stef silib - 424 kelton ave

stef silib is an italian singer/songwriter that, like many, spent time in america and fell under spell of our musical traditions. if his new EP '424 kelton ave' (named for his address in los angeles when he was a student at UCLA), the american sounds that inspired him most were troubadour folk and punk rock.

the instrumentation is simple, varying from sparse picking to wailing distortion but hewing to just voice and a guitar or two. the songs are emotionally raw and stef seems to be wearing his heart on his sleeve. the EP reflects the 'life changing' effects of his college years that he references in the notes on the bandcamp page. (an aside to artists and listeners...'liner notes' are only dead in the digital age if you let them be. musicians, write some stuff about your album on the bandcamp page, they give you all the space you want, for the album and for each track. listeners, take the time to read it!)

get the EP here.

tonttu - also sprach gnomethustra

saunan tonttu seems to be a concept band whose thing is an anti-gnome agenda. gnomes are those little mythical people with red hats who fix your shoes or something. this song 'thus spake gnomethustra' is some moody, atmospheric classical string-type music with a story spoken over it in a creepy gravelly voice. it's not in english, but i'm assuming it's about gnomes, and that it doesn't paint them in a positive light.

towards the end, the song becomes sort-of a dark metal chant with guitars and drums joining the strings. i'm not sure i fully understand what's going on here.

get it here. you can listen to more anti-gnome propaganda on their last album 'nekrognomekon'.

laurence made me cry - melete

if you follow welsh singer/songwriter laurence made me cry (AKA jo whitby) on twitter like i do, you'll know that she has been laboring over a new LP, which has now become a series of EPs, for months now. finally, we get to hear something, in the form of a single, called 'melete'.

it's less folky than some her earlier work, falling into more of a meditative pop zone. the production is almost trip-hop. it's a moody break-up song, with the vocals up-close and intimate. i like this direction.

the full EP, 'titan's daughters', will be available in february.

wes buckley - eggs

'eggs' is the newest LP from new england songwriter and string-picker wes buckley. his last recording was a spilt 7" with the immortal michael hurley, a living legend who's first LP came out on folkways records in 1965 that you can still see today in a small nearly empty bar with kids dancing in front of him and knocking over the tip jar...sorry, that's my own memory.

anyway, 'eggs' is great and dense LP of folk rock that has it's own feel. wes's snaky guitar playing in both electric and acoustic modes is matched by organs, sparse strings and pedal steel and backed up by a vibrant rhythm section. his voice rises high and clear as a bell over it all. the vibes are refreshing and the sound is timeless. recommended.

get it here, CD or digital.

oreaganomics - some songs

oreaganomics is an experimental duo from chicago. they did not provide me with a whole lot of information, but they have some tunes on soundcloud to share. their strange sounds seem to made from mingled samples, random percussion, radio trash, drum machines and synths, and other assorted noises. there is even some midnight cowboy drug-folk in there. they vary highly in catchiness and style. i recommend a listen. my favorite is 'all thumbs no tung'.

listen to a few more here. they have also released a full album you can stream from tumblr, something i have not seen before.

jordan prince - the parade EP

'the parade' is the latest EP from german-based, new-orleans-grown singer/songwriter jordan prince. it features lyrically dense tunes songs delivered in jordan's high, delicate voice.

the production is simple and has an organic feel, built up with guitar, banjo and some harmonies, with tight rhythms and few embellishments. arrangements like these allow the insightful and touching songs to speak for themselves.

get it here.

transmission club - salt

transmission club is an indie/folk band from cork, ireland. their latest EP, 'salt', is a lush collection of wistful home recorded tunes.

introspective lyrics, dreamy atmospheres and catchy choruses characterize the three tracks. the final song, 'sailing', has a notably huge ending that showcases the band's dramatic powers.

get it here.

jane bang - make a ho rich

jane bang is a nationally successful electronic/hip-hop/dance music producer and club DJ. her newest song is called 'make a ho rich'. it's a trap-style jam that reminds me a bit of dej loaf with less gangster vibes and more living the high life and motivating the dance floor.

