c. reider - chew cinders

c. reider is a prolific ambient/noise/drone composer based in colorado. if you follow the cutting edge of experimental music and you like cassettes and netlabels, chances are you've heard one of his recordings before.


his latest release is called 'chew cinders', out now on cassette from the german tape label midnight circles. the compositions on this tape focus on cut-up/collage techniques and changes in time and pitch, exploiting the property of sound that changes when a sample is stretched. slices of vocals and field recordings (notably i hear some trains, traffic and a lot of clanging metallic sounds) are played against an array of electronic instruments and synthesizers, making for some evocative soundscapes that blend organic with electronic, out with in, industrial with human, and past with future.



get it here, free download or limited edition home-dubbed cassette.

davis quinn - howlin' spirits

with his album 'howlin' spirits', south carolina folk singer davis quinn does one my favorite things: re-imagine traditional american folk songs using modern lofi/DIY recording techniques.


davis has a great and varied selection of songs and methods here, from relatively well known songs and expected sounds to rare compositions and experimental noise arrangements. recommended.



get it here.

peter joly - s/t

chicago songwriter peter joly's self titled album is a stately and simple collection of folk songs produced in a homespun americana style.


the cover image for the album, an old-timey paper boy type kid smoking, is appropriate as it juxtaposes the myth of a "more innocent time" with the brutal realities that flow throughout all of time, similar to how the comforting rootsy production of these songs conceals hard truths in the lyrics.
 

get it here.

t.c. costello - when i was an alien

t.c. costello is an accordionist and singer/songwriter from greenville, south carolina who is not afraid to incorporate some sort of vaudeville elements into his aesthetic. his songs can be funny and his performances can be over the top and dramatic, with accents, sci-fi themes and obscure instrumentation. he has the chops to pull all of this off while still making some foot stomping, beer-can waving folk/punk though.


my favorite song on his new album 'when i was an alien' is the trash-talking polka-rap 'your partying skills leave much to be desired'. i bet you can't listen to it without cracking a smile, especially during the sort of hardcore breakdown..wait for it. i've never heard as many musical influences from as many disparate genres invoked with mostly just an accordion as on 'when i was an alien'.



get it here.

katie o'malley - dawn chorus

katie o'malley is a singer/songwriter based in the UK. 'dawn chorus' is the title track from her forthcoming EP. it's a haunting minor key song with airy, organic folk/rock production. droning strings, piano, a shimmery electric guitar and drums coalesce around a finger style pattern and throaty vocals. the lyrics are rich with natural imagery.


katie's singing reminds me of some of the best woman vocalists of the 70's folk rock movement, hints of stevie nicks and linda thompson. i recommend checking out the rest of the EP, due out on the 24th.



listen to more here.

jake allan - when it rains

jake allan is a minneapolis based singer/songwriter. 'when it rains' is a track from his latest album. it's a stripped down alt-country type ballad, full of love-lorn, late night, whiskey-drenched reflections.


the production features folk troubadour style guitar and harmonica to back up jake's raspy, ragged vocal performance, with touches of acoustic slide guitar here and there.



listen to more here.

leroy lytel - whisper sugar

'whisper sugar' is the second album by new york singer/songwriter leroy lytel. it's a sparsely produced album that puts the songs and singing up front.


the sound is laid back, with a mostly finger-picked guitar guiding the way for introspective and interpersonal lyrical reflections. here and there, a lead guitar or quietly sawing fiddle fleshes out the mix.



get it here.

eagle rock gospel singers - lay down low

'lay down low' by the eagle rock gospel singers is a traditional southern style gospel song brought to life by a group from los angeles.


it has a deep, warm natural reverb effect achieved by recording in an old church, an appropriate setting for the material. the instrumentation is very sparse, just acoustic guitar and bass, which lets the gospel choir singing take center stage, with stomping and clapping for percussion.



listen to more from the eagle rock gospel singers here.

j lind - i don't know (video)

'i don't know', the latest song from arizona singer/songwriter j lind, is a quiet, folky meditation on embracing uncertainty. laid back finger style guitar and vocals are accompanied by droning strings and some atmospheric piano.


the song is presented with a video that features the beauty and mystery of the wilderness, juxtaposed with the comforts of a crackling fireplace.



check out more from j lind here.

leo harmonay - the blink of an eye

leo harmonay is a singer/songwriter and harmonica player from new york. his latest album is called 'the blink of an eye'.


