circus devils - sunflower wildman (remember him?)

circus devils are an ohio power trio made up of bob pollard (you know him), long time collaborator todd tobias, and tim tobias (todd's brother and former GBV member).

they just released a new album, called 'stomping grounds', filled with the kind of psychedelic power-pop that these artists are known for. the lead single, 'sunflower wildman (remember him?)', like many bob pollard songs, is a legend from his youth blown up onto the melting big screen as a distorted, acid-washed parable. the production starts out as minimal guitar-bass-drums rock'n'roll but builds to add some of the atmospheric lushness that makes todd's recent solo instrumental projects stand out.

get CDs and LPs here.

howard blake - s/t

howard blake is an experimental recording artist from philadelphia, pennsylvania. his self titled debut is one of the creepiest contributions i've ever gotten. ultra-minimalist tracks, single beats composed out of bits of voices form a base for isolated, bitter, misanthropic rants in an art-brut-meets-hip-hop cadence. i think the second song, 'HOT', is a parody and/or tribute to eminem.

there are a lot of 'controversial' things and some violent imagery at play in the songs, and these themes are right in your face due to the extremely minimal production. this is the kind of music that makes you sit and face the things it evokes, makes you reckon with it. it feels very much like it's of this time, the raw immediacy of it might be what makes it more uncomfortable. it's weird, gripping and unsettling. recommended but not for the faint of heart. i've never had to write this before, but there is a chance you could be offended by this. posting it anyway.

get it here.

the lucies - you must be great at parties

i've covered lofi bedroom recording project the lucies (AKA alexander ramirez) a few times, and they have completed an exciting new album called 'you must be great at parties'. the first song is a homemade wall of sound style piece, with the horn arrangements built from keyboards (i think), which give way into the loose-limbed jam that is 'pacific', an album highlight. i also dig the song of youth, 'my limbs are long'. and the acid-country lope of 'cosmonaut>we left there pt. 2'. so much good shit here.

this is alexander's best work yet. advanced in songwriting, rhythmic and melodic feel, and playing. for an album crafted solo from overdubs in a home studio on which most songs are less than 3 minutes long, there are amazing jammed out vibes. solid work, highly recommended.

name your price for it here. take the suggestion on the bandcamp and check it out once or twice with headphones.

ardivan walks - s/t EP

fall break records, a small tape label from athens, georgia, has been defining a sound for itself over a series of excellent releases from bands like attic fowler and dead neighbors...there is some variation but all their artists share a strong melodic sensibility and an ear for lofi warmth and haze.

the self titled EP from atlanta band ardivan walks is no exception. breezy, wistful indie rock that is perfect for this time of year. these elegiac, soft focus jams sound like falling leaves and setting suns. the vocals float in reverb and the guitar leads are beautifully mopey on top of laid back grooves.

get it on cassette or digital here. if you want more of an intro to fall break records, they also have a brand new compilation out featuring the best from their catalog.

mickey kaline - \\\\\\\\////////

mickey kaline is a new moniker for a kentucky lofi artist i've covered before in the form of greg twail. the new mickey kaline stuff is denser and poppier (if i remember correctly), but it is still lo-fried.

there are excellent anti-pop melodies abounding in the dulcet tones of cheap keyboards, weird static and tinny guitars. the songs are short, catchy messed-up sketches. i like it.

for a seasonal vibe, check out this one off tune, 'thank you for the costume'. some kind of sampled ghost story makes it pretty scary:

get it all right here.

michelle acquart & the seasons - drive

michelle acquart & the seasons are a four piece pop rock band from mexico city, mexico. 'drive' is the lead single from their upcoming album 'shadow/light'.

it's a dark, melodic rocker that highlights michelle's big voice, especially during the cathartic, hopeful choruses. the rhythm section tight and there are some shredding guitar leads.

name your price for the single here. 'shadow/light' is coming soon.

seamus o'muineachain - blood apple

seamus o'muineachain is an irish mutli-instrumentalist and folk composer. his latest album 'blood apple' is autumn themed journey for meandering pianos and guitars that recalls the half-psychedelic, half traditional style of the british folk revival while adding elements of prog with some unexpected electronic percussion touches.

never heard anything like this. one of the best pleasures of keeping up with this site is hearing stuff that fits that bill.

get it here.

enl1te - orgies in new york (original mix)

enl1te is a california based electronica/techno producer...his words; 'one mexican, one laptop'. i enjoy the late-nite coked-up vibes of his new song 'orgies in new york'.

it's an electronica banger, easy to dance to, with a gritty, sexed up vocal hook, and psychedelic beat-drop. dig that artwork.

get stuff from enl1te here.

the old part of town - mabelline & black wind

the old part of town is an americana string band from baltimore, maryland. they have a self titled debut CD due for release soon and sent me a few tracks as a preview.

