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Chelsea Wolfe
Abyss

Chelsea Wolfe uses her fifth album to plumb the depths of the subconscious, via the medium of music that alternates between her intimate, close mic-ed murmurs and crashing heavy rock action. There is a strong sense of purpose in Abyss’ brutal contrasts: Wolfe has made a very good record here. On S...view item »

Bert Jansch
Live At The 12 Bar

Live At The 12 Bar finds Bert Jansch in fine form, recorded back in 1995 at a small London club. After a lengthy career (including as a founding member of Pentangle), Jansch is, quite rightly, a highly respected artist, and this collection gives a fifteen-track insight into his position...view item »

David Vandervelde
Waiting For The Sunrise

Waiting For The Sunrise is David Vandervelde's second album and was released in 2008. Whilst the '70s influences of his debut album "The Moonstation House Band" are still there, the comparisons to T-Rex aren't so much. This has more of a smooth country rock vibe with the occasional fleck of Yacht Rock. The songs are more straight forward, lack t...view item »

Throw Me The Statue
Moonbeams

I really dig this CD for its diversity. It's got some great lo-fi pop songs that are catchy but never repetitive or overly simplistic. It also has some great rock tunes where they really get it going on the guitar. The tracks are polished enough that you don't have to be an indie rock nerd to enjoy it on a first listening but it's also layered enou...view item »

Owl & Mouse
Departures

With the sweet Australian voice of Hannah Botting, Owl & Mouse are treating us to another album. Gentle pop songs emerge from careful orchestrations on Departures, the band featuring an expanded cast of musicians. A great record for when you really need to bury your melancholy. Or for when you like pretty songs, of ...view item »

Jason Steel
The Weight of Care

Now this guy produces a sweet take on his chosen genre, one that resides in that dusty old field over yonder ie. alt. country/Americana. He’s from Sheffield, erm, Steel City is this laddie and this is the follow-up to 2010’s ‘Fire Begot Ash’. ...view item »

Hannah Peel
Rebox 2

Rebox is the title that Hannah Peel gives to her series of cover EPs, in which her voice and a small hand-cranked music box are the primary instruments. John Grant, Perfume Genius, East India Youth and Wild Beasts provide the songs covered on Rebox ...view item »

Sharon Van Etten
I Don't Want To Let You Down EP

One of those nice, tidy little clear-up releases from Sharon Van Etten here on Jagjaguwar. I Don’t Want To Let You Down follows up her Are We There album from last year with five tracks not on that album, forming a rather good little EP, with all the Van Etten hallmarks pleasingly pleasan...view item »

Mishka Shubaly
Coward’s Path

A quite stunningly personal album here from Mishka Shubaly, who delves deep into his own life to bring to bear his own experience of alcoholism. The Coward’s Path indeed. This constitutes pretty potent material, although to his credit Shubaly ensure the record is not a one-note affair, often as co...view item »

Paul Weller
Going My Way

Going My Way is a single taken from Paul Weller’s latest album, Saturn’s Pattern, jaunting along between tender quiet piano-led parts and bouncier bits. He even gets a small choir to join in towards the end. The B-side, ‘I Spy’, is exclusive to this release, not appearing on the album. 7...view item »

Frank Turner
Positive Songs For Negative People

Positive Songs For Negative People is album number six from singer/songwriter Frank Turner. Once again he is backed by his trusty sidekicks The Sleeping Souls. He recorded the album in Nashville with producer Butch Walker at the controls. Like his best work, Turner tells tales of people winning aga...view item »

The Singing Skies
Routine & War

With Status Quo giving exclusivity to Tesco for their new album it's a tough time for the sort of record shops that attempt to stock things that aren't the Girls Aloud comeback tour CD and make up bag box set. The Singing Skies are not Status Quo and the ...view item »

SixToes
Trick of The Night

This Sixtoes CD on Toe Music is lovely. It's called Trick of The Night and it's a CD only affair. Immediately you'll be struck in the face with a high pitched warbly voice you'll either love or hate. It's one of those voices which will either make or break the CD for you. Unusually for me (as I pretty much hate the human voice and everyone who has ...view item »