there are two remixes you can check out on her soundcloud, one by sami toumi that takes it in a heavier electronica direction and one by illium that's more downbeat and psychedelic. recommended if you're in need of a banger.

website here.

maywoods - mountain's basement

maywoods is a rock/folk band from kentucky. this demo of their new song 'mountain's basement' is a lofi, gently psychedelic slow jam with a nice jangle and homespun harmonies. drums kick in past the halfway point, as does a fuzzy solo, and the song finishes heavier.

there are a few other demos to listen to on their bandcamp. if you follow this spot you'll know that i don't really distinguish between demos and whatever the 'finished' thing might be called. that lofi, first-try vibe is a thing i love to experience as a listener and as a creator myself. that being said, i'd be excited to hear a finished album or EP from these guys if only to hear a number of the tunes in their intended sequence.

get it here.

jesse ruben - this is why i need you

jesse ruben is a brooklyn, new york singer/songwriter who seeks to inspire people with his music.

his current featured tune 'this is why i need you', is a sweet love tune housed in airy contemporary folk production.

check out more about jesse ruben here.

mud pie sun - new swing mood things/two at noon

mud pie sun is lofi recording duo from philadelphia. they actually made 'new swing mood things/two at noon' way back in the early 90's on a tascam 4 track and self released it at that time as a limited edition DIY cassette. now, with the advent of bandcamp, they have decided to re-issue their old material digitally.

i'm glad i get to hear it. glad these guys kept recording together over all that time too (check out this 2012 release, 'wooden circle'). melodic, home-spun, psychedelic, slacker folk/rock that sounds like a time capsule, which it pretty much is. don't worry, you can still buy it on cassette too if you want.

get it here, CD, cassette or digital.

palimpsest trio - stanze

'stanze', a new work by a group of italian musicians recording as palimpsest trio, is an improvised free jazz album with clarinet, saxophone, piano, bass and objects.

there is beautiful playing and inspired noise-making throughout. the clarinet meander of the first half of 'aubade' is particularly stunning.

get it here for free from pan y rosas discos.

blair clark - ring a bell

madison, wisconsin based singer/songwriter blair clark's new album 'ring a bell' took me by surprise as soon as i hit play.

the music is lean; soulful and minimalist with organs providing most of the flavor over a tight rhythm section. blair's new wavey croon-yelp, backed up at times with some nice harmonies, provides an effect of modern, cosmopolitan noir. reminds me of the vibes that can be felt from some of leonard cohen's more recent work.

get it here.

les gruff and the billy goat - s/t

les gruff and the billy goat are a roots rock band from st louis, missouri. they blend string band and rock band instrumentation for a stompin' and swingin' alt-country sound.

the fiddle and mandolin come together with gritty electric guitar and a rock rhythm section. their self titled album is full of down home jams.

get it here.

david ivan neil - several music videos

prolific canadian lofi/bedroom style singer/songwriter david ivan neil has been making videos lately to go with a number of his sweet, ragged tunes. some are new and some are from his 'folk cancer' benefit album. check out the videos below.

these organically trippy domestically situated videos are pretty ambitious for the work of a lone man with a cell phone (he did have the help of his family for the last one!). as david said to me, (i'm paraphrasing) 'it's a great time to be creating things'. download his music here.

jon magnusson - dina drommar EP

jon magnusson is a swedish singer/songwriter. his newest work is called 'dina drommar', a three song EP put together in a burst of creativity brought on by the wonders of some new recording equipment.

it includes a really good version of the heartbreaking song 'the partisan', a tale of the french resistance against the nazis during world war two that dates to that time but was made famous by leonard cohen. the two original tunes are solid roots rock jams. i like the sentimental 'ode to a friend', the EP's only song sung in english, a lot.

get it here.

william csorba - live november 2015

i've written about a good number of texas based american primitve practitioner william csorba's recordings, so i won't repeat myself. i'll just say check out this self-released bootleg from last month, featuring tunes from his last few albums as well as some covers by the giants (fahey and rose).

interesting to hear the loud room shut up a bit when he gets down to shredding.

get it here.