'mabelline' is sad folk ballad about the emptiness of modern life. poignant accordion drones and mandolin stabs flesh out the sound. 'black wind' has more of a swamp rock feel, with bongos and drums holding the track down and some snaky lead guitar parts. both tunes feature some homespun harmonizing.

pre-order the self titled CD here.

new stuff from the modern folk (the band)

i have a couple updates from the side of this where i make music myself, as opposed to write about all the wonderful stuff you all are making:

in early september i was blessed by a gift from my wife to head back to the east coast and hang out with some of my friends i rarely see, as well as my brother. we put a set together and played a show at the bar i used to work at, formerly the blue nile, now the golden pony.

a live recording was made. i love it. me, my main collaborator, my brother, and one of my favorite drummers. a once in a lifetime feeling. please listen:

additionally, the excellent net label for experimental compositions, pan y rosas discos, saw fit to release my album of prepared guitar music, for which i am very grateful and honored. check that out here.

thanks for reading the modern folk music of america.

pethau garw - misfit memo's

pethau garw is the random/noise side project of my overseas friend and welsh DIY recording juggernaut ash cooke AKA pulco. if you follow my site here, you probably know pulco. he's great. he both creates and supports the shit out of DIY art and music.

this new pethau garw, 'misfit memo's', i like it. it starts with some extreme lofi acoustic ditties. it was recorded in an hour on an ipad. prepared guitar. 'made without thought'. free. get it.

get it here.

darts & arrows - evergreen (video)

darts & arrows is the band of chicago experimental guitarist bill mackay. bill engages in a huge a mount of guitar-based musical projects throughout chicago, including a very good collaboration with ryley walker that i covered recently.

darts & arrows is an instrumental quartet that eschews genre in favor of moods and movements expressed through expert playing. this tune, 'evergreen', is from their album 'altamira'.

get 'altamirahere.

fancy man - S/T

fancy man is the new band name of timothy cushing, a fairly prolific singer/songwriter who never disappoints with the eclecticism and consistent quality of his albums. the first thing he sent me, 'hunting songs', was a strange world-folk journey, his next album, under the moniker 'the red rogue', was more of a down home indie folk situation. this one, as fancy man, seems to live up to that title, more of a proper singer/songwriter pop album.

it seems to recognize this with the first song being what i would call a 'los angeles song', reminding me a bit of warren zevon and van dyke parks. timothy's songwriting has always been fully fledged, but with this new incarnation he has pushed it into new dimensions. folky elements remain, especially in the home-spun production of 'dreams' (love this tune), but fancy man is timothy's fanciest look yet. recommended.

get it here.

thunder and the thuds - hickory/rabbits 1 through 4

thunder and the thuds is an 'appalachian based psychedelic improv outfit'. that description got me interested. their latest release, 'hickory/rabbits 1 through 4', is a spiritual slow burn, a raggedy jam that builds from a sparse pulse into an ethereal drone with creepy, insistent rhythms.

it's loose-limbed and spooky and drifts by like mist on mountain tops. and you can name your price for it. like if CAN was JUG? i dig this release.

get it here.

enema noise - manual pouco prático do desapego

enema noise is my second brazilian band for the night, but they differ quite a bit in sound from the laid back and psychedelic beer.

enema noise is a tight and explosive post punk quartet, they remind me a bit of the sounds of the dischord records heyday. punk energy and some prog ambitions. worth checking out for sure. their newest album is called 'manual pouco prático do desapego'.

get it here.

the transcendants - common ground EP

'common ground' is the latest in a series of EPs by new zealand band the trancendents that they release digitally for free or for a small price on vinyl. this is my favorite one yet. the songs are lofi repetitive grooves that provide a track for an almost hip-hop style of talk-singing and story telling. some tunes are book ended by samples of what sounds like dialogue from television, for a vibe of postmodern dissonance.

these can come in a punk or very nearly country form. the trancsendents have been honing in on this sound over their past few releases, on this one they nail it. i especially like the melancholy vibes of 'polly's running out of patience', with its emotive central guitar riff, but i love the whole EP.

get it here, digital or vinyl.

beer - epifania

beer is a brazilian lofi recordist who has chosen a boldly difficult to google stage name for himself. his new EP is called 'epifania'. his tunes are reverb drenched psych folk, mostly done with some layered guitars and percussion, sung in his native language. check out the tune 'odeio flaubert' for some meanly crunched up keyboards and drum machines.

