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Song, By Toad Split 12” V3

Independent Edinburgh label Song, By Toad’s latest vinyl release is a split featuring various artists alongside West Yorkshire’s very own David Thomas Broughton. Recorded at last year’s Insider Festival in Aviemore, the split features a diverse mix of talented musicians from the indi...view item »

Kacey Johansing
The Hiding

Feels too important a detail to leave out that Kacey Johansing was born in a place called Kalamazoo. Beyond that her third album The Hiding is an incredibly warm collection of dreamy indie pop tunes about finding herself after a couple of seismic changes in her life, one of which was the break up ...view item »


John Barleycorn Reborn: Dark Britannica

Metal/doom/neofolk connoisseurs Burning World Records have waxed up this 2CD compilation from 2007 for the discerning vinyl heads. Originally curated for Cold Spring by Mark Coyle, the 4LP box set reissue contains a booklet elaborating on the theme and concepts of the project. That is, the grimmer and seedier side of Britain’s folklore, re...view item »

Karl Blau
Introducing Karl Blau

Introducing Karl Blau? There goes my lede. I guess since he’s already been applauded onto the stage I should just sit and listen with the rest of you. Here he goes, he’s Karl Blau, donning his fine country boy hat as he begins to tribute every Nashville singer he can think of off the top of his head. First up is an energised, new-Ame...view item »

Dusty Springfield
Dusty In Memphis

A few years ago (I say ‘a few’ I probably mean 20) I read an opinion, I think in the NME, that the 10-second intro to Son Of A Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield is the greatest 10 seconds of music ever recorded. It’s hard to argue with as it is very good indeed. Dusty Springfield released Dusty...view item »

Tom Waits
The Heart Of Saturday Night

The second Tom Waits album is still in relatively earnest singer-songwriter territory, but with an extra injection of jazz into the mix. It’s the work of an artist still trying to define his identity, but coming out with plenty of impressive songs in the meantime. Diamonds On My Windshield wears the beatnik influence on it...view item »

Tom Waits
Nighthawks At The Diner

Waits’ third album is arguably the pinnacle of his early beatnik barfly persona. Taking a different approach to his more mannered previous albums, the 1975 LP was recorded live in a pseudo small club setup. It’s jazzy and deceptively loose and boozy, though Tom knows exactly what he’s doing, whether delivering jokey banter or v...view item »

The Ivytree
Unburdened Light

Unburdened Light collects some unreleased work from Glenn Donaldson’s long-defunct The Ivytree project. While most of the tracks on the LP date back ...view item »

Lambchop
What Another Man Spills

20th anniversary vinyl edition of the album that preceded their all time classic 'Nixon'. 'What Another Man Spills' consists mainly of Kurt Wagner originals but with a handful of covers most notably a couple by FM Cornog of East River Pipe. Now two decades on we get a remastered re-press with liner notes by Mr Wagner himself.&nb...view item »

Aisha Burns
Argonauta

‘Argonauta’ is a big sound, but it should be. Embracing music as the catharsis she needed to express the loss of her mother and the experience of a new love, Aisha Burns found herself making a record of terrestrially felt rock music, the kind that intimates the mix-up of tragedy and respite, putting rain and sunshine together like tw...view item »

Stuart A. Staples
Arrhythmia

Though Tindersticks' Stuart Staples second full length album under his own name has references to his parent band, this is a bold move away into to new territories. It consists of four long form songs - opener 'A New Real' is fairly straightforward and begins with his distinctive voice over a slow moving drum machine and dub effects before lovel...view item »

Roo Panes
Quiet Man

He might be a quiet man, but is he as quiet as Jon Krasinski was in A Quiet Place? The answer is a resounding no, folks: Roo Panes sings songs, and no matter how soft they may be, they are nonetheless audible. Like Bon Iver shot through a lush environment and a bunch of pretty intense arrangements, Panes has made a record of emotional fanfare ju...view item »

Neil Young
On The Beach

On The Beach is probably one of Neil Young’s lesser known albums, but it is right up there with his best work. Originally released in 1974 it was less commercial than its highly successful predecessor, Harvest - a typical curve ball from a man who doesn’t like to stand still for too long....view item »

Marisa Anderson
Cloud Corner

Portland’s Marisa Anderson is a masterful exponent of what was once described as American Primitive guitar. Her music is steeped in blues, country and bluegrass traditions, and delivered with an understated confidence. This is her first for Thrill Jockey, and sees her utilising acoustic guitar alongside he...view item »

