william csorba - songs about nothing: volume 1

prolific houston, texas based guitar soli artist william csorba is back with a new collection of compositions called 'songs about nothing: volume 1'. the collection begins with a prelude on keyboard strings, which allows you to drift into the varied moods of his guitar playing. his playing is emotional, going from meditative to frantic, and the pieces vary widely in length.

the album is called 'songs about nothing', but between the cavalcade of silvery notes, i think there is a story being told. some songs are bolstered by effects or instruments i can't quite place (check out the weird, burbling sounds underlying 'tesuque'), but most let csorba's guitar do the talking.

get it here.

rosalind hall and ada rave - a trail, a texture

'a trail, a texture' by rosalind hall and ada rave is a set of complimentary saxophone improvisations/experiments. both pieces take the instrument into uncharted territory. rosalind hall's long form piece 'trails' stretches the possibilities of the sax to their breaking point using reverb and feedback to create a haunting sonic environment. it barely sounds like a saxophone, but i think albert ayler would get it.

ada rave's piece 'the texture of the ephemeral' is more traditional, as far as tradition goes in free improvised solo saxophone music. you can hear the grit of the instrument, the skronk of the reed, the gurgle of spit, the clattering of other items in the room. this makes it a perfect flip side to the ghostly feedback of rosalind's 'trails'.

get it here for free from pan y rosas discos.

hot glew - may i come in?

hot glew is the recording name of nashville based bedroom producer brett keller. his latest album 'may i come in?' is available on cassette from custom made music.

it's a collection of spaced out lofi explorations, heavy on the psychedelic elements, both in a 1960's reverby guitar way and in a 1990's weirdo electronica way. there are many chill grooves within. a solid listen.

get it here, cassette or digital.

kara kesselring & sugarcreek road - hurry up & relax

kara kesselring is a chicago based singer/songwriter who, with the help of her band sugarcreek road, has just released a new album called 'hurry up & relax'.

the album spans many shades of americana tinged songwriting, from the classic country style of songs like 'speeding for jesus' and 'crush', or a more contemporary bluesy vibe for songs like 'belle of the ball' and 'trouble'. the songwriting and lyricism is rich throughout.

get a copy here.

son of dov - ulysses

new jersey singer/songwriter son of dov is back with a new EP called 'ulysses'. it's a sort of concept EP about an emotional journey likened to the journey of the mythical ulysses, according to the description on his bandcamp page.

it features his emotional, romantic songwriting against a lush background of contemporary folk/rock production.

get it here.

shamar - samsara blues

shamar harriott is a singer/songwriter from ft. lauderdale, florida. minutes into the first track on his homemade debut 'samsara blues', i was pretty stunned. the recording is sparse, just voice and acoustic guitar, with a few overdubs of the same, for leads and harmonies.

the melodies are left field, the vibes are dark, and the lyrics range from artfully angry to nonchalantly strange...i am unavoidably reminded of some of the political psych-folk diatribes of recently unearthed 60's outsider rodriguez. there is truth to be found in the shadowed twists and turns of this mysterious debut. highly recommended.

name your price for it here. if you like dark outsider folk you have no excuse not to get this one!

electrician - what i don't want

i covered roving lofi genre-fucking musical recordist electrician's last album, 'billowing clouds', an abstract blend of stabbing and droning synth horns that virged on ambient, awhile back.  his new one, 'what i don't want', could not be more different. it's an ambitious blend of stripped down anti-folk and lofi electronica, with intensely personal lyrics and dark moods.

it's much easier to dig into immediately than 'billowing clouds', but it's edges are still razor sharp. highly recommended. i appreciate an artist working with whatever ways/means they are inspired regardless of the degree to which it departs from previous efforts, it's something i do and something i think consumers of art could stand to to leave space for in their interpretations.

pre-order it here, on lathe cut vinyl, cassette or digital.

cult choir - too many miles

cult choir is a portland, oregon band that describes themselves as 'goth doo-wop'...seems to fit. their newest single 'too many miles' is a lonesome crooner, with distant backing vocals and a spectral glockenspiel filling out the minimalist guitar/snare production.

there is a vintage drama to the vocal delivery. the melody seems to hang in the air, possibly of a cemetery if the imagery on their bandcamp page is any indication. i like this one.

get it here.

pulco - dip in the ocean

if you follow MFOA, you probably already know about pulco (AKA ash cooke), the welsh DIY multi-media artist with the insane work ethic. one side effect of being so prolific is that digging into his immense back catalog, while rewarding, is daunting.