the album features leo's original jams realized through some pretty eclectic production, invoking styles from laid back jazz fusion to harder edged blues rock.



listen to more here.

andy mcleod - in the light of day

andy mcleod is a philadelphia based fingerstyle/american primitive guitarist whose last album, 'forge the valley', was released on the always awesome dying for bad music label, which does a great job of excavating as-yet uncovered expressions in this general genre.


his latest release is called 'in the light of day'. it's a beautiful collection of instrumental folk music that includes a number of excellent collaborations by his philadelphia contemporaries, who join in on fiddle, jaw harp, piano, bass, banjo, harmonica, and slide guitar at various points throughout the album. there is nothing i like more than a classic instrumental string band dance song, such as andy and friends do here with 'magnolia one step'. this album is highly recommended.



get it here.

cinchel - stereo stasis

'stereo stasis', by chicago based guitarist and ambient/drone artist cinchel, is not a new release (it came out in 2012), but i did just buy a copy of it on vinyl, and i love it. it is a stunning record, showcasing cinchel's disciplined practice of creating layered soundscapes with a limited palette through an interaction of deliberate choices and experimental happenstance.


this is guitar music that doesn't sound like guitars. experientially it is like hearing a layer of frost over something that has inherent warmth. this is music of subtle interactions and overtones and cinchel is a master of his craft. this could even be a different thing each time you listen to it, it expands and contracts like a living thing. highly recommended, the LP is a steal at $5.



get it here.

monkey warhol - EP4

monkey warhol is a minneapolis based electronic music producer. 'EP4' is (big surprise) his 4th EP. the music is hard to pigeonhole, aside from the clearly electronic means of production. one of the tags he uses on bandcamp is 'electropunk', and that seems like a good enough fit for me.


i like 'washed out', the 1st track on this EP, a lot. it's built on a high bpm beat and a woozy, pitch shifting synth melody over which there is some disaffected, dystopian slacker talk-singing about how stuff sucks (general theme). i had featured MW's 'EP3' awhile back, and 'EP4' has a lot more singing in general. i'm into it, it allows for more of a window into the personality of this mysterious artist. there's even some sort of monotone rapping on the last two jams, 'mama's all business' and 'cat & mouse'.



get it here.

wolverton - wizard land

'wizard land' is the latest album by eclectic texas based band wolverton. their brand of folk rock has elements of chamber pop, and sneaking cabaret/noir vibrations, especially in the dramatic delivery of the dual vocals and kaleidescopic lyrical imagery.


a basic, central sound of piano, percussion and guitar is fleshed out here and there by strings, banjo, theremin and other production touches. wolverton's musical influences seem to range wide, from roots rock and americana to broadway-style show tunes and classical flourishes.



get it here.

brain alexander - mountain

'mountain' is the debut EP from nashville singer/songwriter brian alexander. his voice is as smooth and mellow as the sweet mountain spring water of colorado, the wide-open and free vibes of which he invokes in the pedal steel-touched opening jam 'telluride'.


brian is coming out of nashville, but the production has a light, contemporary alt-country touch. the rhythms are built from a classic shuffling snare drum, and a tasteful array of mountain strings and honky-tonk instruments are applied when needed.



get it here.

john shane sebree - s/t EP

john shane sebree is a singer/songwriter from indiana. his self-titled EP opens with a sparse piano ballad, 'broken glass', which is sung in a gritty, soulful, springsteen-esque howl.


things get a little mellower, but no less emotional as the EP rolls on, moving through a few quieter, folky guitar-based numbers back to a more intense piano piece, 'tell me what you want me to do', and ending on a lengthy, torch-bearing love song. john sings his heart out on this EP.



get it here.

heather kenney - a little more (video)

heather kenney is a north carolina based singer/songwriter. her latest song, 'a little more', is a romantic folk/pop jam.


the song is self-produced, with guitar and banjo accompaniment and some back-up harmonies. it features a solid finger style melody with a silvery tone. here is the music video:



check out more from heather here.

new music from me (the modern folk)

i released two albums this past friday, i would love it if you checked them out, along with all the other great stuff i am sharing here. as usual, the latest music i've made represents in some way the sounds i seek to hear. these pieces of music are manifestations of my deep self.

modern folk III
nibiru

'modern folk III' is an extension of the aesthetic i have been developing over my nearly 15 years of home recording. it's just that, home made music. i'm honored if you listen to it once through.