arklight - vows

'vows', the newest album by new york noise/pop/psych band arklight, is also the latest transmission from the excellent georgia cassette label fall break records. 'vows' is a warm collection of psychedelic slacker folk that sound like it was as fun to make as it is to listen to.

detached, calvin johnston-esque vocals take the listener down strange lyrical paths at the pace of snare, tambourines, and reverby acoustic guitars. weird, whimsical organ riffs and occasional echoey guitar solos ensure that the journey is not so straight-forward. classic lofi vibes, another good one from FBR.

get it here, cassette or digital.

kawaii sakura trees - live at funzone 100

kawaii sakura trees seems to be a one man ukelele band invoking that particularly japanese version of cute that is implied by 'kawaii'. his songs sound like children's songs but i get the sense there is some darkness hiding behind the oversized eyes. then again, maybe not. it does appear that he plays in a big mascot costume resembling a dog.

this live recording is pretty lofi but it leaves you with a decent impression of what is going on. this one is leaving me unsure of what to write, and i like contributions like that.

get it here.

koala and the kholes - sheolburbia

koala and the kholes is the recording name of a solitary californian punk/anti/folker. he has a large number of songs available for streaming/download on soundcloud. i'm featuring the first one, 'sheolburbia', which i really like. it's like an extremely slacked up gutter punk take on the theme of jim carroll's 'people who died'. it's very sad and touching and just good. koala's music is simple, guitar and voice with minimal overdubs, maximum feelings.

i'm adding this cover of 'sloop john b' too, i love this song and i love the koala does it.

listen to a bunch more koala and the kholes here.

lero - in sunset a glow glory

lero is an experimental/lofi band from ontario that describes their degree of noise as 'varying'...some of their albums being more straightforward than others. they were not hyping a new recording in particular, so i decided to check out 'in sunset a glow glory', their second-to-newest release, and it seems to fall on the noisier side of noise, at least in that it eschews song structure in favor of soundscape.

lero's guitar

it's not an abrasive noise album though, it has a mellow presence that feels somehow like a dry mist...a contradiction, but easy enough to swallow. it features distant, abstract guitar figures over undulating drifts of textured sound. recommended. the latest (slightly) more song-y effort is 'take home dream', on which the soundscapes at times give way to spectral folk meditations.

get it all here.

kidd - hotchpotch

'hotchpotch' is the latest in a deep catalog of DIY recordings by glaswegian artist kidd, who has gone by various other names over the years.

all that experience shows. 'hotchpotch' is a confident and sunny set of stately psych-pop jammers, in the great british psychedelic pop tradition. laid back, mysterious, and highly recommended. full of subtle instrumental touches that make you think twice.

get it here.

brandon callies band - there's a killer down in texas

brandon callies band is an austin, texas based rock band. their newest album is called 'there's a killer down in texas'. it seems to be a bit of a concept album, as evidenced by a few bits of expository sampled conversation.

it's a heavy rocker surrounded by an air of southwestern menace. bluesy riffs drive the story forward, pop-punk choruses drive the point home.

get it here.

josh gray - the outlaw

josh gray is a singer/songwriter from maryland. he's just put together a debut EP of his songs. he works in a tried and true troubadour style. percussive alternating bass note guitar picking and tales of criminals, vagabonds, love and the road sung in a gravelly voice.

check out the track 'the outlaw' from the debut EP.

get the EP here.

justin sawicki - upsala trees

justin sawicki is a singer/songwriter from ontario. his debut album 'upsala trees' is due out soon. you can stream the title track as a sample.

it's a roots-rock stomp that features some strong harmonies, reveling in the mysteries of his northern homeland.

get the album here.

c.m. slenko - royal blue days

it's been a long time since i've heard from fellow traveler c.m. slenko, proprietor of sioux trails records and full-on understander of what i'm trying to do here. needless to say i was pumped to get his new collection of songs, 'royal blue days', a mix culled from all his recording experiments made over the past year, during which he was mostly occupied with other stuff.

there is a wide variety of sounds and styles here, it's best to listen to this lengthy album a few times to absorb it all, from it's atmospheric no-wave to it's mountain folk. c.m. slenko's albums are autobiographical. 'let this record serve as the chronicle of a year'. a top recommendation.

