reid karris - lacrimis de ex arborum

'lacrimis de ex arborum' is the latest album by chicago experimental composer reid karris. i think the title means 'the tears of the trees'. each song is an improvisation for percussion and prepared guitars, named after a different species of tree.

i hear each free/noise/jazz jam on this album as a meditation on the suffering of trees under the anthropocene regime. worth listening to, worth thinking about. the album is available from the greek netlabel plus timbre.

get it here.

c.strøm - home sweet home

if you know MFOA you know i love c.strøm, he had a song on the practice records best of MFOA comp, and his retrospective release for dying for bad music featured in a piece on my favorite albums of the year i wrote for fellow-travelling-website i heart noise.

c.strøm's latest just went public, so here it is. 12 more tracks of his signature lofi take on american folk music, as informed by a life on the remote coast of norway. includes an excellent version of 'angels laid him away'.

get it here.

the moonage shine - catacombs EP

texas based band moonage shine creates music that, to use a very cliche description, would work great as a movie soundtrack.

i normally wouldn't use such a tired way of describing music, but it fits moonage shine, because the sonic textures and evocative lyrics of their washed out psychedelic ghost country jams tend to make you imagine a movie in your head: a slow road movie full of deserted highways, haunted motels with faded neon, abandoned churches and old farm homesteads, all in soft focus. that's what their latest release, 'the catacombs EP', feels like. check it out.

get it here.

sundog - dead stops symmetry

sundog is one of several names used by boston musician jonathan nankoff. his latest album for this identity is called 'dead stops symmetry'. it features some songs you might recognize if you were a fan of jonathan's live album, released earlier this year on dying for bad music. on 'dead stops symmetry' jonathan takes his eccentric and personal songs and twisted avant garde guitar playing and fleshes it out with sparse overdubs. the concurrent parts are often very similar, perhaps a nod to the 'symmetry' in the title.

the music is reminiscent of jandek but a lot more deliberate sounding and oriented around unique song structures. jonathan nankoff has a one of a kind guitar style, which you can hear expressed by itself on another bandcamp where he keeps his guitar soli work. all his stuff is recommended.

get it here.

jungle h. green - eight doo-wop gems

'eight doo-wop gems' by chicago musician jungle h. green is the kind of thing i really love to find in the MFOA inbox. with the exception of a cover of bobby darin's 'dream lover', the doo-wop gems here are all original, mostly recorded lofi style with and air organ, snare drum and handclaps.

there are exceptions, such as 'oh, mary' and 'all my love is gone', which seem to be recorded over other existing songs, making for a spectral, post-modern effect. for the final track, 'you ran away with my heart', jungle enlists the help of a few other musicians and a studio to produce the track a little smoother, making for a gentle end to this beautifully strange and anachronistic piece of art.

get it here.

woodsy pride - live at the all hands house

brooklyn based rock band woodsy pride sent me their christmas album to share, but i have trouble getting a handle on a band's sound based on holiday music so i'm sharing their latest non-christmas release, 'live at the all hands house'. the live setting is good for woodsy pride, the subtle interplay and musical connection between this power trio is immediately apparent.

the music has that classic quality of being tight and loose, soothing and exciting, at the same time, and the tones sound great captured live into a tape machine. there is a timeless quality that lands somewhere between jam band chops and weirdo folk charm. recommended.

get it here.

mr. mom/teflon beast - present tense (raw sounds #3)

mr. mom is an austin, texas based musician who uses his 'teflon beast' bandcamp page to host weird sounds from him and a variety of collaborators. i figured i'd share the latest mr. mom release that was not christmas themed, which is called 'present tense (raw sounds #3)'.

it's a lengthy collection of instrumental hip-hop beats built out of keyboards, drum machines and an eclectic bunch of samples. the samples are listed and range from bach to seinfeld. the beats flow together well, the lengthy collection of short compositions reminds me of listening to a j dilla beats record, like 'donuts'. highly recommended.

check it all out here.

lucas biespiel - tired of singing love songs

lucas biespiel is a portland, oregon based singer/songwriter and violinist. he works solidly in the realm of americana and roots music. his latest EP is called 'tired of singing love songs'. it's a collection of melancholy, blues inflected folk songs.

the delicately finger picked guitar has a dusty tape warble to it and lucas's high, clear voice has a warm reverb, giving the production a late night living room feel.

