prime - it's an everyday struggle (video)

southern california MC prime has a great song on his hands in the form of 'it's an everyday struggle'.

the production is in the classical hip-hop vein, emphasizing the boom-bap and jazzy horn samples, and the lyrics toe the line between street-wise and 'conscious', the way the best writers in rap can when the spin their rhythmic stories.

check out more about prime here.

patkus - nigel's brie

philadelphia artist patkus' latest album 'nigel's brie' is a collection of layered, slow build, guitar-based soundscapes. patkus is in the realm of those guitarists who attempt to expand on what the instrument can do, and he has his own approach, layering washes of reverb, tones and feedback on top of each other, sometimes in short sketches and sometimes in longform drones.

he also incorporates fingerpicked acoustic guitar, in a nod to american primitivism that rumbles beneath the atmospherics.

get it here.

faster stereo - come on

faster stereo is a power-poppish band, their debut 'come on' is available on jangly records, and underground indie pop luminary mitch easter (of let's active among many others) is in the band. aside from that, strangely enough, i can't find out much about these guys.

or at least one half-assed google search didn't turn anything up and in this day in age that means there isn't anything out there. but the heavy melodies and thick tones of 'come on' can more than speak for themselves. backwards guitar solos are employed in both of the first two tracks...a bold but satisfying flavor.

get it here.

tempo house - sketches

'sketches', the debut release by oakland band tempo house, hit me at the right time, as i have been digging on a lot of the industrial side of punk music lately. that's pretty much what tempo house is like. they call it 26 minutes of existential dread.

'sketches' contains primal, cold, plodding and jagged music, with distant lyrics and shit-fi vibes. it's nihlistic, nasty synth-punk and it's available on limited edition cassette. turns out it's on the digital regress label, also home to bicycle day, another good band i featured here. i'm into the feel of 'discomfort' in particular.

get it here.

c. strom - solitary instrumental confinement

i was very excited somewhere in the haze of last night (i got into the whiskey...i ended up laying on my back listening to records on 'the good headphones' know) to receive another email from norwegian musician and archivist c. strom, who you might remember most recently from his ghostly, enchanting 'sound of shellac' project, where he recorded playbacks of some of his collection of old 78's on tape for a mystical effect. this time he sent me some more of his own music, a collection he calls 'solitary instrumental confinement' and describes as 'songs from various sources and of different times in the same manner and in the same person'.

as the title suggests, it's a collection of mostly instrumental songs, a few accompanied by strom's deep voice, recorded in stark, lofi tape recorder style, bookended with that familiar click of operation. the set has songs from strom's native norway as well as a few american folk songs, performed on banjo, guitar, and air organ. i really can't say enough how much i enjoy c. strom's work, i play his album 'i have heard of a land' frequently, and i recommend everyone get the beautifully hand packaged cassette edition of that from dying for bad music records, as well as downloading this stunning new effort.

name your price for this here. c. strom also has set available for streaming and download over at phoning it in, a very cool podcast/blog that i just found out about.

attic fowler - city hall

in a rare instance for me, i am listening to a cassette of attic fowler's new album 'city hall' as i write this, not an online stream, and it sounds magnificent pouring out of my stereo. i have been a fan of attic fowler since my first spin of his self titled album, and i like 'city hall' even more.

attic fowler is a one man band, everything on the album with the exception of some horn touches is played and recorded by songwriter chris rutledge. i love the way he blends psychedelia, southern vibes and jangly power pop to into a mellow, ringing sound that you can really float on, especially if you invest in the tape from fall break records. 'city hall' further develops the signature style he mapped out on his self titled debut.

get it here or get the tape from fall break records.

crown larks - blood dancer

i wrote about the advance single, 'blood mirage' from chicago band crown larks' new album 'blood dancer' awhile back and i am excited to get my ears on the full length release. crown larks absorb influences from the whole spectrum of krautrock and combine that with american psychedelia, noise rock, free jazz and experimentation to create a rhythmic, lysergic experience.

crown larks' songs luxuriate in their grooves and reach for the outer cosmic corners while the rhythm section keeps it grinding on the ground. these songs are trips in every sense. woodwinds and horns provide moments of noir atmosphere when they aren't in the middle of a full-on interstellar freak out. check out a recent interview with crown larks in impose magazine to learn more about their process, history and influences.

