the soviet space program - space is hell

a concept noise/drone album about communist cosmonauts slowly dying on an abandoned space station? you had me at hello. that's the short version of a description of UK noise artist thomas jude barclay morrison's latest project 'space is hell' under the soviet space program moniker. out now on a pretty badass looking limited edition cassette, this is a good buy for any fans of atmospheric noise/drone music.

disembodied voices, chime-like, sustained tones, beeps and blips, and pulsating waves of distorted feedback. someone who purchased it on bandcamp said: '75 minutes of droning feedback and distant sampled voices. guaranteed to clear room of all human life'. i love noise music!

get it here.

stevie pre - greatest hits

stevie pre is a new jersey based producer of homemade music. he has an interesting approach, having worked his way through a dizzying array of genre experiments in recording from his start playing in a hardcore band in high school, followed by some success as a hip-hop DJ.

his latest release, 'greatest hits' is a collection of his solo recordings from the past 15 years. this type of compilation lets you take the style blending journey with him. the sound is a distillation of vibes from many influences. it reminds me a lot of trip-hop, with heavy psychedelic, dub and electronic elements, but you can also hear call backs to the punk music of his youth. i recommend it. stevie has a legitimate claim to his own musical perspective, which is what we really love here at MFOA.

name your price for it here.

john gill - visions

john gill is a folk singer/songwriter from nova scotia. the first thing that stands out on his latest album, 'visions', is his stony baritone.

this rough but pretty voice guides you through his melancholic folk melodies, joined at times with a nice female harmony. the band is subtle americana all the way, rich organs, steely strings and woody, plodding drums. 'visions' stands out from the pack of alt-country troubadour type albums for quality of production, voice, and songs. the townes van zandt worshipping '1000 nightfalls' is a standout track.

get it here.

lyn goeringer - dolly (for m.a.)

dolly (for m.a.) by lyn goeringer is a set of three sound experiments. the two i've got streaming here are pretty interesting. 'iris' is an improvisation for a homemade electronic instrument, called the 'HIDden', made out of street lamp parts. it is a long form textured drone. the second piece, 'shuffle', brings together that technique with multi-tracked modular synths and field recordings of a curling match.

listening to the full album in sequence, the techniques of each track build up to the sum of the final piece. this is music, more accurately sound art, that is focused on the phenomenology of sound itself. it challenges the listener to hear the worlds of change that the artist hears in these sustained tones, beats and samples. it might not be easy.

get it for free here.

tanya montana coe - silver bullet

tanya montana coe is the second of outlaw country legend david allen coe's kids i've covered here, having shared with you all the psych/drone/noise guitar experimentations (highly recommended) of his son, tyler mahan coe, some time ago.

if the 'psych/drone/noise guitar experimentations' didn't clue you in, these folks don't have any trouble stepping out from their dad's shadow in their own musical pursuits. 'silver bullet', the title track from tanya's debut album, is a noir/americana slow burner, hot like a dark summer night loaded down with humidity and the potential for bad news. this atmosphere is built out of shards of distorted guitars and a stalking back beat. it's not a country song but tanya adds a nashville drawl to her post-modern torch singing.

pre-order it here. check out a music video below.

another brother band - smoke signals

another brother band, is, as their name implies, a band made of two brothers who sing close harmony together, on sad, spectral folk songs. they have a great version of 'make me a pallet on your floor' (after the arrangement by gillian welch), as well as this wistful tune below, 'smoke signals'.

listen to a few more here.

great spirit - along the way

bay area band great spirit have self-identified the genre of music they play as 'crystal grass', which is probably pretty spot on, it's some bare-foot stompin' string music, but bare-foot at a festival, not in a hay barn...tight, fast string band music with funk and psych influences.

this is the tune, from their upcoming album 'searching for a legend', they asked me to share.

but i'm also sharing their song 'bigfoot' because i love bigfoots, even though i'm not sure this song is about actual 'squatches. the phaser guitar freakouts within let you know you aren't in kentucky anymore despite the banjos and harmonies.

get their albums here.

j. jaffe - dark room

j. jaffe is a bay area blues musician. 'dark room' is the title track from his latest album. it's a blues rocker with some blazin' harmonica and a very tight band.

listen to more of j's songs here.

pulcher fight - interpretations

pulcher fight is the recording name of VA based artist andrew seymour. his newest album is called interpretations. shades of anti-folk, psychedelia, and punk mix down into classic lofi bedroom pop.

there are some great guitar tones at play, darkly funny lyrics, catchy melodies, and drum machine hops. you need to check the song 'deranged basement gospel', the vibes there are deep.

name your price for it here.