ash has taken care of that by releasing 'dip in the ocean', a sort-of 'greatest hits' compilation of his most accessible work. reaching back over 15 years, it's a gold mine of fractured lofi pop, a fountain of melodic ideas. i'll make things even easier by recommending some of my favorites...i love the sugary slacker ballad 'wearing down well' and the bedroom drum machine power pop of 'open your wallets'. i can't recommend this introduction to pulco enough.

it's name your price, too, starting at free. no excuse! get it here.

lorraine leckie and pavel cingl - the raven smiled

lorraine leckie is a singer/songwriter from new york city. her newest album 'the raven smiled' was made with the inspiration that followed a european tour. the production is simple; violin, guitar, harmonies, and touches of piano, but the atmosphere lorraine creates is heavy and ominous, with dark mystical overtones.

the singing can go from silvery to abstract and chant-like, and the violin drones, grinds, moans and soars. as much as i dislike doing comparisons, this album reminds me a lot, in terms of sound and themes, of the musical chemistry between nick cave and warren ellis.

get it here.

art of flying - i'm already crying

art of flying is a prolific, long running new mexican musical duo whose sound varies across their numerous recordings. their newest album, 'i'm already crying' blends world folk influences with the natural rhythms of the ancient high desert landscape of their home.

the lead single, 'jaguar song', is an animist fable set to chiming strings and atmospheric cymbals, leading to a chorus with a beautiful two voice harmony.

get it 'i'm already cryinghere.

the big drum in the sky religion - songs the ineffable taught us.

i'm always happy to receive new music from harrisonburg, virginia folk/noise/incantation band big drum in the sky religion. i love music that challenges the listener to feel the pulse of musicality among harshness and chaos...it is similar to living life and it is spiritual to create and to listen to.

big drum in the sky religion deeply understands these truths about noise and music. their new album 'songs the ineffable taught us' begins with a sampled voice saying 'there is an aliveness', and then the music comes alive...buried deep within the layers of distorted guitars and, if i remember the live show correctly, home-rigged electric banjo, there is a pulsing, repetitive drum beat anchoring the storm, and bits and pieces of sampled voices provide fractured, alienated points of view. it is music to trance, and transport to. recommended.

get it here, digital or limited CDR.

megan landry - stills

'stills' by megan landry represents a pretty assured debut for a young canadian songwriter. the album is full of lyrically complex, off-kilter piano-driven indie/pop jammers. reminiscent of some of the real songwriterly, unique pop of the late 90's/early 2000's.

megan is not afraid to get strange with the lyrics and arrangements. the opening track 'cut to it', meant to be the single, is a stand out. but i also really enjoy the slow-burner 'reservations', with its strange harmonies and funhouse organ.

stream 'stills' and more here.

tapes & tubes

returning contributor tapes & tubes (psuedonym of philadelphia bedroom recordist austin potter) is back with a short new release called 'man in the window'. the sounds contained within fit to a tee the ominous vibes of that title. whispery vocals tell brief half stories that seem to dance around their dreadful centers.

the music is hazy drifts of guitars and a general ambient hiss. austin manages a fine tension between edgy and somnambulent.

get it here.

grizzly waves - i'm alive, you are the whole creation, let our frequencies rise

'i'm alive, you are the whole creation, let our frequencies rise' is not the newest album by canadian bedroom folk artist grizzly waves, AKA luke macdonald, but it is the only one that i could embed. he has a new one available soon, called 'the wild life: part one', and you can check out the new single 'brothers' here.

anyway, 'i'm alive, you are the whole creation, let our frequencies rise' is an upbeat lofi hippie/folk EP that allows the psychedelic to creep in without using any electric instruments (best as i can hear). bubbling banjos and bluesy guitar riffs provide the background for luke's philosophical lyrical meditations. 

get it here. free download/stream of the new single 'brothers' here.

patkus - colors

'colors', the new album by philadelphia multi-instrumentalist patkus, asks that you seek out the details and textures within the broad strokes of drones, as suggested by the expressionistic image on the cover.

the music here is built largely from the raw material of guitars, but they are stretched, warped, teased and melded into short swaths and long-form washes of drone. the effect is minimalist, meditative, and psychedelic.

get it here.

the tailbreakers - s/t

canadian rockers the tailbreaker's self titled debut represents another fine selection in the growing stable of richmond, virginia based garage/psych label ongakubaka records. the tailbreakers do lofi vintage rock'n'roll with layers of reverb and snappy echo.

the melodies are catchy and the vocals have that teen sleaze you can find on something like the classic LP compilation 'garage punk unknowns'.

get the limited edition cassette from ongakubaka records.