one of the many things that i appreciate about 'blood dancer' is that it is available on a variety of digital and analog formats, which really works for a record that was made with as much intensity and attention to detail as you can hear on this one. get it on vinyl, cassette, CD or digital here.

vasallo - cruz del sur and acaros

vasallo is a chilean rock band specializing in heavy sounds and big choruses that are reminiscent of the 90's. i'm afraid i'm going to sell them short, because they conduct all their business in spanish, and honestly my spanish is rusty.

luckily there is google translate, allowing me to confirm my suspicion that these guys grew up loving grunge and early metal. anyway, the music can speak for itself, so i have shared a few tracks here for your sampling pleasure.

listen to more here.

all those ships - broken cassette

all those ships is the bedroom recording project of brandon macneil, who has been sending me songs one by one periodically over the past year. i have to say, i think the latest number, 'broken cassette', is my favorite yet.

it sounds like a lofi garage rocker, with some dry, cymbal free drumming that is right in the pocket with the rhythmic acoustic guitar. the vocal melody is a little snotty and extremely catchy, and a cool poppy organ line is applied only sparingly, coming in at the halfway point low in the mix, followed a refrain later by some stormy distorted guitars. it's a great song.

get your ships here.

marching donald - sometimes the breeze

marching donald is the stage name of UK singer/songwriter ryan davies. his new full length 'sometimes the breeze' is an assured debut, solidly written and cleanly produced.

thematically speaking, the songs tend to be in a personal, confessional folk mode. musically speaking, the production ranges from man-and-guitar intimacy to full strutting, ubpeat indie/folk/pop bombast with shuffling drums and big guitars. the whole thing is anchored by ryan's clear strong voice.

it can be had digitally or on CD right here.

shenandoah alley - shotgun wedding

i am very happy to feature this new single from my good friends and brothers in the harrisonburg, virginia based bluegrass band shenandoah alley. i love these dudes and i am always happy to hear new music from them, it makes me think of home.

this tune is the somewhat humorous tale of a classic shotgun true 'crappalachian' style it ends in a trailer for two and drinking that ol' rotgut booze. it sounds great.

get it here.

keshco - unnacentuated

keshco is a british bedroom music making collective comprised of old school friends that have been making music together across many genres for decades, much of which has been released in various cheap/free forms thanks to the internet.

their latest album is called 'unnacentuated' and it finds the friends collaborating by phone across the atlantic ocean for a series of short half improvised instrumental sketches with synths, flutes, broken woodwinds, guitars, a piano in an abandoned apartment i think, and a kitchen sink of other stuff most of which then was further manipulated with various techniques. it's a cool listen. it sounds warm, playful and unexpected, friends making the most of being away from each other, using the distance and the restrictions it puts of their collaborative process as an inspiration in itself.

get it for free here.

heaven smile - the veins of love

heaven smile is the recording name of new york singer/songwriter and bedroom recording artist daniel moro. he makes introspective, literary folk music with fairly minimal production. on his latest album 'the veins of love', it's mostly fingerpicked guitar and his voice, which sounds pleasant but also as if it is carrying a heavy burden of sorrow.

the addition of midi strings to some of the tunes adds a perfect touch of drama without overwhelming the simple sonic atmospheres that his lyrical confessions inhabit. there are more experimental touches, such as sampled dialogue from movies and reverby electric guitars, but they are used sparingly.

get it here.

van wyck - tanned legs

van wyck is a singer/songwriter from amsterdam who recently sent me her debut EP, 'tanned legs'. as soon as i hit play on this one, i was excited about it. van wyck's voice can go from world weary fragile whispers to high and silvery notes of self harmony, and is at all times beautifully restrained. this brings me to the minimalist production. stark acoustic guitar parts accented by subtle piano runs allow her excellent voice to have the space it needs. only the final song, 'push back the sun', has a slightly bigger sound with the introduction of an electric guitar and some louder playing.

her lyrics are great too, personal, tactile and rich with imagery. this EP is short at three songs, but it leaves you wanting more. recommended.

very worth it to name your price for it here.

sunshine station - s/t

sunshine station is a tennesee folk band that centers its sound around two guitars, hand drums, mandolin and bass. their songs are uptempo and carry strong hippy vibrations. this is definitely barefoot, skirt-hitchin' dirt floor jig dancin' music. i could see moonshine being involved in this hootenanny, but also that other illicit product that tennesee moonshiners turned to when illegal booze became less profitable: weed.

