the landseers - wasted

the landseers are a trans-atlantic musical collaboration that reminds you what the internet is actually good for. bringing together the creative energies of welsh lofi artists pulco and sweet benfica with like minded stateside collaborator nat lyon through digital file sharing, the landseers create catchy, fuzzed up tunes that expand on the visions of the principals.

the two songs on their new effort 'wasted' have a psychedelic, slacker vibe, heavy on hazy vocals and jangly, ringing guitars. the joy of collaboration being experienced by these songwriters who tend to be solitary creators can be heard as they trade verses and riffs. i really enjoy a lyric in the title track that goes something like 'your vision is hard to monetize/and dreaming is not economically wise'...i reckon if you are reading this there is a good chance you can relate to that right now. i think MFOA might be the definition of hard to monetize.

speaking of money, get it for FREE here.

mike enright - not today (video)

mike enright is a mysterious musician who seems to have roots in the hardcore punk/no wave scene of manhattan's lower east side in the late 70's and early 80's, as far as i can tell from his website.

the music he sent me via his youtube channel, what i gather to be his current work, is more along the lines of electronic soundscapes and tone-poems, with trippy videos composed of melanges of low-budget effects and found images and footage. in my opinion, it's worth digging in to.

check out more here.

conor dardis - ballad of the butcher's wife

conor dardis is folk singer from dublin, ireland. his tunes have the misty, whistful vibes his homeland is known for.

'ballad of the butcher's wife' is a quiet, melancholy story song with minimal production, just some subtle strings and slide guitar to provide atmosphere. it is part of a set of demo recordings called 'the 51 from station road'.

listen to the rest here.

the modern folk 'american mountain' cassette release on nocturnal reign

sorry, but i have to talk about my own music for a minute. my band, the modern folk, which, perhaps confusingly, shares a name with this website/blog/whatever, released an album awhile back called 'american mountain''s a collection of songs inspired by my love of appalachia and it's traditional music. i have deep roots in appalachian virginia and i have walked the spine of those mountains from georgia to maine. i have been attempting to express those feelings through recorded music in a way i can get behind for over 10 years, and with 'american mountian', i finally feel a little like i got it right. even the graffiti on the cover is appalachian folk art to me, but that is a long story.

so, i was really happy when my friend brian weaver, of brutal mountain black metal band salvaticus, agreed to re-release it in a limited edition of deluxe, hand numbered cassettes as the second release, behind the debut from salvaticus, on his label, nocturnal reign. i'm really happy with the songs on this tape and the tape itself, and i'm humbled that nocturnal reign was willing to release it.

stream it below:

buy it here from nocturnal reign.

hairpins - april is over

hairpins is the nom de tape of a one woman, massachusetts based lofi recording project. she refers to the songs on 'april is over' as demos, but this might be one of those cases, which in my opinion are frequent, where the demo is the record. i enjoy the simply production, a voice doubled in self harmony, a nylon string guitar doubled for the subtlest of emphasis and flourish.

four tracks for a four track, tascam brand (duh). that adds the tape fuzz, making this to my ears the perfect production for these intricate, literary bedroom folk compositions. i recommend this one.

name your price for it here.

crusasis - beacon series 2

i really dug the last release i covered by new york band crusasis, a punishing, crusty blues rock venture called 'lilac woman' that reminded me of the best low-down japanese psych blues revival bands. they have a new album out, called 'beacon series 2'.

'beacon series 2' seems to be a slight change of pace. it has a hazier, more distant feel. the music is still nasty psych blues that celebrates the guitar, it's just slower and a bit more out of focus. there are even some meditative acoustic numbers, which if i recall correctly i have not heard from this band before. the way in which this album takes the psych-blues in a more dreamy, at times folky direction reminds me of little known british 60's act medicine head, an also-ran of the british blues revival but one of my (and john peel's) favorites. i'd grab this one, and burn a doob before you play it!

crusasis also tours with francie moon, a fellow guitar slinger who specializes in heavy blues rock shredding. name your price for 'beacon series 2' and more here.

hotbreath tea and the invisible branches - LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU NEED SOMEONE

i really enjoyed the jangle-pop vibes of illinois rockers hotbreath tea and the invisible branches when they sent me their single, 'these hands are mine', awhile back.

needless to say i was excited to receive a link to their full length in my inbox recently. 'LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU NEED SOMEONE' delivers on a heavy dose of what i liked about this band in first place. beautiful, singing, shiny guitars and the high, urgent voice of the singer that creates that perfect power-pop tension with the laid back swing and sway of the band. recommended.

get it FREE (very worth your time!) here.