American Aquarium
Things Change

Following yet another personnel reshuffle, BJ Barnham and his latest American Aquarium bandmates have a new album Things Change. Once again, Barnham successfully got the record funded by fans through Pledge Music, which is nice. Set your phasers on Springsteencore, because “Tough times don’t...view item »

Nathan Salsburg
Third

Nathan Salsburg has allowed five years to elapse since his previous album, during which time he’s been working with Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Joan Shelley and James Elkington, among others. But on his own, Salsburg’s sound really shines, wor...view item »

Twain
Rare Feeling

Debut album from hard working American indie-folk artist Mt. (Mat) Davidson. He's previously played with big names like The Low Anthem, and slightly smaller names like The Deslondes. On 'Rare Feeling' he's performing under the name Twain, and delivers nine songs of gentle, sun-kissed A...view item »

Tom Waits
Brawlers

In 2006 the living legend that is Tom Waits released a 56 song triple album named Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards, featuring all manner of goodies. Now, for the first time, the three albums are being released as separate units! Brawlers is of course the fightiest set of the three, being full of blues and bar son...view item »

Tom Waits
Bawlers

In 2006 the living legend that is Tom Waits released a 56 song triple album named Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards, featuring all manner of goodies. Now, for the first time, the three albums are being released as separate units! Bawlers is immersed in Celtic folk and American country, exploring stracks of territo...view item »

Tom Waits
Bastards

In 2006 the living legend that is Tom Waits released a 56 song triple album named Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards, featuring all manner of new and rare materials. Now, for the first time, the three albums are being released as separate units! Bastards is the most experimental of the three sets, with Wait...view item »

Nick Drake
Pink Moon

Pretty much one of the most beautiful albums ever made. Just Nick, his ever fluid guitar playing, husky voice and on one track, a slither of piano. Listen to it late at night, on the headphones and admire the wonderful natural way the album was recorded. The songs are exquisite, odd at times, soothing at others. To me, the best Nick Drake album ...view item »

Nick Drake
Bryter Layter

Bryter Layter should obviously be in your record collection, and luckily you don’t have to spend £1,000,000 on a crackly old dog of a copy anymore. Island have faithfully remastered and reissued this beautiful thing from the (almost) original master tapes, and packaged it so it’s just like how your Dad would have bough...view item »

Simone Felice
The Projector

You might know him as being one part of competent American folksters The Felice Brothers. Or maybe you recognise his name from the liner notes of some of the 2010s most competent indie-pop (Bat For Lashes, Peace, The Lumineers). Either way, Simone Felice has com...view item »

Judy Dyble
Earth Is Sleeping

Folk-rock singer and songwriter Judy Dyble is set to return with a new solo album, Earth Is Sleeping -- following hard on the heels of her work with Andy Lewis, last year's ‘Summer Dancing’. Former (pre-Sandy Denny) Fairport Convention vocalist Judy has garnered much cr...view item »

Grimm Grimm
Cliffhanger

The new record from Japanese expat Grimm Grimm is a fine piece of contemporary psychedelia. Cliffhanger has its roots in the psychedelic folk of Syd Barrett, but also takes in psych-rock, freak-folk ala mid-period Animal Collective and even a little of the Ghost Box ilk...view item »

Mike Cooper & Steve Gunn
Frkwys Vol. 11 : Cantos De Lisboa

RVNG's FRKWYS series is back to team someone youngish I like with someone oldish I like again. This time the youngish Steve Gunn rubs shoulders with the oldish (but still young at heart) Mike Cooper. These recordings come from a meeting the pair had in Lisbon, taking cues from the local Fado music and twisting it into an airy blues-ambient mou...view item »

Father John Misty
God’s Favorite Customer

The night Josh Tillman came to our apartment. The night Josh Tillman wouldn’t stop eating things from our fridge. The night Josh Tillman kept telling us his conspiracy theories about chemtrails but just nodded blankly while texting his wife any time we tried to talk. The night Josh Tillman wouldn’t stop reminiscing about his experien...view item »

Songs: Ohia
Travels in Constants

Made around some of Jason Molina’s most slow-burning work in ‘Ghost Tropic’ and ‘Didn’t It Rain’, this longform tune was initially made bespoke for Temporary Residence’s ‘Travels in Constants’ music series. As patient as you like, Molina pushed this particular stylistic shift in his career to...view item »