Matthew Sawyer & The Ghosts
Blue Birds Blood

Matthew Sawyer and The Ghosts have a CD out on the fine Stolen Recordings label called 'Blue Birds Blood'. Apparently this dude played drums in the TV Personalities.... hey he has my vote already. This is some nice anti folk type gear along the lines of what Jeffrey Lewis was doing a few years back.... along with some Daniel Johnston isms (more of ...view item »

Andy Robbins
Two Horses

Yesterday we listened to a promo of the new Venetian Snares 12" and it was well funny. It's called 'Horsey Noises' but Andy Robbins' CD on We Like Danger is called Two Horses. Hopefully they're making horsey noises though? Andy Robbins doesn't specify if that's the case but he does sing some nicely understated Americana-ish songs which are soo...view item »

Calexico / Iron and Wine
In The Reins

A decade ago, the indie-sphere’s two favourite purveyors of folk-country-americana, Calexico and Iron & Wine, teamed up for In The Reigns, a half-hour collaborative EP. The harmonies that the singers collectively conjure up are marvelous, and the arrangements sound like a band who’ve kno...view item »

Reigns
The House On The Causeway

'The house on the causeway' is the new long player from Reigns and the follow up to 'We lowered the microphone into the ground' which saw the band recording in a 'seemingly bottomless' hole in the sommerset downs and “Styne Vallis”, which was recorded in and around a submerged village that had been evacuated and strategically flooded in...view item »

Puerto Muerto
Stars

What we need are more labels that put out what the heck they like. Fire are one of those and for that we are grateful. This Puerto Muerto thing they've unleashed is pretty interesting. Again Black Heart Procession springs to mind but there's a lady singing so there's a bit of Tarnation in ...view item »

Puerto Muerto
Crimson Beauty

Oh this is much better! Puerto Muerto have a smashing CD single out on Fire called 'Crimson Beauty', a rambling country sing along that makes me wanna kick back & enjoy a bottle of Jack Daniels & a broad. Fire records tend the bar....view item »

The Phoenix Cube
Walking The Shore

More experimentation from The Phoenix Cube with Walking the Shore. Quite fitting then as waves of sound flood the office with twinkly piano and alien sounds that sound like they come from the bbc's Clangers. hypnotic beats and deep bass have now entered the sound wall.... ...view item »

Peter Wolf Crier
Inter-Be

Peter Wolf Crier are a Minneapolis-based songwriting team composed of Peter Pisano (Wars Of 1812) and Brian Moen (Laarks and Amateur Love). They play a stripped down version of classic Americana style rock in the vein of other North Midwest groups like Bon Iver and Volcano Choir. Pisano's voice has a distinct clarity to it that is instantly appe...view item »

Youth Lagoon
Wondrous Bughouse

Trevor Powers’ second outing for Fat Possum Records ‘Wondrous Bughouse’ is a queasy but fantastical listen. Wobbly psych-pop is the order of the day here, songs like ‘Attic Doctor’ and ‘Pelican Man’ have elements of ‘60s ‘Sergeant Pepper...view item »

Mystic Chords of Memory
Mystic Chords of Memory

Rough Trade have a couple of newies out this week. The 1st 'un is by Mystic Chords of Memory and it's rather lovely summery psyche/ folk lo fi pop. I reckon this will appeal to fans of the Elephant 6 stable as well as The Earlies and that kind of thing. Pretty stuff indeed.......view item »

Areski / Brigitte Fontaine
Je Ne Connais Pas Cet Homme

Superior Viaduct dropping another vintage '70s reissue, this time Je Ne Connais Pas Cet Homme (I do not know this man). The 42 year old collaboration between Areski and Brigitte Fontaine represents the French avant-garde at its finest, using haunting vocal harmonies and sparse instrumentation t...view item »

Peter Moren
The Last Tycoon

What I do know about Peter Moren is he's partly responsible for Young Folks, the classic Swindie disco hit. I don't know why he's chosen to follow such boombastic brilliance with a solo album that sounds like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan & John Lennon headbutting each other in the face. But it's really well put together & the songs are of good ...view item »

Misophone
Another Lost Night

The artwork that adorns Bristol / Carlisle duo Misophone’s umpteenth home-recorded offering is really lovely. Beautiful muted browns and reds whisper tales of years gone by from a tasteful gatefold matt sleeve… aaaah. It’s the sort of sexy, quality-oozing packaging you want to fondle lingeringly as you slip...view item »