king columbia - s/t

king columbia is a loose-limbed folk string band from portland, oregon. they have a traditional approach, no electricity to be found here. there is a definite beale st./juke joint hop to the band's step. they fit nicely into the old time string band/jug band revival, with a relaxed pacific northwest twist.

everything sounds great on their debut album 'patamoi pentateuch'...gritty, percussive fiddle playing, low down, lonesome, howly singing, whining dobro and twangy banjo. king columbia are a strong link in the folk music chain.

get it here, your choice of limited edition CD or digital.

forgettable ross - under the leaves

forgettable ross (i like that stage name!) is a californian singer/songwriter working in the general realm of folk. he shared with me his most recent tune, 'under the leaves'.

it's a laid back folk tune that feels imbued with the fresh air and otherworldliness of ross's mt. shasta homeland. it features spectral backing vocals and a captivating melody. check it out below.

listen to more of ross's tunes right here.

all those ships - where you left it

month-by-month song releaser all those ships has another one for us, called 'where you left it'. a shuffly indie/folker with the advent of a banjo, which i don't believe we have heard yet from all those ships.

listen to the rest of the growing collection of monthly tunes here.

freezy - slow and steady

connecticut rapper freezy is back with a new track called 'slow and steady', a lyrically acrobatic banger that is heavily indebted to the old-school sounds of the late 80's and early 90's.
the flow is effortlessly dense, witty, but relaxed. the beat is classic looped, loping funk.

listen to more freezy here.

chris norwood - the year of the bear

i was sold on chris norwood's debut release 'the year of the bear' when i saw the cover, which depicts a cute bear who seems to have spilled his mug of honey beer! haha, i love bears.

haha what a cute bear!

the band in action

but this is about the music contained within, which is upbeat singer/songwriter folk/rock with simple, focused production...guitar, electric bass, and some classically informed fiddle (violin?) shredding and the occasional harmony for color. this provides a good showcase for the detailed and romantic landscapes that chris paints with his lyrics.

get it here.

angus carter - the coming of night and day #2 and the jungle

angus carter is a multi-media artist from staunton, virginia who works in sound, film, paint, and whatever else catches his fancy. i recently bought a beautiful portrait he did of nina simone. anyway, i am happy to feature his bandcamp site here, where he has collected a number of his noise pieces and sound poems.

intensely atmospheric and thematically tied to the rhythms and processes of nature, this music is more organic and less harsh than a lot of experimental noise music.

get these and more here. check out some of his visual art on his twitter

ak'chamel - the man who drank god

ak'chamel is a southwestern band that plays far-far out primal psychedelic cult-trance world-folk...they invoked sun city girls when they emailed me, and the comparison is apt. apparently they have shared the stage with the great 'sir' richard bishop as well.

their new tape, 'the man who drank god' sounds like a series of concise religious songs, chants and dirges from a lost society that never existed that you would really hope you would never run across, being played on an old 78 or one of those radios you have to crank. recorded and released on a cassette from field hymns which i highly recommend getting.

get it here digitally, or get the cassette here from field hymns.

m.mucci - don't be afraid

m. mucci is a guitarist from guelph, ontario that surprises me with each release, applying his own lens to 'american primitive' music. for the opening track 'basta cornuto!' on his latest effort 'don't be afraid', he takes a cue from the great sandy bull and combines his dynamic solo guitar playing with a drummer, and the effect is a heavy, almost rock'n'roll feel.

the song jams and rips for 5 of its 8 minutes, before settling into subtler territory. dylan aycock, the man behind the experimental folk label scissor tail editions (which released sarah louise's field guide, one of my favorite albums from last year), plays a nice pedal steel on the mellow ending. the other preview track, 'starkest darkness', blends silvery acoustic picking with stately piano and droning pump organ. i recommend this one highly.

pre-order it here, digital or limited edition CD.

prairie wolf - demos

prairie wolf, of harrisonburg, virginia, is a band that like many bands from there contains a bunch of dudes i am friends with. they are a southern fried stoner rock band with heavy classic rock era moves, featuring the song writing of tyler supko, who's solo demos i have featured here before.

there's a lot of guitar fireworks at play, including some pretty sweet harmonized leads. no surprise considering the band contains shredder praveen chetri from well known metal band earthling. prairie wolf have collected three demos up on their bandcamp site. 'dog with rabies' and 'hold your breath' are uptempo rockers, but 'help me!' stretches out into a nearly 8 minute psychedelic jam. i'm into that. check it out below.

check out the other two tracks here.

c. strom - while we wait

i guess the great thing about the fact that i didn't have time to post here for two weeks is that my inbox filled up with great music that i am excited to listen to. near the top of the list is 'while we wait', a new batch of traditional folk songs from c. strom of norway.