Jose Gonzalez
Veneer

Hello hello. Its good to be back. Clint back from obscurity with a feast of sounds to moisten your ears with. First up Album of the Year time. Jose Gonzalez. This is just magnificent. A beautiful collection of acoustic gems weighing in somewhere between Nick Drake, Red House Painters, and Miracle Legion's 'Me an...view item »

Simon Joyner
Step Into The Earthquake

We all know that Simon Joyner is one of the best American songwriters don't we? Don't we? Well Gillian Welch, Conor Oberst and Kevin Morby all sing his praises and this love of his peers is much deserved. The Omaha songwriter has a dark soul which has drawn comparisons with ...view item »

Crayola Lectern
Happy Endings

Obnoxious psych pop for people who like horns and a plethora of things occuring in the highest octaves. What could be more fun? I don’t know; I’ve never done acid. Fans of gloopy, synthy, past-due future-pop will find a lot to love in this wacky tour-de-force that recalls things like Jacco Gardner ...view item »

Nick Drake
Five Leaves Left

Whether you know it or not, you've heard Nick Drake before. Maybe it's from his other albums, maybe it's from that VW commercial, maybe it's just the sound of that quiet bleakness we all feel when sadness comes to the door and doesn't want to leave. This music lives with all of us. It exists in quiet lonely nights, chilly autumn evenings, and th...view item »

Bob Dylan
Highway 61 Revisited

Colombia are reissuing Legacy Editions of a whole brace of classic Bob Dylan albums, not that they seemed at risk of falling out of print. Highway 61 Revisited dates from 1965, and marks the point on record where Dylan moved firmly towards rock forms. Includes ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ and &lsq...view item »

Iron and Wine
Our Endless Numbered Days

Sam Beam makes intimately personal music that is oddly impersonal. While these bittersweet songs often ring from universal themes, I sometimes feel like they were straight out of my mind. There are songs of love and death ("Sodom South Georgia" and "Free Until They Cut Me Down") simple life and love ("Sunset Soon Forgotten" and "Passing Afternoo...view item »

Seabuckthorn
A House With Too Much Fire

Andy Cartwright makes good songs with his hands and guitar, making spindly and sporadic music in the tradition of American primitivism but with the occasional use of bowing and textural atmosphere -- he's made nine albums, at this point, so it's good to switch things up. On A House With Too Much Fire he implements banjo, clarinet a...view item »

Dave Evans
The Words Inbetween

You wouldn't think that there was anything else to be mined from the fertile breeding ground of folk music that was the early 70's but this obscurity from this unassumingly-named minstrel Dave Evans is certainly ripe for re-issue. His guitar playing is sparkling. He has a wonderful lightness of touch that is comparable and often betters greats l...view item »

Stanley Brinks
Peanuts

PEANUTS!!!!  "I was up to my neck in beautiful girls but I chose you" Stanley Brinks brags on opener 'Sweet Fanny Adams'. Lucky girl indeed. Her bearded beau has perfected the art of writing simple catchy songs sung in a voice that re-configures the word 'nasal'. He is blindingly in thrall to Jonathan Richman and has that travelling...view item »

Tom Waits
Small Change

Small Change was a significant leap forward in Waits’ career, a varied batch of songs that  balance humour and pathos and are full of character. It opens with the mournful classic Tom Traubert's Blues. Then there’s the burlesque romps Pasties and a G-String and Step Right Up, the painfully hilarious The Piano Has Been Drinking (...view item »

Nico
Chelsea Girl

This is the first Nico solo album and a long long way away from the inspired but terrifying avant churn of albums like Desertshore. Here she is in full on folk mode and with covers of songs by the likes of Lou Reed, Jackson Browne and Tim Hardin this is a lovely pastoral work of art tha...view item »

Kathryn Joseph
From When I Wake The Want Is

Kathryn Joseph's debut Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I've Spilled was a bit of a sad corker winning all kinds of Scottish awards. This is her second record and first for Mogwai's Rock Action imprint. Expect windswept bleak confessionals with a warm heart and quivering delivery that soothe rath...view item »

Jon Collin
Water and Rock Music Volume 1

Feeding Tube Records (Blue Sabbath Black Fiji, Thurston Moore) front the fifth LP from slide guitarist Jon Collin. Water And Rock Music, Volume 1 is a more literal title than it may at first appear given that the record actually was recorded on the shores of a Swedish l...view item »

