the james badfellows - principia romantices

virginia based rock band the james badfellows recently released a full length album, available on cassette, but i think you have to email them to ask for a copy. not the most efficient way to sell a tape but whatever.

the album is great, the sleazy vibes channel influences from chuck berry and the ronettes all the way to joy division and back across the dark soul of rock'n'roll, all while not taking it too seriously, or maybe taking it WAAAaaaAAAaaAAY too seriously, i'm not sure. these guys are some of my best friends and a great band so if you can figure out how, you should buy their tape. check out the single from it, 'principia romantices', below.

email the badfellows at thejamesbadfellows at gmail dot com to request a tape.

freddie nunez - heaven's in your head

'heaven's in your head' is the new full length album from brooklyn, new york singer/songwriter freddie nunez. i was excited to hear it because freddie is a friend and his previous release 'demos from the future' was so good.

'heaven's in your head' does not disappoint. all the melodic, sad-guy songwriting chops of the demos are there, but with lush alt-rock production that moves and shakes. freddie handles all the instrumentation except for the drums and his skills as a guitarist are on display. highly recommended.

get it here.

shamar - home and hearth

i am excited today to feature 'home and hearth', the latest album from florida artist shamar, whose debut, 'the samsara blues', i thought was excellent. 'home and hearth' is a departure from the cosmic/acoustic/blues style of the first album. it features deeper production, with lofi synths and drum machines brought to bear at times to craft spacey outsider pop vibes. minimalist acoustic songs remain, however, as well as a reverb soaked a capella opening track.

shamar has kept the dense imagery and lyricism that characterized 'the samsara blues', but with 'home and hearth' he seems to have been able to spend more time focusing on home-studio trickery, to great effect. i can't emphasize enough how great the lyrics are, as well. recommended.

get it here.

north country primitive - new dimensions in fingerstyle volume one

'new dimensions in fingerstyle volume one' is a compilation of american primitive guitar from some of the newest up and coming practitioners put together by manchester, UK based music blog north country primitive.

it features many artists i've covered, and many i had not yet heard. it's good stuff and i recommend it highly.

get it here.

lookout rock recording company - collected: winter waiting

i've written about alaskan outsider folk artist lookout rock recording company before, though he went by different names.

i wonder if his current name is a nod to corwood industries, the company name under which jandek sells his records. LRRC has similar vibes to jandek, although this extensive set, 'collected: winter waiting', features some better produced (still lofi!) and more structured numbers. a returning MFOA champion. recommended.

get it here.

mcgarnagle - phantom vibrations

mcgarnagle (named, i'm guessing, for this dirty harry parody from the simpsons) is a weirdo folk duo from bethlehem, pennsylvania. their music is hard to categorize. they employ a number of twinkly and twangy instruments that are rarely heard, such as tenor banjo, toy piano and glockenspiel, to create a mystical and organic psychedelic atmosphere around their unique melodies, which fluctuate from average folk to eastern swirl to heavy metal influence. the latest album is called 'phantom vibrations'

this is one of those contributions you'll have to check out for yourself if you really want to get it. recommended. great song titles too, such as 'i'd tongue fiona apple's butthole'.

get it here.

baby bear lo-fi - 5300'

baby bear lo-fi is a folk musician from miami, florida. his songs are, as his stage name suggests, lofi, but they are also in a bare-bones traditional appalachian style. his latest album '5300' consists of high lonesome claw-hammer banjo reels and ballads and some great sounding jaw harp solos that give the album a true vibe of the holler. sounds like some alternative tunings were in play as well.

looks about right

baby bear lo-fi must live in the only holler in the greater miami area (i am kidding, i don't like to be narrow minded about the geography of folk music). great album, highly recommended. 'old joe clark' is a great variation on one of my favorite traditional melodies.

get it here.

amit buium - void

amit buium is a singer/songwriter and composer from israel. her new album is called 'void'. it opens with quiet synths and wind sounds that evoke the title. the wind sounds die out as a four-on-the-floor bass drum sound kicks in, followed by the melody, then the wind sounds blow back in. 'void' is an atmospheric album that blends traditional song craft with electronic soundscapes and post-rock explorations.

long-form songs drift through movements like a time-lapse video of clouds. walls of synths build and drop away, drum machine beats ramp up to nothingness, guitar chords echo off into outer space. not like anything i've heard. recommended.