good boy - 5AM

good boy is a lofi bedroom recordist from LA. his newest song, 'its always 5AM when im with u', is a solid stoner 80's toy casio jam. droney vibes, mystical melodies, and those classic, recognizable tones and drum machine sounds.

if you check out some of his other stuff, there are various other types of experimentation in the deeply lofi/psychedelic vein. i recommend it all.

get it here.

all those ships - whirling

here's another in the long series of songs i have been receiving from bedroom recordist all those ships. 'whirling' is a rhythmically and melodically complex song with very simple production. it's twists and turns are built from acoustic guitar, bass and drums only. it's a stark sound that allows the emotion of the song to have a raw impact.

check out a video of the song being performed with a loop pedal below. it's cool to see two varied approaches to the same material.

REW - olive skinned, silver tongued sirens sing swan songs

i featured a song by veteran musician, world traveler and prolific collaborator  REW (ryan e. webber) awhile ago and now i've got the whole album to lay on you. the music is tough to describe, classify, or shoe-horn into a genre.

the music is dreamy, strange, and varied. you can tell that ryan uses the REW moniker (one among his many projects) to follow a restless creative urge where ever it takes him. it's worth looking into.

get it here. check out a video for the sleepwalking jam 'swan's melody' below.

the october solution - lost (video)

spaced out australian band the october solution creates music that harkens back to dark 80's pop while including touches of modern electronica, post-rock, and even soul. it's a strange mix that goes down smooth.

i encourage you to observe the dream-like, creepy/sexy video for their new song 'lost', featuring a voyeuristic fish-man. one of the weirder videos i've gotten here. i like it.

check out more from the october solution on hidden shoal recordings.

j allen - bring her back home

j allen is a folk singer/songwriter based out of brooklyn, new york. he's been involved in a variety of musical projects...his latest is a 7" release fronted with this woozy, banjo-based dirge of lost love 'bring her back home'.

the tune begins lonely and drunk (you know, based on the lyrics, not the performance), and an alley-way orchestra of accordion and loose snares fall in line during the wistful chorus.

pre-order one here.

greatfather - bicentennial blue

greatfather is an americana band from cleveland, ohio. they deal in reflective ballads and warm tones. homespun rootsy folk/rock, with eerie vibes standing just outside the door, in the porch-light.

their album 'bicentennial blue' will be available in september from exit stencil recordings. check it out a preview track below:

pre-order 'bicentennial blue' here.

gren bartley - tall wooden walls (video)

british singer/songwriter gren bartley made a really cool stop-motion animation video for his new song 'tall wooden walls', a lushly produced indie folk anthem.

check out more from gren here.

burnside & hooker - all the way to devil

the title track of 'all the way to the devil', the newest album by chicago americana band burnside & hooker, is an a capella gospel stomp that leads right into the barn-burning roots-rock of the next song. the guitars twang, the fiddles saw hard, and the lead vocalist snarls, drawls and croons.

this uptempo alt-country rock is not the band's only speed, they know their way around a ballad and a down-home shuffle as well.

get it here.

the modern folk - live in olympia

last week i played a show at a cool place in olympia, washington, called metcalf manor. a barn out in the woods with an excellent sound system. it was recorded, and i decided to release a few tracks.

here they are.

get it for free from practice records.

pethau garw - diolch am y croeso cynnes

pethau garw is a side project of the incredibly prolific and dedicated welsh DIY recordist ash cooke (the man behind pulco).

with the new release 'diolch am y croeso cynnes' (most of the song titles are welsh as well), ash seems to be exploring his interest in nurse with wound style industrial noise experimentation and the influences of the many artists on their infamous list. 'diolch am y croeso cynnes' contains sound collage compositions made from field recordings, samples, prepared guitars, and other archaic implements. the classic dial-up modem sound makes an appearance, which upon reflection i realize some MFOA readers might never have heard in it's original context.

name your price for it here.

funny/not funny double post - new boss and the seers

harrisonburg, virginia cassette (mostly) label funny/not funny records just dropped two new tapes full of home grown VA rock'n'roll that i was pretty excited to hear...the seeers' 'early songs' and new boss' 'twee boogie vol. 1 & 2'. i figured i'd cover them both in one post, like i did last week with a few releases from dying for bad music.

'glacier', the lead single from the seeers 'early songs', is an urgent blast of psych/punk with heavy surf vibes. the vocals are distant and dis-associative, but the music underneath churns tightly with lysergic energy. 

the psychedelic melodies of the song give way to a freak-out, peals of feedback crashing like waves over pulsing fuzz-bass.