Matt Elliott
The Calm Before

Matt Elliott’s move from drum’n’ bass ’n’ noise troubadour with Third Eye Foundation to dark folkster could never have been predicted but on this his eight (is that right?) solo album he has reached a career high point in terms of his songwriting based work. 'T...view item »

Baxter Dury
It's A Pleasure

Baxter Dury (or his handlers) certainly knew his strengths when compiling this album. It starts in excellent style with four really strong tracks but tails off significantly as the album wears on. Dury sounds pretty much exactly like his dad vocally and at its best the album showcases a smart lo-fi style with archaic drum machine an...view item »

Kath Bloom
Pass Through Here

There she is on the cover tethered to a massive horse. Veteran folky Kath Bloom is most famous for a string of private press records in the ‘80s and for many collaborations with guitar totin’ oddball Loren Connors. This is her first record in five years and it contains a brand of ramshackle folk ...view item »

Neil & Liam Finn
Lightsleeper

Nice family get together here as new Fleetwood Mac guy Neil Finn (Crowded House etc) teams up with son Liam Finn. Mum is on here as well as is Liam's brother Elroy and weird uncles Connan Mockasin and Mick Fleetwood also put in appearances.  No sign of Tim Finn but there's ...view item »

Erin Rae
Putting On Airs

When you write descriptions for the benevolent overlords at Norman Records™, you end up hearing a lot of very loud music. Industrial techno, noise rock, doom metal, someone banging two model Eddie Stobart lorries together for an hour - pretty much anything that measures high on the decibel scale, Norman will have it. So it’s a nice c...view item »

A. Savage
Thawing Dawn

A.Savage is the new name for the Parquet Courts singer who here goes down the solo route inviting such friends as folks from Woods and Ultimate Painting to help him out. We're expecting an album which tries to get inside the heart of love by means of Leonard Cohen...view item »

Robert Wyatt
Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard

At its heart, Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard is an active listening album. What I mean is, if you don't pay attention when you listen to it, you probably won't enjoy it very much. If you're not already a Robert Wyatt fan, I'm not sure if Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard is the best or most accessible place to start--that honour might go to Rock Bott...view item »

Owl John
Owl John

Frightened Rabbit main-man Scott Hutchison drops his first solo album (of sorts) this week with his solo-ish Owl John project, with bandmate Andy Monaghan and Olympic Swimmer Simon Liddell earning co-songwriting credits for the music, which details Hutchison's plans to create public lavatories...view item »

John Renbourn
Live In Kyoto 1978

John Renbourn passed away a couple of years ago, but his contribution to the folk revival of the 60s and 70s means his memory should live on a fair while. LPs like Live In Kyoto 1978 will help, too. This intimate recording is a fine example of Renbourn’s talent as both a guitarist and vocalist. His quicksilver pla...view item »

Skygreen Leopards
The Jingling World of The Skygreen Leopards

The latest LP to drop on the questionably-named Soft Abuse (Grouper, Exiles From Clowntown) actually reaches back into the past. The Jingling World Of The Skygreen Leopards brings together two home-taped albums by San Franciscan duo The Skygreen Leopards. Following a co...view item »

Matt Elliott
Howling Songs

Ten out of ten morose horses agree, the new Matt Elliott album is wikkid. I've heard a few albums he's been involved in before, from Flying Saucer Attack and the Third Eye Foundation to the Drinking Songs album a couple of years back but I've got to admit to never having been a total convert until now. I don't really feel as though I've got any c...view item »

Matt Elliott
Drinking Songs

Matt Elliott likes a drink. I've been informed of this by Leeds indie funsters Hood who are old mates of his & I've heard a couple of really amusing stories I can tell yer. He likes a drop of the demon booze so much in fact he's entitled his latest beautifully packaged CD 'Drinking Songs'. Think this is one for all you mournfu...view item »

Ben Howard
Noonday Dream

England’s Bon Iver returns with his third LP. On Noonday Dream the comparison between Ben Howard and Justin Vernon extends beyond Howard aping the quivering croon of tracks like ‘Skinny Love’. In his own way, Howard has done a 22, A Million here. His experimen...view item »

Sharron Kraus
Joy's Reflection Is Sorrow

Modern folk connoisseurs Sunstone Records (Kontiki Suite, Moth Effect) present the latest LP from Sharron Kraus. It’s a typically eerie set of songs from Kraus, taking in English and Appalachian traditions as well as influences from magick and Gothic literature. With her a...view item »