get it here.

farseek - march

'march' is the latest album from one man, ohio based bedroom folk/pop/punk act farseek. farseek has a handle on making lofi songs with big hooks and emotional appeal. there are some excellent guitar riffs along the way.

this guy doesn't like the grateful dead, but i'll forgive him.

i'm into it, but i can't endorse talking shit on the grateful dead. recommended either way. i especially dig the closing jam 'too weird'.

get it here.

c. reider and jeph jerman - pop variations

'pop variations' by c. reider and jeph jerman is a meditation on the physicality of records. it's a manipulated recording of a lathe cut record playing back recordings of cracks and pops that you tend to hear on worn vinyl records...about as meta-musical as you could get.

there are some very interesting sounds that come out of this convoluted conceptual framework.

get it for free here from pan y rosas discos.

wood lake - easy love

'easy love' is the single from 'hell', the upcoming album from ontario based rock band wood lake.

it's a slow burning song with lush production featuring mountains of synths over a central electric piano riff and a chill back beat. the vocals are warm and close and deliver a big melodic hook.

get it here.

ian francis - murky water

ian francis is a musician from baltimore, maryland. his newest song, 'murky water', is sort of an anti-gospel song. it has a big, slow building, charismatic/religious atmosphere, but it doesn't feel holy.

the menacing organ drone and atmospheric guitar line along with the percussion and back up singers give the song serious nick cave vibes.

get it here.

it's chris - third time's the charm

it's chris is a pennsylvania folk/punk artist. emotional, strummy songs with a gravelly mike ness-esque vocal approach. the latest album, not actually his third, is called 'third time's the charm'.

check it out below.

get it here.

ovando - vigilante cabin

'vigilante cabin' is the lead single from the album 'cattle ranching in the americas, vol. 1' by ovando, a montana based band dedicated to the concept of western america. i wonder if they will release a song about occupying a federal wildlife reserve and engaging in a really dumb prolonged stand-off based on an incredibly self-serving and obviously wrong interpretation of the constitution? i don't have a lot of sympathy for cattle ranchers for a host of reasons (ask your average cattle rancher how he feels about welfare, keeping in mind the entire cattle industry, which is environmentally unjustifiable, is completely propped up by taxpayer money through government subsidies), but i digress. forgive me, i am an oregon resident and my real job has brought me into close touch with these places, people and issues.

this song does embody western american vibes...frigid windswept highways where the flying j is a welcomed beacon of comfort, isolation under the massive sky, poverty, loneliness and 'freedom'. nice self-harmonies too. i think this song, and the album as a whole, are an effort to artistically interpret some of the contradictions inherent in the mindset of the rural american west, such as those i mentioned above.

get it here. full album coming soon.

cud eastbound - leaving

cud eastbound is a folk musician from the yukon of canada. his latest full length is called 'leaving'. it's a collection of ragged numbers with some great instrumentation and a punk edge. the fiddle and banjo playing give the music folk cred and gang-style backing vocals give it punk vibes.

as usually with punk-leaning folk, the rough-hewn tunes feature a lot of themes of travelling and hard times.

get it here.

dan weintraub - beautiful empty

dan weintraub is a veteran folk singer/songwriter from vermont. he works in the classic troubadour tradition, telling moving stories in the simple format of voice and guitar.

the set of songs i'm sharing here begins with the phrase 'he was high on peyote'.

listen to more here. buy stuff here.

courtney marie andrews - woman of many colors (video)

in a rare move, this video for 'woman of many colors', a track from the album 'on my page' by songstress courtney marie andrews, was actually contributed by the video director (sam griffith), not the musician. it is a cool video, featuring a kind of animated oil painting that fits the themes of the song very well.

it's a quiet and intimate folk tune about rambling, both externally, across the land, and internally, throughout the mind. a laid back piano and a shuffling snare drum back up the soft guitar and emotive vocals.

get it 'on my page' here.

cowboy menthol - 'til we see the dark

'til we see the dark' is the newest album by michigan based artist cowboy menthol.

it's a whispery collection of lofi folk jams with simple production and intricate guitar picking.

get it here.