azzuro peaks - skimming surfaces, orbiting space

azzuro peaks is a one man lofi recording project from derby, UK. the tunes on his new free EP 'skimming surfaces, orbiting space' bluster and drone with modern psychedelia that remains in touch with it's roots in the past of british psych.

the songs center around a reverbed-up, droney acoustic guitar, with spaced out touches of electric guitar, blaring feedback and other sounds added here and there around the hazy melodies. what would it be like catching a sunburn on 'the moors' while eating that even possible?

get it free here.

the aquatic safety - boldly going nowhere

the lofi bedroom indie/rock of new york's the aquatic safety can charm a listener immediately. off-kilter british invasion melodies with a kitchen sink of instruments and effects floating in the soup of bedroom recording in the classic mode. their latest album 'boldly going nowhere' is even more melodically driven than their last effort, 'dr. zizmor never dies', which i covered awhile back.

i hate to do this (it bugs me when music writers do this comparison thing), but these guys do scream out for a guided by voices comparison. however, their production can become much more maximal than anything king shit and the golden boys ever tried without the help of a car.

get it here.

compost haven - icky icky

'icky icky' by compost haven is an album of long form improvisations on makeshift instruments played over found-sound collages recorded at an art collective in bucolic nebraska.

through its sounds as well as the song titles and accompanying photography, it evokes ruralness and the pace you run at when the sun is your clock and the weather is your calender. which doesn't always mean slow and relaxed, it turns out. everything has it's place in the sounds of 'icky icky'.

get it for free here from pan y rosas discos.

dead cockroach - democracy is over

chilean rock band dead cockroach has a pretty damn evocative band name and some high powered political rock to go with it. their debut 'democracy is over', grooves with a progressive edge, but holds on to the grunge and punk jams of the 90's as it's referential calling card.

prog influences creep in to the production and the way that the complex riffage and occasional synths interact with the rhythm section in super-tight power trio mode. punk vibes can be felt as well in the sneering vocal style and political angst that pervades the album. 

get 'democracy is over' here.

the october solution - 1984

the october solution is a modern rock band based in adelaide, australia. it boasts members of other notable australian bands such as city of satellites and slow dancing society.

their new tune, '1984', which i believe is a preview for a long player to come, recalls that year both lyrically and sonically, with a what sounds like a reverby combo of live and programmed percussion, very edge-like guitars, dream-state vocals and luxurious, flowing waves of synthesizers.

name your price for it here.

bride and groom - self titled EP

the self titled EP by quebecois indie/folk duo bride and groom is sonically appropriate to follow the chamber folk of edith makes a paper chain; while not as maximal, bride and groom combine the grind of a cello played in a somewhat fiddle-like style with the strum of a guitar and husband wife harmonies (the band name is quite literal here folks) to create sweet and romantic contemporary folk tunes.

the self titled EP is one among many releases, including a christmas album, and it features tracks varying from upbeat stompers to melancholy, thoughtful ballads.

get it now on mp3 or CD right here.

edith makes a paperchain - there, there, there and fire song (video)

edith makes a paper chain is a colorado based chamber folk/pop band that really doesn't mess around with the chamber part, featuring and ensemble of six string players, brass, woodwinds and glockenspiel on top of the usual guitar, bass and drums for their harmony laden indie sounding tunes.

they sent me a few videos for your viewing pleasure:

the second video features a much sparser arrangement, but the same sweet harmonies, in a cool mountainous setting.

check out more here.

emil lager - we built this ship

emil lager is a swedish singer/songwriter who has no trouble channeling classic americana with his voice and guitar playing. his latest song, 'we built this ship', is sparse and soulful, starting with a lonesome piano chord that gets backed up by emil's subtle guitar work.

the production creates a roomy, warm atmosphere for his smooth singing and melancholy, romantic lyrics.

hear more here.

chris watkins - london can take it

alaskan singer/songwriter chris watkins has contributed music to MFOA several times, and he is back again with a dark, grunge inflected, somewhat bitter talk-singing anthem called 'london can take it'.

the song finds chris' drawling street poetry resting among strums, drums and a pitchy bass line.

listen to a bunch more here.

tough old bird - the barn sessions

tough old bird is a folk duo that features something i'm always excited to hear, which is siblings singing together. the brothers in tough old bird perform minimalist, thoughtful folk music inspired by the appalachian tradition, joining their voices in honey-like harmonies the way only siblings, like the carters, the everlys, the louvins and so on can, on original tunes and folk standards, including two of my all time favorites, 'i wish i was a mole in the ground' and 'st. james infirmary'.

