformation began around 2015, however, when Condit, weary from the sundry stresses of leading an independent rock band with careerist aspirations, went on an extended hiatus.
"I like to say that I broke up with myself," Condit says of the year-long respite. "Being in a band can be exhausting, especially today, when an artist has so many responsibilities other than just the music -- doing your own brooking and P.R. and social media on multiple platforms... I had to take a break and get re-inspired."
Working regular hours at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe, Condit found that new inspiration listening to the local songwriters performing regularly on the Bluebird stage. "There are lots of published songwriters playing there all the time," he says. "And it's very polished, traditional singer-songwriter material; no one is coming in and playing drone-y psyche-rock pieces.
"I was able to absorb songwriting on a whole different level. I started to think about polishing and tightening up my own songs. I've always been a big Tom Petty fan, too, and his whole thing is to get to the chorus quickly. So I set out to write a good psyche-rock album with really coherent songwriting."
Thus Condit and longstanding bass player Robert Hudson entered the studio last year and recorded the entirety of "We're All Wrong" by themselves, save for a couple of parts on two of the eight tracks. The result, Condit says, is the most actualized work of his career.
"The songwriting is really organic, I think," Condit says. "It's a record with a lot of personality -- you can tell it's just me and my friends in the studio. It really sounds like us.
"It's a record with both some modern and some classic elements, a record I think people coming from a lot of different musical perspectives can appreciate. This as as close as we've come to doing what it is we want to do."
The Inscape will play Preservation Pub July 14 with Preservation Pub favorite Indighost.