Cerys Matthews
Baby It's Cold Outside

Right, don’t get me wrong, I like Cerys Matthews, I like her singing voice, I like her speaking voice, I like her radio show and I sort of fancy her in the way you used to sort of fancy your friends mum when you were 9. I have absolutely no idea what she is doing here but I sincere...view item »

Willy Mason
Carry On

"Carry on" sees a more grown up Willy Mason, but he still has his slacker drawl. "What Is This" is a pleasant and slightly dreamy opener. "Pick Up Truck" is fairly typical of Willy Mason's sound, melodic and musically relatively upbeat. "Restless Fugitive" is more experimental than we've come to expect, clocking in at over six minutes, a song th...view item »

The Lost Cavalry
Waves Freeze to Rolling Hills

This is really quite nice, this EP. The singer dude's voice has a distinct air of Zach Condon about it, not as heart wrenchingly dramatic but emotive & affecting nevertheless. The first track is a fantastically lush, twinkly indie-folk number. Something about it reminds me of The Miserable Rich but I may be wrong? As the EP progresses you ge...view item »

Current 93
Black Ships Heat The Dancefloor

The tracks are destined, as the title suggests, strictly for the dancefloor - from the hard industrial cyber slabs of Foetus’s reworkings to Matmos’s more house-based interpretations. ...view item »

Lady Lamb
After

Staying up til morning to record her first self-released albums, Aly Spaltro, better known as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, writes songs that are clearly influenced by the night time. With her emotional lyrics and singing and gentle guitar playing, she has filled After with haunting songs that will stay with you. Even a...view item »

Bill Fay
Who Is The Sender?

Bill Fay rose from his career slumber with the triumphant Life Is People, a record of intimate songs about love, loss and the resolve of faith, played mostly on piano with supplementary arrangements that recalled the records he'd made years before. Thankfully it wasn't a victory lap or a one-off redemptio...view item »

Trembling Bells
The Sovereign Self

Their fifth album in six years, The Sovereign Self by Trembling Bells continues down the traditionalist path that the band ploughs so well. From motorik kraut to wig-out prog and freak-folk it’s a heady stew of influences, twisting and turning at every step. Out on CD and vinyl LP from Tin Angel....view item »

Kathryn Williams
Hypoxia

‘Hypoxia’ is Liverpool born singer songwriter Kathryn Williams’ latest release. The album is inspired by Sylvia Plath’s cult classic coming of age novel ‘The Bell Jar’. Williams draws on the sonic textures of her 2011 release ‘The Pond’ whilst bringing a few new flavours to the table such as the gl...view item »

Jose Gonzalez
Hand On Your Heart

Now I have the geezer Jose Gonzalez and his single 'Hand On Your Heart.' He's doing well isn't he this guy? Just one man, a bit of hollow wood and 6 strings 'n' some mesmerizing tunes. So i ain't going to big him up. Here he's gone and covered Stock Aitken and Waterman's 'Hand on your Heart' with his own unique style. I like the...view item »

Tobias Froberg
When The Night Turns Cold

TOBIAS FROBERG is the latest Swedish dude to infiltrate your indie senses courtesy of music lord Alan Mcgee. When The Night Turns Cold is a bubbly affair which makes us all think of Sesame Street. It's all twinkly and a bit all over the places with dropouts happening here and there.... vocal harmonies coming in when you d...view item »

Liam Frost
The City Is At Standstill

LIAM FROST  is a nugget. I was so upset by his last single I almost exploded with rage. I'm not a violent person but the man Frost makes me want to do extremely vicious things to kittens. Apparently some copies of his forthcoming album are signed. Pot luck so I'm told.... If we happen to get any signed copies I'll be sending...view item »

Fort King
Naked Shadows

Rootsy, folky west coast Americana sounds now from a fellow called Ryan Fuller a.k.a. Fort King. Naked Shadows is a really good album. Good music, good lyrics. Really good. I find stuff like this hard to review as songs always need a bit of time to sink in for me but I'm really confident that this is really good. Like his voice. Really nice arrange...view item »