vocal duties alternate between a male and a female vocalist which adds a lot of variety to the feel of the songs across their self titled debut. many of the tunes edge into eastern inflected raga-esque territory, recalling the way certain acoustic folk bands of the 60's fused this sound into their trippy folk tunes.

get it here.

son of dov - only if your heart begins to fade

new jersey singer/songwriter son of dov is one of those brave souls that takes it upon themselves to write songs on a schedule...for him it is one song a month, and he has sent over april's song, a meditative, romantic, folksy tune called 'only if your heart begins to fade'.

it's atmosphere is built by scratchy guitars, shuffly percussion, intimate lead vocals, and some distant backup singing. it has a real nice homespun vibe and a memorable melody.

listen to the songs from previous months here. grab a free EP from his noisetrade site, a musician's platform i don't hate as much as reverbnation but that i don't love as much as bandcamp...

love at first sound - exit 75

love at first sound is a producer and rapper.

i there wasn't a lot of information sent along with his soundcloud link, and his webpage hasn't been made yet, but he has a decent number of tunes on his soundcloud page that demonstrate his solid abilities behind the mic and the dials.

check out more tunes here. i figured i would also include this short documentary about his struggle to make it in the rap game.

wicca woo - detatched

wicca woo is a brotherly floridian duo making their debut with 'detatched', the preview single from their upcoming EP 'woo wicca', which should be available in may. 'detatched' is a spacey tune, only anchored to this planet by a steady, mechanical drum machine, which serves as a point of reference for swirling guitars, rumbling bass, a grinding synth line, and breathy, reverby vocals. wicca woo describe themselves as blending the sounds of trip-hop and 90's rock, which fits well. in my opinion there is room for more trip-hop revival in the world.

look for updates here.

nate henricks - the quest for the obsolete egg

i was very happy to receive a new release from nate henricks recently. this prolific kansas based bedroom noise-pop guru can't seem to stop putting out albums of swirling spaced out power-pop pastiche, each one weirder and wilder than the next. his latest is called 'the quest for the obsolete egg'.

it features all the elements nate has fused together to form a signature sound...patches of songs with cartoonish keyboard riffs and sound collage effects, heavy stoned jammers, and catchy power-pop melodies. there is even something here i don't think i've ever heard from nate: an excellent laid back space-country ballad in the form of 'mowin' em down at the roller derby' that features some weird fiddle playing. the album's closing track is some strange, at least in context, instrumental chuck berry riffage. i think i detect some frank zappa conceptual moves afoot on this album. the whole proceeding is recommended for repeat spins.

get it here.

the moonage shine - lord i must be stoned

the moonage shine is a multiple offender here at MFOA, guilty of dropping a number of cool sounding desert-psych-acid-cowboy-space-folk EPs in my inbox over the years.

i am happy to present another in that the series this morning, a short four song EP called 'lord i must be stoned'. pretty apt title there as this music is solidly psychedelic. but it's hazy edges surround a center of lyrical and melodic clarity, some stoner epiphany laced into the drone.

get it here.

aaron yabrov - tonmuseum

aaron yabrov's tonmuseum has an interesting conceit for a found sound/field recording project. it was recorded in a german museum exhibit of historical musical instruments situated in a sound chamber. these sounds were then manipulated using the pitch dial on a tascam four track and other mechanically simple but conceptually ambitious techniques. for a better explanation, go here.

the results are by turns eerie and peacefully meditative. because the subject matter is musical instruments, it bridges the gap stylistically and philosophically between field recording based sound art and traditional music.

get it for free from pan y rosas discos.

a relative unknown - discounted rate

a relative unkown's submission of his song 'discounted rate' was one of those mysterious ones i get. really nothing but a soundcloud link (please note...feel free to include a little more information. i know i was complaining about people sending too much, it's a fine line i guess).

i'm gathering he is a singer/songwriter out of montana. 'discounted rate' is a bitter and incisive folk song about the frustrations of modern times, recorded in simple man and guitar style.

there are a few more songs on his soundcloud, check them out.

foghorn stringband - mining camp blues (video)

for another post of traditionally styled folk tunes sent over by the excellent hearth music of seattle, i've got this live video of the foghorn stringband, a pacific northwest based old-time band playing the street-corner jugband and country radio songs of the 20's, 30's and 40's in a polished but rowdy manner.

their combination of fiddle, mandolin and high harmonies backed by a rhythm section of bass and guitar bring life to these old jams.