name your price for it here.

roy peak - all is well

roy peak is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in jacksonville, florida. he sent me a cover of gillian welch's 'look at miss ohio' to check out, but i'm more inclined to share his 2014 album of original songs, 'all is well'.

it features some pretty great, dark, sad-luck songwriting, shack shaking cow-punk production, and desperate, heart-on-the-sleeve, paul westerberg-esque singing. i recommend it. the gillian welch cover is the lead single for a new album, coming soon.

get it here.

the 1957 tail-fin fiasco - the 3 song drive EP

it's very hard to describe the 1957 tail-fin fiasco without mentioning how much they sound like steely dan. they sound quite a bit like steely dan. these british rockers have the accomplished chops it takes to pull off that sort of sound.

their new EP is called 'the 3 song drive'. despite the title, it's four songs of witty, jazz inflected rock propelled by funky guitar and bouncy e-piano.

get it here.

old nobodaddy - gun is coming

old nobodaddy is a baltimore based singer/songwriter who specializes in gritty, twangy, religious revival vibes.

his latest single, 'gun is coming', is an ominous gospel-noir chant with snaky banjo and guitar that flips the script on the idea of the rapture. something is coming back, but it's not gonna be good for anyone.

get it here.

peltier - mitakuye oyasin

peltier is a spanish world/rock band. their sound blends various types of folk music from around the world with the vibes of the american west and an activist ethos.

they take their name from wrongly imprisoned american indian movement (AIM) member leonard peltier. their latest release is called 'mitakuye oyasin'.

get it here.

the menders - where are you now

the menders are a 4 piece band from north carolina. they work with a complex sound informed by the classics of pop, rock and soul.

their newest jam, 'where are you now' features an updated phil spector sound to the band, with big pop choruses and a ragged, soul-screaming lead vocal.

get their music here.

erin pellnat - dream in color

erin pellnat is a singer/songwriter based in brooklyn, new york. her debut EP is called 'dream in color'.

her complex, personal songs are presented in deep, dark folk grooves with heavy rhythmic jazz influence. i especially like the latin swing of 'happiness and blue skies'.

get it here.

isaak salomon - i need you/you need me

'i need you/you need me' is the latest single from canadian singer/songwriter isaak salomon. it's a laid back contemporary crossover country jam sung in a sultry croon.

isaak is from the island of vancouver, but the vibes of this song are more florida keys or hawaii. good if you like your twang chilled to the max.

get it here.

wolfgang michael - my river down the lane

wolfgang michael is a singer/songwriter from germany. his debut self released EP is called 'my river down the lane'.  it's a polished 1st effort.

the songwriting has an intimate confessional folk angle, but the production has some modern/contemprory atmospheric touches from various keyboard instruments. the title track is a nice vocal duet.

get it here.

pulco - chrome toe

prolific welsh DIY recordist pulco is back again with a new one called 'chrome toe'. this is definitely his most experimental, abrasive release to date. it also has my favorite pulco song so far, 'gutted', which i got to preview an early version of a few months back.

his many earlier releases prove that pulco knows his way around a sunny british pop/rock melody, but the only time that faculty is put to use on 'chrome toe' is as an jammed in part of a disorienting collage with undulating electronic drones and stabs of jagged guitar. the atmosphere of this album is bleak and dystopian; skittering drums, cold tones, angry rants, sad, lost horns and deadpan recitations. relentlessly dark and strange. for the times.

get it digitally here, or on cassette from liquid library.

dadala - it so happens

dadala is an international free noise/jazz ensemble. their music is a hyper inclusive blend of instruments and techniques from ancient and organic to post-modern and electronic. several musicians from around the world create music in groups, alone or along with some music one of them already recorded and as the files pass through the cables and the air, a final piece begins to take shape through mingled techniques of deliberate composition, sound collage, and spontaneous improvisation.

the result sounds like extremely open minded free jazz, with sounds generated on a spectrum of instruments ranging from singing bowls to cell phones and anything more conventional you could imagine in between. stunning melodies floating through airy atmospheres trade places with minutes of dense chaos. their latest work is called 'it so happens', a title that evokes some aspects of the group's process. it's available for free on the pan y rosas discos netlabel.

get it here.