Josephine Foster & The Victor Herrero Band
Anda Jaleo / Perlas

This release on the Fire label gathers together two remarkable-sounding records from Josephine Foster & The Victor Herrero Band, first released separately a couple of years ago. The songs were written by Lorca in the 20’s, and Foster does an incredible job of making them sound both tru...view item »

Figurant
A Home In the Trees

This is a lovely release from Greek melancholic Figurant on Somehow Ecstatic. Limited to 200 copies, each with unique artwork. It's dreamy slow-core that reminds me very much of bands like Hood and Empress. All very minimal and pastoral, with occasional sparse electronic beats, and some wind instruments i'm loath to commit to naming, but i r...view item »

Grimm Grimm
Hazy Eyes Maybe

ATP Recordings, which seems to have survived all the liquidations to date, releases the new record from Grimm Grimm, solo project of the ex-frontman of Screaming Tea Party. This is singer-songwriter material on carefully plucked guitar, but with the feel of strangeness and unknown places lurking beneath the echo...view item »

Extradition Order
Since the Bomb Dropped

Extradition Order clatter in strongly with 'Since the Bomb Dropped' and the comparisons are immediate and free flowing. With a rhythmic, slightly mid-80s Fall sound that's heavy on thin guitars and lo-fi synths in addition to vocals pitched somewhere between Ian Svenonius and David Thomas they've succeeding in grabbing everyone's attention to at le...view item »

Devotion
In Love We Stand Alone

This one here is a collaboration between Troy Schafer (Rain Drinkers, Kinit Her) and Dani Schafer who, as you may have guess from the name, is not only a frequent collaborator but also his wife. They’ve made this here record to celebrate the fact that they enjoy being each...view item »

William D Drake
Revere Reach

Despite having made his name with the frantic Cardiacs, William D Drake’s solo work shows considerable delicacy and craft. With more than a touch of folk tradition lurking beneath these compositions, Revere Reach builds up a strong and personal sense of place around the semi-real location named in...view item »

Peter Delaney
Duck Egg Blue

It's a lovely shade of blue is duck egg. Do a quick search on the interweb and you can even get kettles in duck egg blue. It's that popular! It's also the name of Pete Delaney's new album which has just been released on Deadslackstring. We've had summat in by him before on the ...view item »

Gareth Davis & Elliott Sharp
Canephora

You've probably got a pretty good idea of whether or not you'll like this already if you're reading this. Here we've got challenging free jazz chunterings from Davis on bass clarinet and Sharp on acoustic guitar, with nine tracks recorded in a single day last April in New York. It's a lum...view item »

Currituck Co
Sleepwalks In The Garden Of a Dead Room

Another name to add to the plethora of folky artists bursting out the US is Currituck Co. on Track and Field. This CD starts of sounding remarkably like a yank cousin of Scotland's James Orr Complex., taking the complex John Fahey like rhythms and adding David Grubbs-esque vocals. On first listen I thought this wa...view item »

Jason Collett
Motor Motel Love Songs

Some of you may know Jason Collett as a member of the surging indie rock group Broken Social Scene. While their album You Forgot It In People is a fantastic rock record, Motor Motel Love Songs showcases Jason Collett melting his groups sound down to a much softer, gentler, sweeter, more laidback pop/rock...view item »

Cliffie Swan
Memories Come True

If an album that has elements of Heart, The Cars, Drugstore, Voice of the Beehive and Olivia Newton John can be good then “Memories Come True” by Cliffie Swan is it. It’s a decent album of female-led, mid-paced, power pop such as “Yes, I Love You”, and ‘90s alt-rock, take &ldquo...view item »

Judson Claiborne
Time and Temperature

I have a curious LP here from Chicago act Judson Claiborne. Confusingly, the press release for their previous offering describes them as a "band" fronted by Christopher Salveter, but this time round they seem to have morphed into a "he", even going so far as to make reference to "Judson's previous band". Mystifying. There's a sealed envelope in ...view item »

Cat Power
The Covers Record

This is a lovely record. It opens with an original take of The Rolling Stones "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" which Chan Marshall really makes her own. Like the Devo version, it reinvents the original, but this is a cool, gentle version as opposed to Devo's off-the-wall, angular tak...view item »