name your price for it here.

anda volley - my flawless computerized mind

anda volley is a boston musician who combines songwriting and the creation of electronic soundscapes in the creation of her music for a result that is part ambient drone, part experimental electronica, and part industrial dirge.

the nearly 9 minute featured track 'butterfly melt', from her latest album 'my flawless computerized mind', leads heavily with the experimental and ambient aspects of her sound. this album is recommended for fans of the industrial noise luminaries of the late 70's.

get the album here. check out a video for 'butterfly melt' below.

field medic - light is gone

'light is gone', the new cassette from lofi singer/songwriter field medic (kevin patrick), lives up to the resignation implied by it's title. it's a lonely and shambolic guitar and drum machine type thing that achieves a level of depth and charm that lets you know it came out of times at least somewhat difficult.

some of the more drum machine heavy songs take on an almost soul-like feel, with kevin pushing his voice to hit some wobbly slacker high notes. i especially like 'NEON FLOWERZ' for that vibe.

get it here.

anna wallis - pop abuse

'pop abuse' is a 7" by singer/songwriter anna wallis available on portland, oregon label one horse records.

the title track reminds me a little bit of 'marie provost' by nick lowe, in that it takes a heart-wrenching topic delivered in really frank lyrics but wraps it in the package of a catchy, upbeat, well written pop song. the b-side, 'on the boat', accomplishes a similar trick. i recommend this one highly.

get it on vinyl from one horse records.

shelly rollison - mountains

shelly rollison is a singer/songwriter from denver, colorado. on her debut EP 'mountains', she shows off some folk and blues singing moves amid minimal production, just an acoustic or electric guitar with the occasional accent vocal harmony or mournful guitar solo.

shelly nailed a great tone for her electric guitar on this recording, highlighting her stark playing style.

get it here.

leah rg - narrow belt of bay

'narrow belt of bay' is the debut recording by philadelphia singer/songwriter leah rg. it's a mystical sounding collection of instrospective folk songs characterized by leah's glassy voice.

the full folk rock production has earthly spirituality to it.

get it here.

herve perez and andre darius - the bridge EP

'the bridge EP' by herve perez and andre darius is an experimental jazz album that seems to be an extended meditation on the theme of bridges.

the first variation on that theme i see is the bridge between musicians improvising together, then the bridge between spaces in time inherent in the recording process (i think but i'm not totally sure that some overdubs were involved in this recording), the bridge between the artists and the listener that the album and it's modern means of distribution could go on and on.

get it here for free.

zero disorder - a warm fuzzy feeling

zero disorder is a one man band/solo recording project from boston. dark, lonely, lofi, home-made punk. the newest thing, 'a warm fuzzy feeling', is great.

the sense of melody in the riffs and vocals is strong and it grows across the three songs, from the hardcore anger of the title track through the weird guitar line of 'basement', coming fully formed in the final track, 'drown', a pop punk jammer longer than the other two songs combined. this one is very much worth your time.

get it here. i recommend checking out the back catalog too.

merigold - songs and reality

merigold is an alt-country band from denmark. their new album 'songs and reality' is collection of western tinged weepers, with sighing pedal steel and that high lonesome sound rendered in a danish accent.

all sorts of serious country moves are on display on this album, banjo pickin' harmonies and loping bass lines, but a northern darkness prevails.

get it here on CD, LP or digital.

jenny gillespie - cure for dreaming

jenny gillespie is a singer/songwriter based in california. her new album 'cure for dreaming' will be available in january. her songs are hard to describe or categorize, she seems to have a style all her own, though i guess it would float around the island of alt-country or contemporary folk.

the production is cool, it has a loose, well rounded, jazzy feel with a lot of subtle accents. the lyrics are right there too, saying a lot without saying too much, keeping that mystery around.

get it here; LP, CD, MP3.

wood bois - sex playlist

buffalo band wood bois is a synth-pop comedy duo that seems to be inspired by the 80's/90's consumer-crap-culture-pastiche and anti-comedy of the likes of tim & eric (of which i am a huge fan).