learn more about the foghorn stringband and grab some albums here.

anna & elizabeth - old kimball (video)

anna & elizabeth are a harmony singing duo that came together from maryland and virginia to perform straight forward, stark, and beautiful renditions of appalachian folk songs with sparse instrumentation, traditional playing styles and creek-clear, peak-jagged voices joined.

i'm featuring here a video of them singing the tune 'old kimball' which is a virginia hill country tune, part of the same long song cycle that centers around something like 'the cuckoo'.

you can buy their new self titled album from free dirt records here.

baby jesus - s/t

the richmond, virginia based psych-rock fiends at ongakubaka records have just announced the pre-order of their third tape, and that is great news for fans shroomed up rock'n'roll. this new jam is by a swedish band called baby jesus (why didn't i think of that?) and they tear shit up from the floor to the ceiling right out of the gate.

their music is an all out psychedelic party rock assault, recorded in a very lofi manner with drilling organ and snotty vocals at the front backed up by frantic drumming, those twanging, foreshortened, familiar guitar solos and an ever present tambourine. if you're like me and spend a lot of time on youtube watching bands like the seeds and the chocolate watchband and the monks in their mesmerizing, sometimes funny TV spots on the 'hip' shows of the 60's, you could really imagine baby jesus wrecking one of those soundstages with their big silk shirts and psychedelic thomas jefferson wigs blowing in the wind. tapes are limited to 100, so get on it. my favorite OR release to date for sure. it isn't fully released yet so check out some preview tunes for now below.

get it here.

e'clat - it's ok to dream

e'clat is an MC from savannah, georgia. his new mixtape, called 'it's ok to dream', is a moody collection of rap that maintains an elevated lyrical position with forward looking production rooted in classic southern hip-hop sounds and a dark, new wavy vibe that makes it feel modern. the lyrics are mostly intense and personal, dealing with frustration, pain and struggle.

there is anger and sadness on the edge of e'clat's flow, which creates a heavy dynamic through contrast with the somewhat smooth, spacey music. it's worth noting that e'clat and his producer william proulx released this under their own label, SKRWE, which stands for 'sounds keep rolling with emotions'. that's a perfect description for this mixtape. for my money, 'diving board' is a real jam.

it's totally worth it to name your price for it here.

uncle bengine & the restraining orders - witchcraft

'witchcraft' is the lead single from the new cassette 'demos vol. 1' by uncle bengine & the restraining orders, available now for pre-order from funny/not funny records (yeah, two f/nf posts in a row).

'witchcraft' and the album in general represent a collection of recordings ben and his band made at home over the many years they have been together, and they capture the energy that the band possesses live, but they also have the musicianship and recording quality that comes with countless hours of practice at both playing and recording. they might be demos, but they aren't simple sketches...these a great, full-boned roots rock jams that bear repeated spins.

you can also stream the whole collection here:

pre-order it from funny/not funny records.

sleeptalker - elaina

harrisonburg, virginia based bedroom psych/emo folker sleeptalker is making his cassette debut soon on funny/not funny records with a self-titled album. the guys at f/nf have provided me with a preview track, 'elaina', to share with you all.

it's an emotional track with a distant atmosphere, a wall of strumming and high, plaintive singing. the early momentum and storminess of the song give way in the middle to a breakdown, picking back up in half time strums, an interesting move for a person-and-guitar type song, but it works, ushering in a less urgent but more intimate vibe for the final verses, making sure that the words achieve their full impact.

you can also stream the whole album here:

pre-order the cassette from funny/not funny records.

little hills - dutch conga

on their first release, 'dutch conga', little hills of albany, new york deliver on laid-back indie rock with a distinct 70's laurel canyon vibe.

loping drums, hazy harmonies, and slippery-slidey guitars form mists around hippy-country melodies and rave it up on heady jammers.

name your price for it here.

manett - stigma-style

manett is a micronesian artist who now resides in brooklyn and creates psychotropic romance pop that melds the melodies of the 60's with the production decisions of the 80's in a way that sounds fresh to my ears.

her voice is a highlight to be sure. high, gauzy and dreamy, it inhabits the vintage sounds she creates. her new EP, 'stigma-style', is available on limited edition cassette and i recommend it. it's way too short at three songs and leaves you wanting a lot more.

get it here or here from kerchow records.