prairie wolf - demos

prairie wolf is a heavy rock band from harrisonburg, virginia. their new set of demos slam pretty hard. gritty vocals, ripping guitar solos, great rhythm section, especially the drums. got some blue collar southern rock vibes at play. recorded at hotel appalachia, the new studio opened up by my bros from shenandoah alley.

listen here.

modern folk II and holayela

i release a lot of my own music, and i post about it here. i post my own music here because i make music and i maintain this website for the same reasons. to be honest i don't always work that hard on the music i share.

this recording, 'modern folk II', i have been working on for months, and some of the songs i have been working on for almost 10 years. i put a lot into this one. thanks to anyone who helped and who ever played or listened to these songs.

while i was stuck working on 'modern folk II', i took a break and made another recording called 'holayela'.

name your price for them here.

the pathetic and elegant - slow motives

i am excited this afternoon to present 'slow motives', a new album by baltimore artist the pathetic and elegant (AKA luke fisher). luke is a master of deadpan, velvet underground-esque dark-pop melodies with minimalist, repetitive electronic production. the lyrics are personal and acutely observed.

highly recommended. i think my favorite song is 'and you're still here', which turns up the VU knob by running everything through various forms of distortion.

get it here. also check out the art collective of which the pathetic and elegant is a part, spellabee space, they are friends of MFOA.

c. strom - pastoral underground

another album i'm excited to listen to and to present to you is 'pastoral underground' by norwegian folk singer and 78 rpm record archivist c. strom.

homespun tape recordings of ancient songs, and some original compositions, by a talented and deeply observant interpreter. he covered some of my favorites too, like 'red river valley' and 'the ninety and nine'. highly recommended.

name your price for it here. check out some of c. strom's shellac here.

noah t - the sound of rain

'the sound of rain' is the latest album from tulsa, oklahoma instrumental composer noah t.

it's a collection of dense, multilayered soundscapes created with a blend of electronic and organic elements. i like the subtle hand percussion and guitar picking of 'runaway', it does remind me of the rain.

get it here.

mike benecke - bloodsong

'bloodsong' is the lead single from 'call the waves', the debut solo album by mike benecke.

it's a melancholy song that features an interplay between mike's delicate performances on acoustic and electric guitar, a mellow back beat and a sad story, told in pure images.

get 'call the waves' here.

yes sun yes - the siege of austin

'the siege of austin' by yes sun yes seems to be a power-pop/punk rock opera about austin, texas being attacked by giant robots/aliens. there are some classic rock opera/concept album moves...soaring back-up vocals, huge arrangements, dramatic dynamics, thin lizzy-esque stratospheric dueling/harmonizing lead guitars.

this should probably be brought to the stage in full glam/rock musical form.

get it here.

the holed-outs - split!

the holed-outs are a folk/punk band from st. augustine, florida. 'split!' is an album they recorded in their mom's living room with a few other like minded bands (miniature philosopher and past MFOA contributor al mirabella) that passed through their town.

the holed-outs contribute some high-energy emotional punk to the split release, full of fat wreck chords drum beats, snotty vocals, and hand clap breakdowns. pretty catchy stuff (ya'll know i'm a sucker for pop/punk) with a sweet lofi sound.

get it here.

supersmall - silent moon

'silent moon' is the latest full length album from new york indie rockers supersmall. the follow-up to their debut EP 'this other world', 'silent moon' features some intricate songwriting and arrangements as well as lush production.

the over-all vibe is carefully crafted, restrained psychedelia.

get it here.

brad fielder - field recordings

oklahoman guitarist, banjo plucker and singer/songwriter brad fielder isn't joking around with the title of his new album 'field recordings'. you can hear the soft rustle of the wind and the chirping of birds around the margins of these down-home tunes.

brad's songwriting is in the classic folk/country tradition. his banjo playing sounds like the holler but his guitar ballads are more texas troubadour. brad's music has a profound sense of place, which is a vital aspect of good storytelling. recommended.

get it here.

al engelmann - one million memories

al engelmann is a singer/songwriter from the chicago area. his latest full length album is called 'one million memories'. it's a reflective collection of full-bodied contemporary americana.

the production is rich with chugging rhythms and flourishes for keys and guitar, providing a rich backdrop for al's mellow voice.

get it here.