'since you been gone', the preview track from 'twee boogie vol. 1 & 2' by new boss opens with some quick snare hits, which quickly become a pop song of the highest order. the tune snakes around it's own central catchiness with twists and turns of melody and layered keyboard tracks. that combined with the witty and fatalistic lyrics makes this song remind me of squeeze in the best possible way.

new boss wears several influences on their sleeves throughout this tape, including pioneers in the 'twee' genre mentioned in the title, such as black tambourine, as well as some serious glam moves. 'twee boogie vol. 1 & 2' is a journey through the possibilities of a thinking man's pop/rock'n'roll.

pre-order both tapes here from funny/not funny records.

the transcendents - lay where you collapse EP

christchurch, new zealand based experimental noise/rock collective the transcendents have a new EP available called 'lay where you collapse'.

the music is highly conceptual pastiche/punk...sampled speeches are collaged with mechanical percussion, guitar and keyboard riffs that mutate from droney to jazzy, and distorted punk poetry and psychedelic vocal melodies. there are also mellower, acoustically composed psych-folk moments. i like this EP a lot, new layers can be uncovered with a few spins.

get it on limited edition vinyl or digitally for free right here.

diseases of venus - psychospiritual guitar loops

word of MFOA seems to be spreading fast among the DIY acts of the derby area of the UK...such as replica jesus, unqualified nurse, and azzuro peaks. i'm happy to add diseases of venus, with their dream-like EP 'psycho spiritual guitar loops', to that list. the EP contains lush, multi-tiered guitar dronescapes with sparse distant, psychedelic singing. 'psychospiritual' is a great description of the sound. i recommend this one.

listen to the rest of the EP here.

cinchel - witnessing

'witnessing' by cinchel, available as a free download on pan y rosas discos, is aptly titled. it represents a form of digital witnessing, in this case of an art exhibit. it is a recording of the ambient sounds at the exhibit, but it is also a recording of those recordings being played back at the exhibit, as it goes on, day by day. this kind of recursive looping and layering of sound is a way to poke holes through reality, as william burroughs noted when he attempted to use a similar technique to sabotage a coffee shop he didn't like.

the method of composition is also similar to the famous sound experiment 'i am sitting in a room' by alvin lucier. very cool. 'witnessing' begins with the chatter of clear voices. by the end of the recording, it is a storm of abstract, looped noise.

get 'witnessing' for free here.

david simard and theo lawrence - by and by

'by and by' is a laid back, harmony based folk tune by canadian singer/songwriter david simard with the help of french musician theo lawrence.

it's a rustic song, the harmonies are homespun and the two guitars blend together like they are being played on a back porch. i enjoy the relaxed, bluesy solo.

this and a few other collaborations between david and theo will be available soon. look here for details.

lukas papenfusscline - all will be well, etc.

lukas papenfusscline is a folk and jazz vocalist from cambridge, massachussetts. his approach to traditional music and jazz standards is vocally centered, and steeped in ancient melody.

i like his song selection and performance style a lot. his classicist approach to the original american forms of music is refreshing, and a rare type of contribution for MFOA.

so far he has made 'all will be well, etc.', a selection of excerpts from a concert, available for streaming only, though i would not mind being able to download it. check it out here.

american elsewhere - belinda's cross

american elsewhere is an alt-country band from san fransisco, california. their debut song is called 'belinda's cross'.

it's a mournful, gritty ballad, with the mandolin trills, bowed bass and haunting harmonies that provide that special, sepia-toned americana style of gravitas and pathos.

name your price for it here, expect more on the way soon.

heather styka - while this planet spins beneath our feet

heather styka is singer/songwriter from portland, maine. her latest album 'while this planet spins beneath out feet' features subtle contemporary americana production and whistful, world weary songs delivered in a delicate, ethereal voice.

it's a well crafted recording, one that lets you hear the spaces between and around the instruments, and lets the melodies and stories settle in your head.

pick up the limited edition CD, with artwork done by hand on a one hundred year old letterpress, if you are so inclined. it is also available digitally. get it either way here.

jonas carping - the last approval

'the last approval' is the first single from 'cocktails & gasoline', the upcoming LP by swedish rock'n'roller jonas carping. 'the last approval' is a moody, stormy rock song lead by jonas' deep, rich vocal performance.

the atmospheric, tense verses exploded into cathartic choruses, accented by a mournful slide guitar. jonas might be swedish, but he is schooled in the dramatic, hard-driving americana of bruce springsteen and tom petty.