i really like the song 'sangue no quintal', which i think means 'blood in the yard'. i'm a fan of the whole EP, there are plenty of darkly popped-up melodies and lofi tones throughout.

get it here.

wilhelm matthies and reid karris - flow

'flow', by wilhelm matthies and reid karris, available digitally from pan y rosas discos, is a duo improvisation for a variety of objects, including singing bowls and bells and a homemade, bowed, table-top instrument somewhere on the extreme fringes of the cello family. i can't make too many assumptions about the approach, but the album feels to me like a musical version of the artistic practice of the derive, or aimless walk. these two musicians are taking a musical derive together with these instruments. but here as always there is no difference between aimlessness and intent.

the accompanying text reads like a haiku: 'squiggle rub. long tone wood. metal rummage. a narrow path. a gap in mountains. bell clarity. burrow in earth. deep in roots'. fitting for the album, the text is cryptic while also being specifically descriptive of the sound. the line 'a narrow path. a gap in the mountains' reminds me of one of my favorite books, a travelogue by the poet basho, and contrasts starkly with urban setting in which the album was performed and recorded. i recommend this highly.

get it here for free.

the blunder of a horse - zoantrophi

the blunder of a horse is an 'organic space folk ensemble'. their latest album 'zoantrophi' seems to be an exploration of world folk through a psychedelic lens. the first song, 'interrolang', is a duo improvisation (i'm guessing) for recorders. the effect is like an unsettling acid, or culturally speaking, ayahuasca, trip for your ears. these andean space program vibes give way to a maximal repetitive drone in the next song 'continuum; unnatural', created by the interplay of amplified acoustic guitar and prepared dulcimer, that might pass for the blunder's take on appalachia.

the instrumentation on this album is very innovative (and well documented at the bandcamp...'liner notes' can still be important in the digital age), using folk instruments from all over the world to create a variety textures from overwhelming drones to burbling instrumental interplay. very psychedelic, highly recommended.

get it here.

native harrow - poor beggar (the heron) [video]

native harrow is a folk duo that trades in traditionally inspired folk concepts stretched into slow, haunting, ethereal drifts. 'poor beggar (the heron)' is the newest single from their album 'ghost'.

the soft harmonies and gentle guitar ripples are accompanied by a suitably faded video.

get 'ghost' here

kramies - forets antiques

i've covered dutch singer/songwriter kramies a couple times, and his latest release, 'forets antiques', is an intimate live recording from a performance in france. i've always enjoyed kramies' music, which is generally subtly produced, but i think that this warmly recorded live set, stripped to the most basic solo performance elements, shows off his talent for sad, romantic song craft best of all.

you can tell that the crowd is hanging on the performance. it includes one previously unreleased tune, called 'ireland'.

get it here.

james warren - honest man

james warren is a singer/songwriter from minnesota. his latest album, 'honest man', was recorded with a very capable band in storied and mystical joshua tree, california. james has his own approach to alt-country, his songs can jangle as well as they can lope and mourn.

joshua tree is known as an inspirational place for songwriters like james. the vibes of the desert pictured on the cover of the album seems to have seeped into the songs.

get it here.

will mckay - waiting around for bad news

will mckay is a UK based singer/songwriter. his latest album is called 'waiting around for bad news'. the music on varies from loping alt-country honky-tonks to psychedelic jams.

a lot of good guitar playing and weird lyricism is on display. worth a download for sure.

get it here.

david ivan neil - folk cancer

canadian lofi/outsider musician david ivan neil spent the month of september 2015 in charitable way...recording one song per day for a compilation called 'folk cancer' (folk here is standing in for an angrier four letter word) the proceeds from which he is donating to a cancer hospital/hospice center in his area.

not only is it a charitable cause but i think it's david's most charming and touching work yet. the opening track, 'folk cancer theme', details the impact cancer has had on his life and his motivation for this project. read more about it here.

get it here. you'll be getting some good tunes and doing a good deed.

the british IBM - psychopaths dream in black and white

'psychopaths dream in black and white' by the british IBM is an album of solid low key indie rock. cerebral lyrics, quietly funky instrumental flourishes and maudlin moods abound.

with production centered around an acoustic guitar and filled out with touches like cello and glockenspiel, it reminds me a bit of some of the essential chamber folk/indie/pop music that flourished in the mid 90's.

get it here, CD or digital.

anielle reid - better (video)

i've posted about pop-banjoist anielle reed a few times, and she is back again with a new video for a bittersweet break-up tune in the tradition of gloria gaynor's 'i will survive' called 'better'.

it's a life affirming song/video for anyone who is hurting after being used poorly in a relationship and is on to better things, featuring anielle's unique use of the banjo as the centerpiece of a contemporary pop composition.