'nibiru' is my first attempt at ambient/electronic music. it is about a space/star journey, and it can be explained by this poem:

the stars return every night
that we may place our dreams among them


i think it would be great music to zone out to.



all of my jams can be found here, always name-your-price starting at $0. many thanks to graphic designer chris foster-baril for the album art and to my wife bre for being the voice of my protest song 'don't touch the ones i love'.

pet;wolf - dance with the devil (video)

i covered 'dance with the devil', the pretty amazing sole available track from MC/producer pet;wolf before, but he sent it to me again with a new music video i felt like sharing. here is what he has to say about it:

my music video isn't meant to rival high budget short films. it wasn't created to make me look good or cool. i tracked down a real ku klux klansman and purchased the klan shirt. i used an alias, he obviously didn't know that i am black. the shirt has been worn by grand dragon michael mcqueeney. i created the video to laugh in the face of hatred. white supremacy is a joke, any hatred is a joke. i created the video to mock them.

that's that. it's satisfying to see the dangerous stupidity of the KKK mocked in this way. not to mention this song is really good, i look forward to hearing more pet;wolf.



keep an eye on the soundcloud.

special passenger records - keep on fighting

columbia, missouri record label special passenger records has released the compilation 'keep on fighting' to sell on bandcamp and raise money for the ACLU to battle the onslaught of attacks on our civil rights being perpetrated on a day to day basis by the terrible people who have commandeered our government.


if you were planning to give some money to the ACLU anyway, why not get a nice collection of twenty three indie-rockin' protest jams for your trouble? this is a great compilation, and it's not the only one of it's kind...many record labels and bands are using bandcamp as a tool right now to raise money for important causes. keep an eye out for it...get music, raise money, fight fascism.



get it here.

yuzima - resist

prolific new york industrial/noise/pop artist yuzima is back again with a topical anti-trump jam called 'resist'. it's another example of yuzima's personal blend of influences: straight up folk music, lofi noise rock, and high-brow pop-soul like michael jackson and prince.


a good to listen to while you keep up the resistance against america's new and horrible regime.
 

get it here.

jake noel and eric iwanacki - to selah and caroline

i have featured the bedroom recorded, one man jazz fusion of chicago guitarist jake noel a few times before, but his new album 'to selah and caroline' is the first time i have heard him go acoustic. 'to selah and caroline' is a collection of duo guitar improvisations by jake and his friend eric iwanaki.


the opening track 'stream' is a quiet bubbler that sounds like it's title, but things get strange quickly on the second track 'landslide', which features seemingly random bits of singing, passing, washed out moments of extreme reverb that smear the twin guitars into abstraction, and playing so intense it blows out the sound quality. the rest of the jams seem to fit somewhere between these poles. lots of surprises to be heard on this experimental journey.



get it here.

andy vought - buddhachrist

'buddhachrist', the latest release from virginia singer/songwriter andy vought, is a cycle of songs about engaging deeply with the teachings of jesus and buddha, in order to seek a more perfect, syncretic personal faith beyond the earthly dogmas and concerns of religious institutions.


the somewhat new-agey folk sounds of the music suit these themes of spiritual exploration and investigation. the production is airy and wide. layers of synth strings, horns and flutes, shimmering electric guitar leads and world percussion elements impart a hazy beauty the lightly psychedelic prog/folk ballads.



get it here.

michael debarbrie - the ocean

michael debarbrie is a singer/songwriter from seattle, washington. the vibes on his newest single 'the ocean', however, are much more southern california beach bonfire than misty grey seattle skyline.


a percussive acoustic guitar provides the backing for some romantic, laid back singing, which develops into a two voice round in the chorus. this jam floats along nicely on calm john mayer/jack johnson type waves.



get 'the ocean' and more here.

rochelle feldkamp - what was on my mind

'what was on my mind' is the debut EP from nashville based singer/songwriter rochelle feldkamp. it features laid-back but slick contemporary americana production to flesh out a concise set of mature country/pop songs.


rochelle's voice is open and vulnerable, spanning the gap between ethereal heights and down-to-earth intimacy. her singing reminds me a little bit of norah jones, but the vibes on this EP are generally more upbeat. i like the 'country-politan' touch of a banjo meeting a string section on 'all in my head'.



get it here.

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