Grouper
Grid Of Points

Grouper -- or ‘Ghostly’ Liz Harris, as I sometimes call her (although this sentence is the first time I’ve done that, in writing anyway) -- is back with another exceedingly beautiful record. On Grid Of Points, Portland Liz follows up one of my favourite albums of 2014, ‘Ruins’; a record that was born of a d...view item »

Jacob Yates
The Hare. The Moon. The Drone

Back with more cartoon gloom is Jacob Yates, who had a hand in the delightfully named ‘GOTHS!!!!’ record we had a good time with last year. Goths! Goths. Somewhat gothic is his new record of mythic fables, ‘The Hare, The Moon the Drone’, which takes in elements of woodlands ambient, death-march rock music and self-penned ...view item »

Suzanne Menzel
Goodbyes and Beginnings

1981 synth-pop from Denmark, in the form of the one and only album by Suzanne Menzel, self-released at the time and hard to find since then. Klaus Schonning contributes new agey electronic backing to ...view item »

Neko Case
Hell-On

Neko Case has long been eschewing her alt-country tagline in favour of music weirder and wilder. Mixing a primordial understanding of pop music with oblique lyricism and a love of sonic detours, she delivered ‘The Worse Things Get...’ as her best ever record. Its follow up, ‘Hell-on’, is a similar blend of her experimenta...view item »

Music for Dead Birds
And Then It Rained for Seven Days

Music for Dead Birds. What a cheery moniker. They've a 3" CD out on that Rusted Rail, one of those hand assembled jobs. I'd like to assemble some sleeves for them. They look like the greetings cards I make for folk. These folks squeeze 8 songs onto this tiny disclet and name it "And Then It Rained For Seven Days" As i'm off to Scotla...view item »

Good Shepherd
Her Darke Aspects

Good Shepherd is a dude who sounds like Vic Chesnutt, though he’s actually called Duncan Poyser. On these six songs, he frets over folk music and carries it over to a humble 3” CD that’s barely confident enough to exist. I say exist, Poyser; exist all the way. ‘Her Darke Aspects’ i...view item »

The Driftwood Manor
Dominican Black Abbey EP

It’s a while since Rusted Rail have chucked some 3” CDs our way but this week three hit our saggy shelves. Much excitement! And if you’re one of those people who buy 3” CDs to listen to (unlike me who ...view item »

Dollboy Meets Sone Institute
The Sum and the Difference

Dollboy has previously released stuff on Static Caravan etc. Sone Institute had a well received CD out Front and Follow that garnered praise by The Times no less. Here the two artists collaborate with each other, sending tapes back and forward to each other. Actually probably not tapes, sound waves more likely. The result is a patchwork of sound...view item »

Jim O'Rourke
Insignificance

“Insignificance” may well be Jim O’Rourke’s best album. It opens with the magnificent “All Down Hill From Here” which has the crunchy guitars of “Monster”-era REM but O’Rourke’s vocal is much less intense than what Michael Stipe would have delivered. Then there’s the gentle musica...view item »


Paradise: The Sound Of Ivor Raymonde

Not many people are in the position to release records by their dad but head Bella Union honcho Simon Raymonde had a most unusual childhood. From seeing Scott Walker in his back garden to watching dad on 'Hancock's Half Hour' the boy didn't realise at the time the range and influence of his dad. But now he does and here is a lov...view item »

Juliana Daugherty
Light

Who amongst us doesn’t want another Sunday morning folk rock record in our life? Juliana Daugherty’s made the most quintessential of them, spending a day she could’ve described as lazy being sad instead, letting the bare white walls and piled-up crockery gather around her as her lonely apartment becomes the only other character...view item »

Ryley Walker
Primrose Green

An absolutely breathtaking album from start to finish. Many singer-songwriters are currently mining that 1970’s folk/jazz influenced type territory for inspiration but no-one has nailed this sound better than Ryley Walker. The album is the perfect concoction of Tim Buckley, ...view item »

Daniel Blumberg
Minus

Daniel Blumberg. Not a name we now well but he's already played in the likes of Yuck, Oupra and Hebronix. Further selling points are that Blumberg had a hospitalization just before recording the record and also broke up with his long term partner weeks before so expect some pretty raw emotional songwriting on th...view item »