i would not be exaggerating at all if i said that i consider c. strom to be my favorite current interpreter of traditional folk songs. i really don't know what else to say about it. these songs are important and he knows how to imbue them with real spiritual energy. energy, urgency, vitality.

when c. strom isn't doing his own interpretations, he is generously uploading his collection of 78's for us over at his 'sound of shellac' bandcamp site. there's a new installment of that too. an embarrassment of riches.

get more c. strom here.

bicycle day - city streets

bicycle day is a bay area art/punk band that i always like to hear new songs from. their new EP 'city streets', available on cassette from digital regress, features no-wavey, dis-interested guitar/drum jams that are just up my alley, personally.

the vocals are full of attitude and the production is very lofi. i really love music like this, the proper evolution of rock'n'roll...straight down. it's punk rock, i bet you'll play it twice.

get it here on cassette. i actually stopped writing this to cop that tape myself!

reid karris - drones and words

chicago based experimental musician reid karris makes improvised music on a dizzying array of instruments. the last album of his that i featured, 'lanificus', was played on zither and drum kit with a very strange technique.

his new work, 'drones and words', is more electronic, featuring manipulated sounds and spoken samples, alternating longform drones with heavily dis-associative plays on alienated corporation-speak. much colder and creepier than his previous work, equally as intriguing. definitely hits that alvin lucier button.

get it here.

laurence made me cry - inverness EP

i am super happy this morning to finally get around to listening to 'inverness', the new live EP from laurence made me cry (aka jo whitby).

jo has a new proper album in the works, which i am also excited about, but i love hearing her voice, one of the best, most memorable voices i have come across here at MFOA, in this stark setting. 'inverness' is just her, her songs and a guitar, and it is beautiful, to use that well worn word.

get it here.

king pedro - the boy on the moon

king pedro is a UK based bedroom folk artist. his latest album is called 'the boy on the moon'. it's low-key, slightly psychedelic acoustic music with pleasantly far out pastoral melodies. there are some great finger pinking passages and self harmonies reminiscent of the great british folk revival.

get it here.

boring life/origami sun/the aquatic safety - 3 way split

i'm excited today to share this release from drink more records...a 3 way split from origami sun and the aquatic safety, who i am familiar with, and boring life, who are new to me. the split kicks off with the boring life segment, fuzzy noise pop with dream-like vocals and subterranean hooks. up next is the snarky bedroom pop of origami sun, followed by the lofi power-pop of  the aquatic safety.

the rotation continues as each act begins to cover one of the other's songs. it's a really cool release from a label and some artists i have found put out some consistently good off-kilter DIY pop and rock'n'roll. recommended.

get it here.

mike zellers - ntbd - wip

mike zellers makes what he refers to as 'generative pieces' of experimental music using electronic and organic means and creative commons samples. he has a lot of them collected up on his youtube channel. his music is hard to describe, it lies outside most boundaries. you just have to check it out to feel its vibes and inhabit its zones, and i recommend it. here is the newest one, to get you started.

check out the youtube channel here.

cousin boneless - trash masquerade

cousin boneless is a folk/punk band from pittsburgh, pennsylvania. on their latest album 'trash masquerade' (love that album title), they feature a large collection of musicians, for a fully orchestrated sound, hitting those woozy, brassy tom waits vibes and whimsical musical saw parts, alongside the gutter punk arm-in-arm drunken-sway-chant-screaming.

their bandcamp description says 'eatin' yer leftovers, drinkin' yer beer, and sleepin' on yer kitchen floor' and i believe every word of that! any band with two five-string banjos in it is gonna eat every last bit of food in your house.

get it here.

TV dads - all skate!

what do we have here? it's a concept album about roller rinks from a concept 'band' called TV dads (a project of austin based DIY composer/musician/video artist ian mckinney). it's very 1991. many of you MFOA readers might too young to really know/have experienced the references here, but thanks to the post-post-modern media hellscape we live in, you are very familiar with the simulacra of '90's' that has been memed to the point of intoxication. the thing about this album is that it's really 80's style, but you experienced this at roller rinks in the early 90's, because roller rinks are out-of-date, low rent places.

personally, i am old enough to have been dropped off at the roller rink in my reebok pumps for the birthday party of some girl with really poorly thought out bangs when i was 11 so i feel this album.

get it on cassette (duh!) or digital here.

nicholas bridgeman - in motion

nicholas bridgeman is a jazz pianist and composer. not a usual sort of contributor to MFOA, but if you know my spot, you know that's what i love. this tune 'in motion' is a jaunt set to a shuffling drum machine figure.