'better' is available on anielle's EP 'ain't like em', which you can get here.

richard gilbert - i love the night

richard gilbert is a singer/songwriter from texas. in the fine songwriting tradition of his home state, he writes personal, folk/country/americana inflected songs, rich with story, emotion and grit. richard came to playing publicly later in life, and the wisdom of his years inhabits his songs.

his new album 'i love the night' is sparsely produced, with touches of back up vocals and upright bass, bowed at times, accompanying richard's homespun singing and silvery guitar picking.

get it here on CD or digital.

restaurnaut - satan's leg hairs

restaurnaut is the recording name of california based lofi bedroom musician nick dolezal. his latest album, 'satans leg hairs', is available on cassette from unread records & tapes, a cool looking and very prolific DIY label from pittsburg.

'satans leg hairs' has feel of frenzied home recording experimentation about it. there are fractured pop-esque melodies crowded in among moments of demented carnival type music with pots and pans, thrift store junk and toy instruments. sampled conversations meld into anti-folk ballads. the bandcamp tag 'folk brut' is employed and i think that is pretty apt for this album. recommended for a listen.

get it here on cassette or digital from unread records & tapes.

hot glew - contact high

i posted about nashville based bedroom recordist hot glew not too many weeks ago, and he is already back again with another EP (these guys are all so prolific). the new thing is called 'contact high'. disassociative, repetitive, lofi psychedelic drone pop.

one of the deeper-fried sounding things i've heard recently and that's saying a lot considering the stuff i get sent here. i'm digging the plodding instrumental 'away'. between this and his last album 'may i come in?', hot glew is defining a sound for himself.

get it here.

sabrina siegel, bryan day, tom djll, and bob marsh - ocean of lakes

'ocean of lakes' is an album of improvisational music by the bay area quartet of sabrina siegel, bryan day, tom djll, and bob marsh. each of these players brings their own approach to improvising...inventing instruments, playing with found objects, forging music from the intersection of natural objects and traditional instruments and techniques, and simple free improv on traditional instruments.

they brought their methods together into one room and one recording session for the blend that is 'oceans of lakes'. the sonic textures are very rich and unexpected, it rewards repeated listening, if this type of music is up your alley. the interplay of alien electronics from the modular synths and invented instruments with the organic bleat of brass and bass and the occasional voice is otherworldly.

get it for free right here.

dr. something - tomorrow's just fiction

dr. something (AKA alison dennis) is a portland based singer/songwriter. her latest release is called 'tomorrow's just fiction', a 4 song EP available on self released cassette. the first half of the tape is fairly minimalistic and, to quote a bandcamp tag, melancholy in feel, featuring alison's piano/synth skills, songwriting sensibilities, and at times operatic voice on a bare-bones stage.

this makes the tune '91' stand out for it's production; drums, background singing and a number of woodwinds add to the drama of this song that begins with alison singing about thunder. i like the synth-pop action of 'foster nitez' as well, and its subject matter. what resident of portland hasn't had one or many 'foster nitez' of their own. this is the song from which the album title is drawn...when you are out boozing, 'tomorrow's just fiction, till i can see the sun rise'...been there!

get it here on cassette or digital.

a whisper in white noise - sparks in darkness

'sparks in darkness' by wyoming guitarist and songwriter cory newman (playing under the name a whisper in white noise), is one of those albums i get that sounds like nothing i've heard before. the guitar playing blends almost medieval sounding acoustic fingerpicking lines in a series of overdubs for a baroque effect, and a similar approach is taken to the ephemeral, choral style vocals.

the music is acoustic and fairly mystical/mellow, but i would not be surprised if there was a metal or prog influence on the guitar style, with its layered intricacy and accuracy. cool, out of left field music from 'the wilds of wyoming' that you should check out.

name your price for it here.

mormon toasterhead - perfect understanding

mormon toasterhead is a one man bedroom recording project from chicago...i think he is buddies with the woman behind hush muhney, another artist i featured today. i have covered mormon toasterhead before, and i was glad to get another transmission from this prolific musician (check that back catalog).

the new album 'perfect understanding', is a great example of lofi bedroom pop, making the most with what you got, an approach i just love so much. DIY tracks where the influence of the maximalist infinity-budget big city studio wizards and high-order-pop songwriters of the 60's and 70's can be felt. i'm always down to hear from this guy.

get it here.

the big drum in the sky religion - my goddess has a crazy bush 3: all natural

i have written about improvised/incantation/ritual/folk band the big drum in the sky religion a number of times. their newest release 'my goddess has a crazy bush 3: all natural' (there are two others in the series, find them in the incredibly deep BDSR back catalog) is actually a compilation featuring a number of other like minded bands from all across the globe.