Melanie de Biasio
Blackened Cities

The sleeve is a black and white shot of an industrial area…say Middlesborough. On a yellow post it note the words ‘IAN WANTS PROMO’ scream out at me. However this ain’t no tiresome post rock  - they are elements of post-rock for sure but more in your Bark Psychosis/early ...view item »

Ned Collette & Wirewalker
Networking in Purgatory

Networking in Purgatory is the latest vinyl & CD from Ned Collette & Wirewalker. Evoking the spirit of acoustic troubadours Nick Drake, Neil Dimond and the alternative-pop procession of the Arcade Fire. If you like End of the Road festival, Bon Iver and loads of serious songs from Australia via Berlin then what ...view item »

Paul Messis
Songs of Our Times

Mister one-and-done proves he has little time to do more than make an immaculate rock song and then move on. Opening with the kind of immediacy few dare intro their record with, Paul Messis makes a buzzy, dingy garage rock record that straight-up shreds, quick fixing for rock and roll. These songs barely sound finished, but that’s ...view item »

Richard Edwards
Verdugo

Not, as Ian helpfully pointed out to Phil, the former Manic Street Preachers guy. Now that would be a comeback worth waiting for. Instead this Richard Edwards is a mopey singer songwriter with a horrifying sounding intestinal ailment.  Now that James Blake h...view item »

David Bowie
1966

This David Bowie material dates from before the concept of ‘David Bowie’ really existed. 1966 sounds very different from any of his later sounds, being more of a straight mod-pop affair. Still, these six songs are well put together, a lot more than just novelties. Though it is intriguing to ...view item »

Amy Winehouse
Back To Black

Back To Black was the second and final album by Amy Winehouse. It was regarded as a classic pretty much upon on its release. Here she found her ideal musical partner in Mark Ronson whose soulful production was the perfect backdrop to her incredible voice. Contains Rehab, Love Is A Losing Game a...view item »

Miranda Lee Richards
Echoes of the Dreamtime

"You like this kind of stuff?" speaks Phil with a snark in his voice whilst some lilting country rock plays in the background. Yes it’s true indeed. I like that kind of stuff.   The first I saw of Miranda Lee Richards was the appearance she made in 'Dig', desperately fretting about Anton's latest mes...view item »

Josephine Foster
A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

Classic renditions of German poems that have been previously released and (as some of you may have noticed) have sold out on all platforms....until now! This is a remaster of A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing sung by Josephine Foster with brand spanking new artwork. But act fast because this is limited to 1000 copies and will ...view item »

Tom Waits
Mule Variations

Mule Variations, whilst being typical of Tom Waits later work -- mixing experimental sounds, stomping percussion, jazz and beautiful songwriting, is also a high watermark in his career. Notable tracks include the mournful ballad "Georgia Lee", the creepy and original "What’s He Building In There?" and the gravel-edged blue...view item »

Syd Barrett
The Madcap Laughs

‘The Madcap Laughs’ is the debut solo album by the English singer-songwriter recorded after Barrett had left Pink Floyd. That appears to be the pree release we were given. It is, intermittently, one of the finest albums of its era. Not slick by any stretch of the imagination but full of left field ideas.   ...view item »

Odetta Hartman
Old Rockhounds Never Die

Odetta Hartman’s sound is an odd mish-mash of stuff. It’s rooted in post-blues styles like rockabilly, 50s r ‘n’ b, country-rock and soul, but there’s also influences cropping up on Old Rockhounds Never Die from genres as diverse as psychtronica and future-boogie. It makes the fifteen track...view item »

Natalie Evans
Better At Night

Diving into the Small Pond this evening is fingerpicking guitarist and harpist Natalie Evans. For her debut Better At Night she’s honed a technique of setting tweely-sung indie pop lyrics to much more elaborate guitar and harp playing. The entertaining contrast comes out something like a Kate Nash...view item »

Annelies Monsere
Debris

On Debris, Annelies Monsere shows that there is no reason you can’t put a love for traditional, folk-inspired songwriting and a love of dark drone sounds into the same record. Shunning most of the many illustrious collaborators she has worked with in the past, Monsere skillfully blends her voice w...view item »

Michael Tanner & Sharron Kraus
In the Rheidol Valley

I'm in the mood for a prettiness attack this morning. I want the sound of the Welsh wind buffering the mic during Sharron & Micheal's dreamy valley wanderings and transcendental acoustic musings. That's totally what I'm getting here, this is as close to the sound of nature as free folk gets without being recorded beneath some filched un...view item »