Tout
Third

Third is an instrumental album of folky tunes which sprawl out vast landscapes before your eyes, some evoking the far West with blues inspired guitar work, and others keeping in Tout’s native England, with whimsical folk features such as a double bass and violins. The tunes build and grow and always seem f...view item »

Breathe Owl Breathe
Magic Central

Breathe Owl Breathe is a little indie-folk band based out of Michigan that makes intimate and charming folk songs that can be described as 'all-ages' folk, acceptable for listening to in the car by oneself or at home with the entire family. They are just regular folks who happen to know how to make very interesting and beautiful music together. ...view item »

Bonnie Prince Billy
Arise Therefore

“Arise Therefore” is the last album Will Oldham recorded using the Palace/Palace Music Moniker. It is the follow-up to the brilliant “Viva Last Blues”. He went on to release “Joya” under his own name but since the release of “I See A Darkness” as Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy he has stuck with ...view item »

Blanket
Blankit

This Blanket self titled album on Try Harder is a bit useful. It's very gentle delicate sounding female fronted folk music with twinkles and general pretty in. Delightful stuff in fact.... The 2 guys in the band have had releases out before on Woodland Recordings as The Diamond Family Archive and The Great Park. Also one of them has the most tremen...view item »

birdt
Place For One Day

There are a slew of new releases are coming at you from the ever popular Home Normal label over the next few weeks starting off with this one from the folky Netherlands-based ensemble Birdt. Now, I have to admit I did have Home Normal down as an ambient only label but it turns out  they do release other kind of music and this album ...view item »

Bishop Allen
Grrr...

Bishop Allen here, back again with more catchy pop music...these guys are great. Grab this one (especially now while it's only 5 pound) and check out their other stuff too (like The Broken String). This is music that will make you happy. Some favourite tracks for me might be (1) Dimmer, (5) Oklahoma, (7) True or False, (10) Don't Hide Away...but...view item »

Devendra Banhart
What Will Be Will Be

I understand how Devendra has essentially evolved and grown. Devendra is one of those artists that does his own thing. Although I tend to think this is perhaps how he always wanted to sound, or was building up and evolving to this point, consciously. This album was recorded in Mexico, and maybe that's why it has a subtle layer of Mexican sounds in ...view item »

Devendra Banhart
Heard Somebody Say

Can I just say every time Devendra Banhart releases a record I get angrier & angrier. Never has the phrase 'emperor's new clothes' made more sense. This new abomination of a single has some quasi mystical, semi religious messiah bullshit on the sleeve which makes me dream of violence against Jesus freaks. The song 'Heard Somebody Say...view item »

The Autumn Defense
The Autumn Defense

More fully produced than prior discs by this Wilco side project, this self-titled third release is built on the duo's core strengths of crafty songwriting, rich harmonizing, and interlaced acoustic guitars. Autumn Defense then adds lightly detailed piano, flute, and strings, so that the set coalesces into an autumnal ...view item »

Christopher Paul Stelling
Labor Against Waste

‘Labor Against Waste’ is modern day troubadour Christopher Paul Stelling’s debut album following a character building four hundred shows in three years. His melodic, blues influenced finger-picking style carries his dramatic and deeply personal storytelling baritone vocal, accompanied by stomps, claps, french horn, flugelhorn, ...view item »

The Deslondes
The Deslondes

Drawing from the rich traditions of Americana, New Orleans band The Deslondes self titled debut album is a meticulously crafted introduction to their unique sound. Influenced by classic rock ‘n’ roll, sixties soul, R&B, country, boogie, honky tonk, blues and every other kind of pre-war American roots music ‘The Deslondes&rs...view item »

Josh Rouse
The Embers Of Time

Available on either 12” vinyl or CD from Yep Roc. Josh Rouse seems to manage to create a unique take on country folk, adding a little bit of joy and tongue-in-cheekness. So you get his Bob Dylan esque confession filled vocals surrounded by playful pop like arrangements. For fans of Glen Campbell...view item »

Bill Callahan
Have Fun With God

Now this may make me a few enemies but I've been tiring of Bill Callahan in recent years. Perhaps it's the fact that I have a job where I have to listen to every record, but while I don't struggle to tell that they're well-made and he does have a way with words, the sheer quantity and lack of variety of his Leonar...view item »

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