the fact that one of them uses an electric guitar, with a round hollow body type tone, combined with the recording location of their newest album 'the barn sessions' (i'll give you three guesses), gives the whole thing an incredibly warm and full feeling.

get it here.

da$htone - pieces of promise

da$htone is a chicago 'organic hip-hop' collective that centers around the rhyming of main MC da$h pasulka, backed up by a smooth live band and soul singers as well as traditional DJ type hip-hop production touches.

the sound of da$htone smoulders...the players have a decidedly sultry, retro, almost 'quiet storm' vibe that provides a chill background for da$h and a number of other MCs to show off their skill against. the varying flows riding old-school soul type playing create a tension that brings you in.  the full length is called 'pieces of promise'.

get it here. below, check out a video for the lead track, 'be you'.

borrowed beams of light and new boss - split cassette

i've been excited for this cassette from funny/not funny records, run by good dudes from my home town of harrisonburg, virginia, for awhile, because it represents my first chance to hear fully formed tunes from new boss, which is a collective of harrisonburg and charlottesville musicians i came up watching play and playing shows with. i am also excited for the side from borrowed beams of light, who have a solid reputation for innovations in lofi indie-rock melodies.

a tape is on the way, but the following tracks are available for preview:

new boss's 'last try' is all fuzzed up power-pop swagger, with vocals that have just a little more soulful roger daltry-esque croon than you'd expect to accompany the lofi production (same as the old boss?) and the perfect amount of big guitar wailing. this contrasts heavily with borrowed beam's 'long necked wife', which features a slippery, harmonized melody over a hazy synth-scape that somehow combines the vibes of world music with a cure-like, moody gothiness.

pre-order the cassette here.

nathan golub and wood ear - nothing in return

finishing the marathon run of posts i've done today is another split cassette release, by north carolina artists nathan golub and wood ear (nate tarr). the brief release only has three songs, golub's longform composition 'liberty drive in' taking up all of side a - it's a really great song that combines elements of american primitive guitar and psych rock in a really pleasing way.

it almost sounds like a stretched out, impressionistic version of a country song...golub adds plodding, brushed drums and layers of shimmery, drony, guitars, including pedal steel, to his acoustic picking, and takes the combo through some interesting changes. the wood ear side features similar expansions on the sound of the finger picked guitar, substituting, low humming organs for the drums, but bringing golub in to add that bucolic pedal steel. i recommend this one.

get it here. get the cassette here from GFR tapes.

luciana bass - improvised guitar pieces

'improvised guitar pieces' by luciana bass is another release from pan y rosas discos, the forward thinking chicago based net label that releases far out experimental music from around the world. the set presented here is no exception. the album pushes the boundaries of guitar, and i say that having listened to tons of weird guitar music for this site.

there are some tape loops and an 'air extractor' (i have no idea what that is) in the background to flesh things out, but the meat of this set is the spontaneous, playful and surprising ways in which luciana interacts with her guitar. she makes it drone, squeak, chatter, grind, cry, moan, and there's even snatches of bent melody at times. what impresses me most is how organic and animal-like the sounds she can extract from the instrument are. press play and observe the results.

download it for free here.

freddie nunez - demos from the future

i posted one of brooklyn songwriter/bedroom recorder freddie nunez's demos recently, and now, he has seen fit to release the whole batch (full disclosure i have been enjoying a  preview copy for awhile).

these demos are somehow minimal and maximal at once, featuring beautiful melodies and silvery self-harmonies and dreamlike guitar tones and playing. a spring fresh listen for an early spring.

get it free here.

the sound of shellac - dialog in mono

'dialog in mono' (i love that title) is the 3rd and final installment of norwegian folk musician and archivist c. strom's project of recordings of 78's from all over the world played back on his philips radio cabinet. i cannot say enough about how much i've enjoyed this series, i recommend getting them all.

name your price for any or all of the three installments here.

jim guittard - guittard tapes 2

jim guittard has presented me with an MFOA first that i'm pretty excited about...he is my first contributor so fucking prolific that instead of an EP or albums he linked me to multiple soundcloud 5 of them...because that's what it takes to contain his output. obviously, there is way more here than i can honestly say i or likely will listen to, but the one he seemed to want featured was 'guittard tapes 2'. it represents the contents of ten years worth of 4-track tapes he had recorded from 1993-2004 and recently recovered from storage. he invites listeners to 'find a gem'.

i'll tell you that finding a gem is very possible. the music is mostly lofi guitar riffing and songwriting with sound collages, some electronics and drum machines here and there. but as you cruise down the feed, songs begin to take shape. frequent readers will know i hate to compare, but: early guided by voices. i'll share a few favorites.