bands such as black cum (self proclaimed best band in the world?), skunk coat (radical feminist canadian punk), and arkm foam (NE polymath, the stuff here, mostly noise and drone) appear on the comp creating a diverse blend of noise and punk lofi/DIY sonic anarchy along with the ancient religious feedback ecstasies of BDSR.

i recommend getting this comp for as little as nothing or as much as you're willing right here.

hush muhney - life's work

hush muhney is a one woman experimental bedroom recording project from chicago. the latest album is called 'life's work', a spacey, lofi collection of loosely produced songs that are intimate and distant at once. it opens kind of cold, the first track 'i luv . . .' is a sparse instrumental, but as it goes on, the songs begin to coalesce around their own ideas of what it means to be a rock or pop song.

there are solid moments to grasp on to as well...the mid-way track 'hell is slow' is like a shoegaze/hip-hop jam, and 'lethargy (summer trash)' is accomplished home made slacker punk. hush muhney has a lot of moves and has filled 'life's work' with strange musical ideas of a high order. highly recommended.

name your price for it here.

buck gooter - first decade

if you have been reading my posts here for awhile, you know i am a big fan of virginia industrial punk duo buck gooter. these classification-bucking road dawgs, true anti-pillars of the underground, have been a band now for ten years and for that momentous occasion the luminous feeding tube records has seen fit to release 'first decade', a compilation of ten songs, one from each year of buck gooter's existence.

it's a really fun record to listen to as it lets you hear this band mutate and grow at a metastatic creative rate around a consistent core. the home recorded opening track 'cigarats' might sound naive compared to the deep, don zientara produced, bleak, industrial isolation of their newer material such as 'consider the grackles' (the title track from my favorite BG record) but you can hear the thing that makes this band, a life affirming, organically psychedelic anger that is directly opposed to rot, shit, and complacent-bland-whateverness (to me a very similar psychic vibe as original DC hardcore) from the very first mechanical drum beat and crunchy wave of guitar. it's often been true that if you go to a BG show with 4 bands total you walk away thinking 'i just saw buck gooter and 3 other bands...' if you know what i mean. i'm still waiting for someone to convince there is a more punk band in existence. here's to another decade.

pre-order the LP from feeding tube records (check out the description, better than what i wrote, by frequent BG tour mate j. frye of PC worship).

azzuro peaks/unqualified nurse - whatever happened to syd?/dickheads anonymous

'whatever happened to syd?/dickheads anonymous' is a split digital single from two derby, UK bands i have covered a few times, unqualified nurse and azzuro peaks. unqualified nurse does extremely alienating harsh noisy drumless punk rock, and i think 'dickheads anonymous' is their best song yet, featuring a deeply buried melody and some notable reverby howls.

azzuro peaks sounds nothing like that, falling more in a bedroom psych folk vein, and i appreciate the eclecticism of the pairing. their 'whatever happened to syd' is lofi psych/folk shamble with some great moments of shimmering freakout and loopy riffs.

get it here.

this leo sunrise - adam

this leo sunrise is a dutch band specializing in moody, dark indie folk. 'adam' is the lead single from their upcoming album 'do not always see', which is due out in november. the song opens with a noisy duet of guitar jabs and prolonged fiddle scratches.

when the vocals enter the mix, the sound is reminiscent of will oldham but with a decidedly more goth/post-punk edge. a sparse, dark atmosphere is maintained throughout.

pre-order 'do not always see' here.

alex riggen - safflower

alex riggen is a singer/songwriter from illinois. 'safflower' is his fourth recording as a solo artist but his first effort working with all electronic instruments.

this new method seems to have guided the album down a conceptual road. the songs are mellow and minimal and have a chilly, electronic romanticism hanging about them.

get it here.

john mancini band - rollercoaster (video)

john mancini is an LA based singer/songwriter with a background in the film industry. his latest song 'roller coaster' is is one of those classic folk life-musing type songs.

it's got tasteful alt-country production that picks up with percussion, back up 'oohs' and some dreamy lap guitar at just the right time, and john's voice has just the right touch of room reverb. the video shows the beautiful view from the windy roads that snake throught california's sierra nevada mountains (my guess).

find out more about the john mancini band here.

jay matthes - the light (video)

jay matthes is a singer/songwriter from milwaukee, wisconsin. his newest single is called 'the light'. it's a bittersweet relationship song, set to some upbeat contemporary folk/pop production with a country edge.

the video embodies the breezy, summery midwestern vibrations of the music.

get jay's music here.


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