tom brosseau - my sweetest friend

tom brosseau is a roots songwriter of the frigid prairies of north dakota, and his latest album 'perfect abandon' was recorded in a stark, beautiful style that recalls that landscape, laid down mostly live with tom and a two-piece rhythm section of bass fiddle and a small drum kit.

it's the perfect match for his high, lonesome, tragic voice. check out the video for his song 'my sweetest friend' below.

grab 'perfect abandon' from crossbill records.

jared estes - leper messiah

jared estes is a multi-instrumentalist and one man recording project based in olympia, WA, who i have featured here before. he also runs the DIY music label tongue and groove records, on which he has been nice enough to offer to release something by me in the near future.

his newest album, 'leper messiah' (a reference to a lyric from ziggy stardust) features songs that range from space-folk meditations to bluesy groove rockers, with tight, sparse production and a bit of a psychedelic presence. the opening track, 'elephant', is real jammer, and 'cardinal sin' is a dark trip.

get it digitally here or on CD from tongue and groove.

the whiskey predicament - escape from the meat market

the whiskey predicament is the bedroom recording project of north carolinian songwriter nate fey. in classic style for an MFOA post, he plays everything himself and comes up with his own unique brand of music that floats somewhere around the area of indie folk or folk rock or psych folk. one thing about nate's upbeat tunes that interests me is some cool instrumental selections, many of which i can't even identify, but something sounds like a whistling tea kettle sampled into a keyboard.

nate's music is also set apart by it's generally sunny feel..not to say it has the most positive outlook or tone at all times, you must understand this is relative to guys who write and record songs alone in their bedrooms.

get it FREE here.

theo kandel - s/t EP

theo kandel is an up and coming young singer/songwriter from new york city. his songs are americana-styled stories of loneliness and romance.

the production on his self titled EP ranges from plain picking and singing to full on folk-pop: mandolins, accordions, slide guitars and big harmonies on the choruses.

check out more songs here.

julian fulton - reverie EP

new york singer/songwriter and recording composer julian fulton has appeared a number of times on MFOA and he is back again with a new EP called 'reverie', a home-recorded but lush effort in a freak-folky acoustic dream-pop mold. it's billed as a collection of demos, but sounds plenty complete.

the instrumentation succeeds at creating a dark, drifting atmosphere while remaining fairly minimal, providing a comfortable home for the melodies carried by the wide-sounding reverby vocal swaths.

grab it for what you want to pay here. he's got another new EP, called 'noise', available now as well.

david rothschild - simple changes

david rothschild is a singer/songwriter based in new york city. he write tunes in classic songwriter mode, expansive ballads with alt-countryish production.

his latest record is called 'simple changes', and he sent along a sampler for me to share with you. the lead single, 'charles street', embodies his style, starting with a solitary piano and building to a big crescendo, telling an emotional tale of love lost.

get 'simple changes' here.

matt marble - rose bath

matt marble is california-by-way-of-mississippi singer/songwriter and composer that i have covered before. he recently sent me this dreamy improvisation he recorded for the sounds electric guitar, piano, and a woman taking a bath. he played both instruments at once which is a cool trick.

check out more of matt's music here.

david ivan neil - new country home

british columbia resident david ivan neil is a classic MFOA contributor, a prolific lofi bedroom composer of off-center personal songs, musical sticky notes plastering the walls of the heads of those of us who make this solitary pursuit our favorite hobby or obsession. since i count myself among those, i always love to hear stuff like this.

david's music is sparse and wry, consisting mostly of choppy strummed guitar, stark piano melodies, and a slackery, reverby vocal delivery. there are a few other instruments at times, such as banjo and harmonica. all these parts go well together. one thing i like about his newest album 'new country home' is that many of the songs seem to be about being a dad. you can even hear the voices of his kids in the background (and foreground!) of some of the songs.

name your price for it here.

aaron wilhoft - sampler

aaron wilhoft is a singer/songwriter based in chicago who attempts to fuse an urban sensibility with a rural roots rock sound in his songs. he succeeds, creating his own brand of midwestern story-rock with candor and swing. i don't know what everyone's temperature is on this but in some ways aaron's work reminds me of bob seger, and to me that is a good thing.

he has a handful of albums available but he has provided me with a sampler to share with you below.

check out more here.

slow tourismo - corners (video)

awhile back, i posted about australian indie-pop band slow tourismo and their anthemic, propulsive single 'corners'. now they have a great looking video for it. check it out.

it turns out they have quite a few videos on their youtube channel. you can also check out more of their music here.


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