the bois are not one trick ponies though, while a tune like 'razor scooterz' contains that anti-comedy vibe, some of the other tracks seem to be more loving, straight forward parodies of those high-school-movie-soundtrack-ready dramatic synth-pop tunes we know so well.

get it here.

unqualified nurse - put it on the line

i have covered a lot of releases by avant/punk/noise band unqualified nurse, because their approach lends itself to being prolific. their songs are short blasts of drumless, isolated, abrasive rage, made to be consumed quickly, and depending on your taste, over and over or likely never again.

i didn't realize until just now that there were two people in this band

their newest thing, 'put it on the line', is, i think, their longest yet, and in some ways the tightest and most accessible, though it does not stray from their style. it just has a few more recognizable riffs than usual. give it a listen.

get it here.

the wandering lake - from james' garden

the wandering lake is an arkansan singer/songwriter/folk project. it's a one man affair, but the new album 'from james' garden' features some low key production, giving it hazy psychedelic vibes that range from pretty to unsettling. the over-all mood is dark and mysterious.

the guitar playing is cool, featuring some interesting, woozy bends and runs that set it apart from average troubadour strumming.

name your price for it here.

the shadow folk - the shadow folk/sunny beaches split LP

the shadow folk are a psych band from halifax, nova scotia. on their side of 'the shadow folk/sunny beaches split LP' they deal in shiny psych pop full of big harmonies, tight rhythms and organ hooks. they seem to be masters of that paisley punch.

unfortunately their band name is giving me flashbacks to that terrifying documentary the nightmare. luckily these shadow folk are more blissed-out than terrifying. float away on the technicolor clouds of their melodies.

get it here, LP, cassette or digital. enjoy the sunny beaches side too!

hotbreath tea & the invisible branches - closer to avondale

'closer to avondale' is the newest single from chicago area jangle-rockers hotbreath tea & the invisible branches. it's crisp and sunny like a winter morning, with just a slight hangover.

as usual hotbreath tea's melodic power pop moves are on full display.

get it for free here.

c. scott and the beltones - floored and bored: a collection of songs

'floored and bored: a collection of songs' feels like a very appropriate title for these extremely lofi rants and raves from pennsylvanians c. scott and the beltones.

embedded in enough slacker crust that they would feel at home on a really early guided by voices record, these tracks none-the-less allow some melodies and their points of view to leak through. unlike GBV, many of these songs are over the 4 minute mark. 'floored and bored' is a lengthy but worthwhile listen.

name your price for it here.

aerialists - deep toque (video)

aerialists are a canadian band that self identify as 'prog-trad', combining progressive pop and post-rock moves with the reels and melodies of traditional fiddle music. they also include a harp in the band.

the music is, as you might expect from that description, soaring and graceful, drawing deeply on the modern and the ancient to create rich swells of sound. check out the video for their single 'deep toque' below.

check out more right here.

robby fisher - dogtown

'dogtown' by robby fisher is a collection of lofi, reverb and fuzz covered 4-track tascam cassette rock'n'roll from the frozen wastes of grand rapids, michigan.

it's a slammin' set that includes a few covers, including the ubiquitous 'tainted love' by soft cell and the taylor swift hit 'trouble'. good thing taylor is probably too busy to check bandcamp and enforce her copyrights! not sure how busy the guys from soft cell out robby! i really dig the mellow closing track 'friendly plant salesman'...wonder what that one is about?

get it here on a home-made cassette or digital.

dustbin flowers - my little world (video)

dustbin flowers are a rock'n'roll band from london, ontario. their new song is called 'my little world' and they have crafted a music video to accompany it's debut.

big choruses and harmonized riffs abound.

check out more here.

closer to home - s/t

closer to home is a new jersey singer/songwriter duo that trades on the time-tested method of intimate man-woman harmonies and simply produced personal folk songs.

their self titled debut album is a nice collection of their tunes recorded in their home studio. there are a few upbeat folk/rockers with drums and bass mixed in with the quieter moments.

get it here.