farseek - fear of missing out

'fear of missing out' is the latest album from columbus, ohio pop/punk artist farseek. with the help of some friends, farseek, AKA cameron harrison, has imbued his latest round of short, catchy songs with a twangy flavor.

the wistful nature of the country sound compliments the generally lovelorn themes of his songwriting, and the playing is good, particularly the lead guitar, which really walks the line between honky-tonk and soaring emo riffs. an under-represented combo?

get it here.

juliana lachance - thunder dragon (video)

juliana lachance is a canadian folk musician who specializes in a rare ukranian instrument called a bandura, which sounds a little like an auto-harp.

she uses this unique sound as the centerpiece of some psych-tinged freak/folk, full of looping melodies and jingly percussion, that honors the traditions of the ancient instrument she plays while adding modern innovations. check out the trippy, witchy video for 'thunder dragon', the title track from her latest album.

get the full album here.

beloved other - beloved other and the instant chain (a songbook)

beloved other, AKA dayvid mcclung, takes a novel approach to releasing his music via bandcamp with his 'beloved other and the instant chain (a songbook)'. instead of existing as a set album available for download, it's an ever-changing collection, with each track available individually, versions subject to change or removal, with new songs always being added. i always appreciate when someone thinks of a new way to use the platform bandcamp has offered.

musically, 'beloved other and the instant chain (a songbook)' is a series of slow, dark, atmospheric folk/rock songs, centering mainly on acoustic guitar and distant vocals. in keeping with the shifting nature of the release, some songs are subdued demo versions, while some, like 'diamond spring everlasting', are fully realized dream rock jams.

experience it here.

david ivan neil - keepin' on

canadian lofi artist david ivan neil has a ton of releases, and i have featured most of them on MFOA. here is his latest, 'keepin' on'. as usual, there is a deep outsider feel to this roughly recorded, intensely personal folk music. this album in particular has a overwhelming vibe of heartbreak, rendered in a naive art-brut bedroom pop style.

honestly it's not easy to listen to, it's very sad. but despite the sadness, the themes of seasons and life going on implies that for the character in these songs, time might heal some wounds.

'keepin' on' is available on a super limited lathe cut 7" made by austin potter who you might know by the name tapes & tubes if you follow this spot. get it here.

yuzima - athiest (video)

new york noise/pop artist yuzima is back with a provocative new song called 'athiest'. the accompanying video was shot partly in the iconic st. louis cemetery in new orleans, which you might remember from that acid trip scene in 'easy rider'.

'athiest' is the opening jam to his latest EP 'living off the land'. it's a catchy, distorted song about modern problems, with a memorable 'ooooh' hook, a lofi michael jackson move.

get the EP here.

tristâme - grey together

tristâme is a syrian born singer/songwriter who calls new york city home. his latest song is called 'grey together', a eulogy for a romantic relationship that could have been.

tristâme's music draws on international folk traditions as well as the singer/songwriters of the 60's and 70's, making for a haunting, ephemeral sound.

check out the 2013 EP 'common ground', proceeds from which go to organizations that help syrian refugees, who still need it three years later.

bones jugs - don't waste a drop

bones jugs is a whimsical and very tight post-modern jug band from illinois that features a lightning fast xylophone. their music is rooted in the beale street shouts and shuffles and scratchy 78 rpm records of the 1920's, the original jug band sound.

unlike many modern/revivalist jug bands, bones jugs avoids the shambling street corner musicianship and songbook of standards, opting instead for fast, chops-heavy original jams that reference the tradition. their latest album is called 'don't wast a drop'.

get it here.

garrett douglas - garrett douglas vol. I

garrett douglas is a singer/songwriter from atlanta, georgia. his songs are romantic, and he has the vocal abilities to lay down a john mayer-esque croon.

on his latest album 'garrett douglas vol. I', the tunes are presented simply, mostly just guitar and voice, with a leads, harmonica, ukelele, light piano and percussion in spots. garrett plays all the instruments and the album is completely self produced, with unusually smooth results.

get it here.

david stone - sound of a spark

'sound of a spark' is the latest EP from canadian singer/songwriter david stone. it's an intimate collection of concise, personal folk ballads, with simple production that honors the songs.

i especially enjoy the bubbling, finger picked electric guitar, lone voice and sense of place in 'saint lawrence', my favorite song on the EP. these production choices provide contrast to the acoustic guitar and harmonies present in the other tunes.

name your price for it here.


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