bradley palermo - lost in august

bradley palermo is a folk/punk type singer/songwriter based in los angeles. his latest song, 'lost in august' is a sad song that seems to be about a temporary sort of love.

the stark production is driven by a strummed ukelele and an emotional vocal melody.

get it here.

queen of jeans - s/t EP

queen of jeans is a philadelphia based quartet that seems to have absorbed the best things about pop and rock'n'roll from a few key decades and boiled it down for their own brand of warm and reverby jams.

the six tunes on their self titled debut EP represent a nice synthesis of garage rock guitar playing and rhythm section grooves with sweet girl-group harmonies and spacey zone-outs. the recording is suitably lofi, with the buzz of amps to be heard at the beginning of tracks. recommended.

check it out here.

pat moonchy and angelo contini - durga puja

'durga puja' by pat moonchy and angelo contini is an ecstatic celebration in the form of spiritual electronic jazz. the music is created with electrical devices, seashells, voices and trombone.

the strange and revelatory sounds heard here are inspired by a nepalese goddess called durga who possesses a dual nature of creation and destruction. like the goddess that inspired it, this music has a dual nature, it can be abrasive and sublime, intellectual and primal, inscrutable and welcoming. recommended.

get it here for free from pan y rosas discos.

gary and the clone - the crowded place

gary and the clone is a california based duo of twins creating emotional indie/pop/rock. their public debut is a catchy, wistful song called 'the crowded place'.

it has some great guitar riffs and i enjoy the drum parts, but as usual when i get contributions from sibling bands, my favorite part is when they harmonize.

they will have an EP by the same name available in march. look here for updates.

orrin - miami

'miami' by new york artist orrin is an unusual style for an MFOA contribution; it's a straight-up, ultra-modern r&b track. it has a laid back, detached bitterness that is reminiscent of the attitude usually copped by drake. the production relies on spacey synths over dry, machine gun hi-hats. a solid slow burn. there is a cool, trippy kind of breakdown towards the end.

listen to more of orrin's jams on his soundcloud.

eli winter - live at thread (video)

young american primitive picker eli winter sent some video footage of himself performing 'hits' by luminaries jack rose and daniel bachman, played very well, possibly in a mall, which is a strange setting for this kind of music, but i dig it. eli is a great player and he does these monumental compositions justice. he also has a remarkable amount of focus despite what must have been a distracting place to play.

check out more jams on eli's youtube channel.

carlin tripp - jack in the night (video)

carlin tripp is a singer/songwriter from boston. his latest single, 'jack in the night', is a dark, reggae inflected rocker. it reminds me a little of when elvis costello adopts a jamaican kind of swagger.

get carlin's latest album, 'back to the soil', here.

crystalline roses with the yankee entertainer - two man cult

it's been awhile, but finally there is a new release from the excellent small label dying for bad music. this time it's a weird and warped take on traditional american folk from crystalline roses AKA anthony pasquarosa, who also currently has a record out under his regular name on VDSQ records. the new tape on DFBM is called 'two man cult'.

among it's spacey, meditative instrumental excursions for various stringed mountain-type instruments, it presents songs by a number of classic american folk artists; a.p. carter, michael hurley, dock boggs, and more. these takes have a time-slipping, droning, psychedelic nature to them. traditional american folk music generally has an element of drone to it, and this seems to be the facet upon which anthony has cast his hermetic musical gaze.

get it on tape here from dying for bad music.

alex culbreth - the high country

alex culbreth is a virginia alt-country musician. his latest album is called 'the high country'. it's a good album to stomp around to. it's got a lot of old-time flavor, but it's got more outlaw country spirit. it swings and saws, sips and slams.

it also gets blue with the second track 'moustache ride'. the band that accompanies alex on the moustache ride to the high country is able bodied and they are able to stir up a hot rootsy stew.

get it here.

tigershark goat - IED (video)

tigershark goat is an anti-folk/rap artist. he only releases his music on youtube, but he has it archived on a pretty nice website. his songs deal with current events, most of them seem to be weekly dispatches called 'instant zeitgeists'. some feature simple guitar music, some feature royalty free beats. check out the song 'IED' and the latest 'instant zeitgeist' below:

check out more here.

forest moon - a northern star, a perfect stone

forest moon is a canadian indie/folk artist. his album 'a northern star, a perfect stone' is available on epoch tapes. forest's music has northern vibes, like the aurora gently undulating above the silent tundra.