Kathryn Joseph
Tell My Lover

Single Tell My Lover on 7” from Scottish indie folk singer/songwriter Kathryn Joseph, whose debut LP won the Scottish Album of the Year award back in 2015. A tender and sensitive song with all the fragile power of Joseph’s otherworldly vocals and gentle melodies. Out o...view item »

The Left Outsides
All That Remains

Ah I get it. It seemed that I just recently reviewed a the Left Outsides record but that was a re-issue from 2015. I knew they couldn't have followed it up that quickly. As an aside...I wonder what it is like to be in a band with your spouse? I guess it's just easier all round than having to leave the family hearth to go out to band practice wit...view item »

Tom Waits
Real Gone

Tom Waits, as usual, has produced another classic. It should be noted, however, that "Real Gone" is a really gritty, avant-garde effort. The sonic texture of the album is akin to some of the tunes on "Bone Machine" with a tinge of the sweaty grit of the more raucous parts of "Mule Variations" (e.g., the texture found on the rough and funky "Fili...view item »

Sarah Louise
Deeper Woods

Spiritual Jazz, drone, minimalist musician, House And Land member and Pitchfork favourite, Sarah Louise uses her Thrill Jockey debut as the platform to showcase her vocal talents for the first time, accompanying her 12-string acoustic guitar to create a haunting folk record. Deeper Woods features guest performan...view item »

Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert
Here Lies The Body

Look at this all-star cast. Arab Strap's Aidan Moffat teams up with guitar ace RM Hubbert in a super-sized collaboration that also includes guest appearances from Siobhan Wilson (cello/vocals) and Rachels Rachel Grimes on piano. All comes out on Mogwai's Rock Action to keep...view item »

Trembling Bells
Dungeness

I just can't get over the sleeve. Just look at it. Kind of suits the music Trembling Bells make though. It's shot through with the folk influence of bands who also wore 17th century garb and claimed a kinship with days of yore. I'm thinking Fairport Convention. But Trembling Bells are also very psychedelic. You'...view item »

Tom Waits
Foreign Affairs

1977’s Foreign Affairs is Tom Waits at his most big budget and nostalgically cinematic. The filmic feel is exemplified by the forties style epic Potter’s Field and Bette Midler duet I Never Talk to Strangers. It's heavily string and brass laden when the singer’s not mostly alone at the piano, a...view item »

Hintermass
The Apple Tree

Jon Brooks (the Advisory Circle) and Tim from Broadcast/Seeland - aka Hintermass - have released their first actual LP. It has apparently been over four years since their single came out on lovely, timewarpy-designy/retro-futurey /evocative-of-memories-we-never-really-had Ghost Box....view item »

Julien Baker
Sprained Ankle

This is a reissue of Julien Baker’s 2015 debut album, recorded when she was a mere 21 years of age. It’s a very emotionally direct record: Baker just pours everything into her tender songwriting, and the effect on the listener can be very powerful. The LP edition comes packaged with a brand new 7&rdq...view item »

Bon Iver
For Emma, Forever Ago

4AD have licensed this Bon Iver album from Jagjaguwar. 'For Emma, Forever Ago' has been played at the towers a few times this week and I've only just learned that this is a debut album which frankly has shocked me as its remarkably accomplished sounding. I get bits of a less weird Panda Bear at times and Scritti Politti at others. The tunes are ver...view item »

Sufjan Stevens
Greetings From Michigan

Now a brilliant and only slightly bizarre re-issue from Sufjan Stevens. Its the "Michigan" album which originally came out on Asthmatic Kitty but has now come out on Rough Trade (with two bonus tracks). What can I say? This was my favourite album of last year. Its an inventive, playful, tuneful work of sheer brilliance. ...view item »

Scott Walker
Bish Bosch

Experimental pop godfather and widely acknowledged “godlike genius” Scott Walker is back with only his fourth proper solo album since the Walker Brothers disbanded in 1978, and first in six years. I’m afraid that I&rs...view item »

Tom Waits
Bad As Me

It's an exciting day for us at Norman Towers v2.0 today. Tom Waits's brand new LP just showed up! This is his first studio outing in seven years, but Waits is still yet to disappoint with his oft-imitated-but-never-improved-upon trademark gravelly growl taking the fore in these gnarled m...view item »

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