pc worship - basement hysteria

'basement hysteria', the new EP from uncomprimising brooklyn band/collective/recording project pc worship is an album of subterranean melodies rising from a substrate of inspired and unhinged improvisation and musique concrete trips. if you thought the rough edges were going to continue to smooth out on pc worship after their relatively accessible noise/grunge monster 'social rust', you are wrong, but they have made another stride in perfecting their balance between nihilistic dark free jazz and doomed rock'n'roll beauty.

the opening track, 'done', starts with desolate piano, tense feedback, skronking horns and urban noise. stumbling drums introduce the pounding, creeped-out rock song that was apparently inherent in the momentum of the introductory jam. but that squealing feedback never goes away. the track you can preview for now, 'my lens', begins with an extended pounding rock dirge that gives way to a fucked up, de-tuned country blues stomp from another, weirder dimension. an electric guitar hangs out feeding back in the background though because that's all coming back. like everything by pc worship, i recommend this highly.

it's out tomorrow on northern spy records. pre-order it here.

the modern folk - live alone live alone

another thing from me, who cares, right? next in the series of live recordings i have been throwing out, 'live alone live alone' is a live solo thing recorded on an old dictaphone cassette machine.

reeeeaaaal lofi drum machine/no wave/punk versions of the same songs i've been recording and 'cover art' that i ripped off from john fahey.

get it here.

volcano radar duo - electro parables

volcano radar duo is an international (america and uruguay) collaboration that could maybe best be described as ambient free jazz. the lengthy improvisations that make up their new album 'electro parables' lack percussion and depend instead on a glacial movements from effects-laden guitars to create subtle textures over which a variety of horns and other string and electronic instruments can have dialogues.

real space jazz. check out the gabriel garcia marquez inspired song '200 years of solitude' as a preview.

get it here free from pan y rosas discos.

marcus eads - spirit river banjo

minnesotan string picker marcus eads has moved from guitar to banjo for his meditative new album 'spirit river banjo'. it's a great set of rippling, winding, landscape inspired solo old-time banjo pieces that drift by like a leaf on a lazy river.

the reels and drones are generally short and sweet, creating and effect where the primal melodies blend into one another.

'spirit river banjo' is available on self released cassette or digital here.

fuzz ghost - s/t EP

on his self titled debut EP, nashville artist fuzz ghost follows in the footsteps of the likes of wavves and creates hazed-up surf/psych/garage jams all alone in his room.

the EP is packed full of sun-in-your-eyes melodies and riffs. the closing track 'sunshine' has some heavy psychedelic blues shredding.

the EP is available now in cassette form from ongakubaka records. get it here.

coin locker kid - empathica

empathica by coin locker kid is an introspective journey of fractured minimal electronica and isolated, solitary hip-hop. the spaces this music occupies are distant and claustrophobic at once.

the lyrics are strange, image-heavy and complex, as are the themes that run in and out of the album. this one stands out and you will uncover more on repeat listens. it has a hallucinatory and disassociative feel.

get it here.

yuzima - tracy chapman (no)

new york noise/folk/pop/rocker yuzima had a negative encounter with one of his heroes, tracy chapman, and wrote a song about it. he asked her if they could take a selfie together and she said no.

not a selfie

the song is actually a tracy chapman-esque folk-pop song rendered in distorted guitars and distant drum machines. it's a diss track and a homage at the same time. it's weird and good, like all of yuzima's songs.

listen to more yuzima here.

james clark hangover - maria (video)

james clark hangover is the band of toronto singer songwriter david clark. his new single is called 'maria', a wry power-pop jam with a moody black and white video to match.

find out more about james clark hangover here.

chuck perrin - the yearn

chuck perrin is a singer/songwriter and the proprietor of a performance space in san diego. his latest album is called 'the yearn'. this set of topical modern rock tunes starts with lyrical gauntlet being thrown down...'it's an asshole world'.

hard to argue with that in many ways. the production on 'the yearn' reminds me of the late career styles of great 60's singer/songwriters in a comforting way...smooth guitars, funky bass, heavy drums, gospel singers. good stuff. here's a youtube playlist of the album for a preview.

you can get a copy from chuck's website.


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