his songs are centered around a plucked nylon string guitar, but the production can become huge with walls of spacey, new age synths and string and horn arrangements atop skittering drum machines or pounding organic percussion. these pieces are put into order for in a way that sounds like a mystical north-woods orchestra.

get it here.

phono d'enfant - youth (video)

phono d'enfant is a canadian indie/folk type band that provided me with little information, but their song 'youth' can speak for itself. it's a dreamy tune with that melancholy 90's chamber-pop swing and jangle. i particularly like the warm, sad and mellow vocal performance, which matches perfectly with the nostalgia-collage video.

listen to more phono d'enfant here.

yuzima - say what you mean (video)

new york noise rocker yuzima is back with new single called 'say what you mean', accompanied by a video of him serenading the city from a bridge (an iconic one i'm sure, i just don't want to get it wrong) in his unique industrial/pop style.

i like what yuzima does...he seems to want to craft a pop song and then just mess it up, dump noise all over it. but the song shines through, or is enhanced. this artistic approach matches a strong independent spirit. 'say what you mean' might be my favorite song of his since the first one i heard and loved, 'sex city'.

get yuzima's 'insta-album' 'behemoth', which features 'say what you mean', right here.

the dad horse experience - reach out your hand revisited (video)

the dad horse experience is a german one man band who bills his stuff as 'european music with american roots FOR america'. 'reach out your hand revisited' is the lead single from his new album 'eating meatballs on a bloodstained mattress in a huggy bear motel'...gotta give points for that evocative album title.

it's an ominous folk tune heavy on creepy atmosphere and and murderous imagery, with a misty backwoods video to match. textural mandolin and banjo riffs and slow-ringing cymbals create the loping rhythm. the vocals are lonesome and haunting. dad horse has also referred to his music as 'keller-gospel', which i think roughly translates to basement gospel in english. that works. listen and you'll get it.

get 'eating meatballs on a bloodstained mattress in a huggy bear motel' here.

mars-96 - live appearances

chicago based netlabel and friend of MFOA pan y rosas discos has just released three live sets from eastern european noise rock trio mars-96. this is full blast, improvised free-form jazz/punk.

the band's name, which refers to a failed russian space mission, is not the only thing that will remind you of the new york no wave scene of the late 70's...the joyful anarchy of the sounds will as well. recommended.

get this stuff for free here.

david rothschild - carolina (seems so long ago)

'carolina (seems so long ago)' is the title track from the latest EP by new york singer/songwriter david rothschild.

with david's gruff voice, the driving snare drum and big refrains, this song is reminiscent of classic 70's songwriting like that of bruce springsteen and john mellencamp. there are some sweet telecaster riffs at play.

get it here.

holy andromeda - steam

holy andromeda is a new york band that grew out of a music production partnership. their first recording is a song called 'steam'. it starts out with a hazy, steam-like sound before bright acoustic guitars begin strumming. it's a personal, romantic pop ballad with a folk edge. the production is clean and very full, hinting that these guys have a pro background.

listen here.

devil and the deep blue sea - calling it love

devil and the deep blue sea is new york folk band that trades in stately beauty: tight harmonies, full sized harp, ringing piano.

'calling it love' is a simple, short song but it carries a big burden of emotional heaviness on its delicate wings.

get it here.

ben collier - bardo junction

ben collier is a folksinger and guitar player from the pennsylvania countryside. he creates lofi, homespun songs with a mystical and psychedelic edge. his latest collection is called 'bardo junction'. there's some delicate picking and some unrestrained, heavy strumming trash-folk, maybe even with some jug playing. hard to tell.

ben has a mastery of his minimal recording techniques and feel for getting a personal sound with a physical presence. he also has an ear for folk melody and appalachian vibes, especially when it comes to twisted, haunting vocal performances. i recommend downloading this one.

name your price for it here.

robert kidney - big paradise

'big paradise' is the lead single from 'jackleg', an upcoming solo album from robert kidney, singer/guitarist from the infamous cleveland proto-punk/'aggro-blues' band 15-60-75, AKA the numbers band. i was excited when this got sent my way, as i have been a fan of the numbers band since hearing some mp3s of theirs ripped from an LP and posted on an arcane blog years ago. the numbers band were a wild, boogie-ish, raw, loud, weird blues/rock/punk band and i highly recommend listening to them.