'cocktails & gasoline' will be available in october. pre-order it here, CD or digital.

monika cefis - anxious argyle

monika cefis is a montreal based, uke-wielding singer/songwriter. her newest tune is called 'anxious argyle'. it's a disarming, upbeat folk/pop tune about the heavy subject of relationships.

she employs the whimsical metaphor of chance pairings of mismatched socks, tossed about by the laundry machine, just as ostensibly mismatched people are tossed about by the world and then find comfort in each other despite their differences.

get it here.

slow turismo - i sit down as soon i get up

australian indie/pop band slow turismo is back with a funky track called 'i sit down as soon as i get up'.

it's a floor thumping, dance-able tune with a grandiose, almost prog-rock coda.

listen to more here.

twin within - bernie

twin within is a canadian folk duo featuring close, simon and garfunkel-esque vocal harmonies.

'bernie' is the debut single from their new album 'horizontal lines', out now on hidden pony records. it's an upbeat tune that ends with demonstrative flourish of the band's powers with vocal harmony.

get it here.

mr. crane - the woods

mr. crane is parker crane, a member of the boston area psych rock band l.a. jeff, whose debut long player 'holidaze inn' i featured here before. like many musicians, it seems that for parker one band or project is not a wide enough slot in which to fit all the different musical experiments he is wont to undertake.

i took this picture of superintendent chalmers from parker's twitter because if i don't put photos in these posts, it messes up the code for the 'you might also like' feature at the bottom of each post. 
in his solo work, he has some funky lofi bedroom business, still psychedelic, a bit on the dance-y side. his newest tune is called 'the woods'

the next newest number, 'wasted night', is pretty cool too.

listen to more, including a short demo EP called 'heartbreaker', on the soundcloud.

unqualified nurse - bad taste reaction

dark, nihlistic UK rippers unqualified nurse are back with 'bad taste reaction', another brief blast of harsh, loner punk. short, brutal, torn songs from a cold world.

this  music feels violent, a little like slow grindcore with no drums, evoking vibes of bleak isolation. cracked distortion on caveman punk riffage with tortured, electronically damaged singing.

get it here.

dying for bad music double post - andy mcleod and lebo jenkins

german music blog and label dying for bad music has just announced two new releases, good news for anybody that loves mysterious psychedelic/primitive/lofi folk music. DFBM has put out albums by amazing practitioners of all types of folk, from the isolated rural missives of c. strom to the kraut/folk/american primitve space races of steve palmer and even a 7" from the legendary-in-his-own-time fingerstyle guitarist daniel bachman.

these two new releases both evoke the landscape and vibrations of appalachia, but do so in very different ways. lebo jenkins plays banjo and sings in a conversational, southern appalachian style, as ancient as a creek that flows down a holler.

listening to the title track to his DFBM release 'careless love', and the meandering story-song that leads into it, 'ramble 1', reminds me of listening to early recordings of mountain music, where the players would generally chat about the songs or their lives a bit between performances. the conversation on these old recordings is as magical as the music.

'forge the valley' by andy mcleod takes a variety of approaches to mountain musical traditions. there are stormy, dramatic american primitive guitar compositions, new-agey soundscapes, and a beautiful rendition of the carter family's 'wildwood flower' featuring a full folk band arrangement. what hits me about 'forge the valley', and makes the title very fitting, is that each of these tunes seem to represent different appalachian landscapes for me.

i have always felt that the american primitive genre, especially on it's borders with drone and new age music, is a music of landscapes. i am not sure what gave me that idea, perhaps the image of the grand tetons that graces the cover of robbie basho's 'visions of the country', or the fact that so many john fahey song titles are geographical in nature. at any rate, andy mcleod's 'forge the valley' does what it's title suggests, creating iconic appalachian landscapes in my mind's eye as i listen to it.

get them both on limited edition CD or digital from dying for bad music.

jep roadie - static in my headphones

a new jam from rapper jep roadie...i really like this one. minimal, atmospheric beat and emotional, clever stream-of-consciousness flow mixed with tight hooks. lyrically, there is a lot going on in this song, but i like the refrain 'i been puttin' money in the marijuana business, but my pockets still broke as fuck...i only eat brownies if there's marijauna in it'.

this mellow vibe contrasts with, but still makes sense alongside, the proclamation 'i wanna run up in the bank and ransack it, i wanna be the president, i know it can happen'. the moments of mellowness in this song conceal a frustration that can be felt in the rest of the song. the tension between the gains that have been made in the fight for racial justice in our society and the stubborn, hateful obstacles that remain in its way is captured in the cadence of these rhymes.

check the soundcloud for more.

carson mchone - s/t

carson mchone is an alt-country singer/songwriter from austin, texas. her new album 'good luck man' is due to be released on good horse records in august.

for now, you can check out a self titled collection of tracks she has on soundcloud. the songs are produced in the finest texas country songwriter tradition, and they are written that way as well. sad, lowdown, romantic gritty tales.

get 'good luck man' here august 1st. check out a video for the title track below:


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