and this weirdly inspired cover of 'the letter'

check out more here. look for the other soundcloud feeds.

field medic - me, my gibberish and the moon

field medic is the recording name of singer/songwriter kevin patrick.

his songs are romantic and maudlin tales of loving and losing, sung with and intimate, shakey voice over finger picked guitar, with a hint of tape haze.

get the cassette on sunroom recordz.

the red rogue - phoenicia

i was excited to get an email about 'phoenicia', because the red rogue is a recording moniker for timothy cushing, who sent me a great album last year called 'hunting songs', which was a crazy psych-world-folk journey.

when i hit play on 'phoenicia', i was immediately drawn in by the warm feel of the recording, which could be felt even over my laptop speakers, likely due to the classic technique of recording it in a cabin. i'd venture to say this album is a little more accessible, more in an indie/folk/pop vein, than 'hunting songs'. despite that fact, each tune on 'phoenicia' maintains an experimental edge.

get it here.

the welton brothers

i'm not really sure what to say about the welton brothers, or how to classify their music. maybe i just tried to write too many posts today, or maybe they are genuinely hard to write about. but it's homemade music, and a lot is said on their website, so i'll let that and some tunes (one from each brother) speak for themselves.

learn all about the brothers here.

albert demuth - s/t

albert demuth is a rhode island artist trading in dark, prophetic, extremely lonesome songs recorded in a stark, cold way with an electric guitar, minimal percussion and some damp, ugly reverb on his sulphur and brimstone talk-singing.

the music isn't strictly genre folk but this a good example of spiritual folk and why MFOA doesn't care about genres at all (and you shouldn't, either): the darkness albert taps into and that you feel while listening to this album is the same darkness that can be felt in the desperate murder ballads and death songs and dirges of the american folk tradition, amplified with a chilling psychedelic edge. highly recommended.

get it here on digital or vinyl.

nat lyon - five-meter intervals

connecticut artist nat lyon creates strange noise-pop-folk soundscapes in the hinterlands of connecticut. reading the bio on his website, i was introduced to a new term: 'swamp yankee'...which i'm guessing is like a hillbilly but north of the mason-dixon line or something.

lyon's music has elements of punk, noise and anti-folk (that most in his flat, talky vocal delivery), but the heaviest element to my ears is the crisply recorded drums, found sound samples, and densely layered psychedelic guitars, both of which i am digging. nate's tunes are eclectic and experimental if you enjoyed pulco, you'll like this too. this song 'tazzer' is really cool and reminds me a lot of r. stevie moore.

his latest thing is called 'five-meter intervals' name your price for it here.

telomeres - arrow

telomeres is a gainesville, florida band that balances delicate, folky fingerpicked guitar with emo/indie songwriting and percussion styles.

it's an interesting flavor and in ways i can really sense the gainesville-ness of it, being that gainesville is a town with a proud DIY music tradition that is not afraid to push genre boundaries. telomeres has a sound all their own, however.

pre-order 'arrows' here.

bognor - what what/the pacific slope

portland bedroom indie composer and my former roommate luke mahan AKA bognor has been recording at a breakneck pace. which for him means he did like one song a few months ago and now he has another out.

'what what/the pacific slope' might be his most epic effort yet, clocking in at 7 minutes and adding some real retro 70's prog and AM gold touches to his normal 21st century keyboard heavy indie rock sounds and vaguely sci-fi themed lyrics. i'm feeling the guitar solo.

name your price for it here.

kramies - the fate that never favored us

i've covered the work of dutch-american dream-pop-crafter kramies many times on MFOA, and i am always happy to hear something new from him.

now he has released another soaring, floaty, whistful new track for your free downloading pleasure as a bit of a promotional tool ahead of his upcoming french tour. i recommend it.

go here to grab it and check out the tour dates, if by any chance your reading this from france! you can get more of his music from hidden shoal recordings.

finn - city living

'city living' is the lead single from 'art & espionage', the newest album by australian rock/pop outfit finn.

it's a smooth, ever-so-slightly funky, laid back jammer with a relaxed vibe. solid musicianship and production values give it a 70's studio rock sheen.

you can get the album here.

toby madigan - swim leander

toby madigan is an ohio based singer/songwriter who is blessed with a high, clear voice to pin down the swelling indie arrangements that characterize his romantic songs.

check out his latest, 'swim leander'.

you can hear a bunch more of toby's songs on his soundcloud page. below, check out some visuals for  another of his freshest tunes, 'boundaries':


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