on 'jackleg', robert goes acoustic with his expressive guitar playing and country-blues-gone-strange songs for a more meditative experience. 'big paradise' has an ominous, dusty, desert blues vibe, with the guitar strings clattering against the frets and his voice rumbling like distant thunder. the album has sweeter moods as well, such as the beautiful 'rosalee'. i highly recommend picking this one up.

get it here on CD or LP from exit stencil recordings.

check out this live numbers band video too:

reonda - lightness of being

reonda is a brooklyn based (and born and bred) indie folk songstress. her latest album, 'lightness of being', is available on limited edition cassette from drink more records.

reonda's songs have a melancholy patience to them that is encouraged by her sweetly deadpan vocal delivery and delicate guitar playing. the few production touches are gently atmospheric; droning organs, pieces of electric guitar and bits of percussion here and there. this music is ostensibly sad in terms of its vibes but i experience an underlying joy listening to it. i have to recommend giving this one a whirl.

get it here, cassette or digital.

causings - 4 - hour body

causings is an improvisational music collective based in new york. their latest album is called '4 - hour body'. there is not much by way of explanation about how/with what equipment this album was made, but i can describe what it sounds like.

swells of vibration and electronic hum, bursts of static, the background noise of conversation and people going about daily business, clicks and clacks, squeaks and squeals, twangs on strings and bells and chimes, taps on surfaces. it's ambient in the purest sense.

get it for free from pan y rosasa discos

christine leakey - twinkle

'twinkle' is the lead single from the upcoming album 'wanderlust wishing well' by canadian singer/songwriter christine leakey. it's a pretty wild song that has me interested in hearing the rest of the album for sure.

whoa, nice fox christine

there are swaying, orchestral high-brow psych/pop vibes and glam rock moves at play in the production (apparently the co-producer on this track also worked with forgotten/re-noted psych/folk songstress linda perhacs), and the song itself is a very serious composition that also has a lot of great whimsy to it. have not heard anything like this in recent memory. i recommend listening to this song at least twice.

look here for updates.

dizzy bats - until we die

new york pop/punk band dizzy bats are back with another EP called 'until we die'. if you follow MFOA, you may have picked up on the fact that i love pop/punk, and dizzy bats are no exception to that. i've covered dizzy bats a number of times over the years, and for my money 'until we die' is their best EP yet.

it's got some darker vibes and the songwriting is more ambitious, but the pop/punk hooks and dynamics that pump you up when you hear them are still there. there are also some big riffs going on on this EP. the opening track, 'with you i'm dead', is a banger. recommended.

get it here.

ivan iusco - transients

ivan iusco is an italian film composer and sound designer. he has a new, non-soundtrack album available, called 'transients', featuring ten new compositions.

his stirring classical pieces are cinematic in scope, as fits his artistic background. listening to some of the preview tracks he has made available on his soundcloud, i picture an action heavy historical drama. check out a few tracks below. i enjoy the way ivan combines vintage synth tones with orchestral, eastern inspired strings on 'resurrection'.

get the album here.

sedgewick - gardens

sedgewick is a 'dream-folk' trio from chicago. i think dream-folk is a good description for sedgewick.

they combine super smooth harmonies with an expansive view of folk production that incorporates spacey, psychedelic guitars, electronic touches, mellow strings and unexpected rhythms along with stripped down acoustic tones of guitar, bass and piano. preview their new EP 'gardens' below.

check out their website for more information.

yair ziv - two black crows

yair ziv is an isaeli singer/songwriter. 'two black crows' is the title track from his upcoming debut album.

it's a silvery, sorrowful folk ballad that features some nice finger picking runs and yair's emotionally open singing style.

get it here.

austin and elliott - cradle and crow

austin and elliott are a folk duo from western massachusetts. their sound is focused on close harmonies, guitar and occasional percussion flourishes.

their latest album is called 'cradle and crow'. it's an album of original songs informed by the american folk tradition, dealing with stories of 'love gone wrong and death gone right', favorite topics of american roots music. i really enjoy the haunting melody of the first track, 'rocking the cradle'.

get it here.


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