it bips and bops right along. the soundcloud has it tagged 'dance', and i could picture that. i'm also going to share with you the more meditative 'forest vision'.

check out more from nicholas here.

dusty stray - alibi

dusty stray is a texan living in amsterdam (that's a change of scenery for ya) and recording dark, haunting folk ballads. his newest track, 'alibi', has some unique touches. it begins with soft fingerpicking, whispery vocals and a foreboding story.

at some point some pretty interesting keyboard flourishes make an appearance, coming from a real deal mellotron, which adds a psychedelic vibe and sets this song apart sonically from it's whisper-folk peers. there is also a distant, almost buried vocal coda at the end that brings a new layer of menace to the narrative.

get it here.

the world of dust - space mountain

'space mountain' is the lead track from the new album 'womb realm' by the world of dust. it's hard to find too much information on the band but i believe it is the musical project of dutch collage artist stefan breuer.

one of stefan breuer's (the world of dust) collages (i love polar bears)

this haunting song is a quiet storm take on psychedelic folk music, plodding, atmospheric and strange. the production is in collaboration with ohio based lofi visionary todd tobias, an MFOA favorite and seemingly very down to earth guy considering his resume. this is the only track available to stream now, but i'm excited to hear the rest of this record!

pre-order it here from tiny room records.

buck curran - new moontide and sea of polaris

buck curran, of the traditionally informed, maine based psych-folk band arborea, has a new solo album in the works and has been kind enough to share with me a few preview tunes.

'new moontide' is a slow burner that's inhabited by the ominous dreadful vibes that can be felt running through the american folk tradition, enhanced by some extremely subtle psychedelia. 'sea of polaris' is an instrumental blend of guitars and flute that is at once dreamy and ominous, a finger picked acoustic riding waves of bleak distortion.

buck's album will be out in 2016. for now, you can get arborea albums here.

ric gordon - busking out

ric gordon is a kansas city based musician, producer and owner of active DIY record label russian winter records. his latest album is called 'busking out', a recording effort inspired by his experiences playing on the streets (busking).

due to that inspiration, the production is pretty minimal, mostly acoustic guitars with the occasional percussion, electric guitar and bass here and there. the songs are inspired by the classic troubadour style, but with lyrics and sonic twists that show something i love in a contributor: his own perspective.

get it here, CD or download.

o grande ogro - nashville sessions

brazilian heavy rock/metal band o grande ogro is back with a thrashing EP called 'nashville sessions'. as far as i can tell without getting google to translate their bandcamp page, it was recorded at a studio called 'nashville' in sao paulo, not in the city of nashville, USA, which was the conclusion i initially jumped to.

it sounds great and represents a fresh approach to my ears. short instrumental tunes that blend punk, metal and prog. the EP is so short and sweet, and packed with riffs, you'll play it again. i jammed it three times just while writing this!

get it here.

phillip corner - gong/orella ears in catalunya

'gong/orella ears in catalunya' by phillip corner is extremely experimental music. it consists mostly of found sounds, although the casualness could belie a deliberate arrangement...grunts, coughs, shuffles, dripping water, objects being moved around and arranged, clinked and clacked, the occasional gong-like tone as mentioned in the title of the piece.

more so than perhaps anything i have ever posted, this piece challenges the listener to find ecstasy in the mundane, to hear music where we tend to think there ins't any. it's pretty cool.

download the whole thing for free here from pan y rosas discos.

a little side note: you might notice i post a lot of stuff from pan y rosas discos...well, yeah i do, because they continually send me this boundary pushing experimental music. they keep a huge variety and the most open of minds. and everything is FREE.

erik nilsson - hearing things

i featured 'on and onward', the debut track from swedish composer erik nilsson's album 'hearing things', awhile back, and now i am happy to be able to share with you the streamable and cop-able album in its entirety.

it features more of erik's slow building, soundtrack ready ambient/pop/electronica compositions. there are many zones of emotions spread across the album.

you can get it here or from hidden shoal recordings.

andy vought - clear light (video)

andy vought is a songwriter from norfolk, virginia. his newest song 'clear light', from the album of the same name, is accompanied by a calming, pastoral video that fits the serene music well. it makes me miss the green deciduous forests of my own home state of virginia.

the music is singer/songwriter folk that feels like it has a touch of new age style about it. i like the central lyric 'we know what is true, when we touch skies of blue'.

check out more of andy's music here at his bandcamp site.

chris watkins - they can't hurt you anymore

alaskan rock'n'roll singer/songwriter chris watkins is back with another song. 'they can't hurt you anymore' is a late night alt-rock meditation on psychic pain.

check out more from chris right here.


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