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Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

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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 »

Jessie Jones
Jessie Jones

With a light tread, Jessie Jones jumps across catchy melodies and swinging beats. After fronting  Feeding People and while taking a break from Death Valley Girls, her self-titled solo debut gives Jones the opportunity to let out her upbeat demons. Get ready to bob your head to an irres...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 »

Richard Buckner
The Hill

Richard Buckner's ‘The Hill’ was born in 1996 at The Ranch Olancha Motel, a converted garage near the mouth of Death Valley, while Buckner was staying a week in a room with nothing for company but his guitar, a four-track recorder, and a copy of Lee ‘Masters' Spoon River Anthology’. The resulting recordings of Buckner&rsq...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 »

Robert Sarazin Blake With John McSherry
The Belfast Sessions

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 »

at the close of every day
zalig zijn de armen van geest

Hello people. Clinton speaking. Here we go for another week. First up the big one (for us anyway). Its the new CD on Jonathon Whiskey (run by him over there in the corner). Its by at the close of every day and its difficult to know what to say. I absolutely adore this record. Its...view item »

Antony & The Johnsons
Antony & The Johnsons

Absolutely incredible CD! Antony has the most beautiful, haunting voice that I've heard in a decade. He's been compared to many artists (I can hear a lot of Bryan Ferry [circa Avalon] and Marc Almond), but is truly in a class of his own. For the people who claim that there are no longer any truly unique talents, Antony and the Johnsons have arri...view item »

Misty Miller
Taxi Cab

A 19 year old from South London, Misty Miller’s already been around for awhile. Her sound has had time to change too. Those expecting the pleasant misty-eyed Misty Miller with an acoustic guitar will not find that here on this 7” single, Taxi Cab, a rollocking rock ’n’ roll number which is simila...view item »

Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove / Spiritual Front
Twin Horses

Following the success of ‘A Fistful Of Desert Blues’, Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove have expanded their collaborative powers to include the nihilist folk sounds of Spiritual Front. The resulting ‘Twin Horses’ is an intensely soulful musical bonding between the sensual, cathartic folk of Simone Salvatori and the down bea...view item »

Bishop Allen
& The Broken String

I should start off by saying most of the songs on this album are rerecorded versions of songs from the 12 EPs Bishop Allen put out in 2006- one per month, 4 songs per EP (except August, which was a recording of a live show they performed in Boston). Some of the new versions here are markedly different (none more so, I feel, than "Corazon"), and ...view item »

Jack Allett
The Collapsing Middle

In case you didn't know (and you more than likely didn't) Jack Allett is Spoono, who you may have heard of after previous releases on GPS and Blackest Rainbow. He's one of those man and guitar types who makes really intense ragas for you to get wasted to. I'm not sure why he's no longer Spoono and now Jack Allett but I guess that's not too impor...view item »

Mumford & Sons
Wilder Mind

Mumford & Sons are finally back with their third full length. Britain's most successful family project since the start of the monarchy has plugged in their acoustics and completed the transfer to rock. On Wilder Mind, you can witness Mumford & Sons find a new path, if first single the Wolf is any i...view item »

Southern Skyline
Candy Love

Really great to get to hear those never before heard Jim Ford songs. Swedish band Southern Skyline do a good job in getting the Southern feeling that Jim Ford´s music always showed. Get this limited edition single, if you are a Jim Ford fan, and if you´re not, it will be a good addition to your collection....view item »

Michael Baker
Keys To The Kingdom EP

Keys To The Kingdom is the debut EP by singer/songwriter Michael Baker. The London resident has self released this EP, which was recorded with a helpful bunch of creative types. Dust and Bones is the lead track and features the vocal talents of Georgia Mason. The laid back acoustic vibe will no...view item »

Ultrasound/ Patrick Phelan
Split

Next Patrick Phelan/Ultrasound. Well what can I say. The Patrick Phelan track on here is simply one of the best songs I've ever heard.I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT!!!! We are immensely proud to bring you this fine man on vinyl. Its like a cross between Elliot Smith and Nick Drake. ...view item »

Sam Mccarthy
Cherrytree

This is a 500 copy, limited 7" release on Bumpman original 45's by Sam McCarthy. Sam plays folk/country rock and the A side 'Cherrytree' is a well polished, super produced country rock track something like those made popular by the likes of Garth Brooks but it sounds more like the Pogues to me. The B side 'In It to Win It' is a notable contras...view item »

Elvis Perkins
I Aubade

The third album from folk artist Elvis Perkins has Coen brothers soundtrack written all over it and that’s no bad thing. I Aubade features a lush blend of strings and vocal harmonies whilst retaining the subtle intimacy of Bonnie Prince Billy records. Distinctly North American in tone. Out on CD and vinyl LP from ...view item »

Sea of Bees
Build a Boat To The Sun

Sea Of Bees a.k.a Julie Ann Bee follows her confident first two albums with a positive, major key effort Build A Boat To The Sun. Backed by a full band it’s a more bombastic effort that’s packed full of catchy summer-ready tunes. Mixed by Jesse Lauter from The Low Anthem. Out on CD and vinyl LP from 3 Loop M...view item »

Hellicar
Chicken Or Pills / The Truth

And to on the 2nd single on Sacred Harp Library (we've sold out of the Jack Rose 7" that was the 1st release). This one is by Hellicar and it's a 70's bluesy thing which wouldn't be out place at a barn dance. I remember going to a barn dance when I was about 14 and snogging this girl who I really fancied.... I never sa...view item »

Dan Haywoods New Hawks
John's Shoes / Superquarry

Folksy winsomeness from a talented singer songwriter who while not penning folk songs is fascinated by ornithology and people watching. The New Hawks have a very traditional sound that has Anglo-Celtic feel and a very interesting take on modern folk music. The title track 'John's Shoes' h...view item »

The Grief Brothers
Silo

I have this single here by The Grief Brothers on Country Mile Records. I'm going to break with tradition here and review the B side first as its the most interesting track. Its kind of oddball country with clanging percussion. Fats reckons Billy Childish and the Blackhands........and I'm a little stuck  - I'm think...view item »

Daughn Gibson
Carnation

Co-produced and recorded at Avast Studios in Seattle by Daughn Gibson and Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Jesse Sykes, Tim Hecker, ‘Carnation’ is the third album from singer songwriter Daughn Gibson. While carrying elements of the country music influence of Gibsons first two albums ‘All Hell’ and ‘Me Moan’, &l...view item »

JBE/ Bill Dolan
Split

This is a nice surprise. Two acoustic tracks from master guitarist Bill Dolan of 5ive Style/Heroic Doses/Das Boton fame. This guy is triple nifty on the old six string and even when stripped down to a solo acoustic performance ...view item »

Nick Waterhouse
Holly

Holly is Nick Waterhouse’s second album. The soulful blues Waterhouse plays maybe surprising to those who are aware of his roots in the Californian psych-garage scene that spawned such acts as Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin. Think more Van Morrison and Mose Allison and you're on ...view item »

Ned Collette and Joe Talia (Wirewalker)
Long You Lie

I don’t know these guys. I don’t really know anyone we sell. I just know of them. What I’m trying to say (badly) is I’ve not heard of these guys before. Hey one of them isn’t even a man. I’ve suddenly come over all useless... ...view item »

Air Cav
Embers / Picking At The Bones

Air Cav come to give me some Mancunian slaver with their 2nd waxing 'Embers' / 'Picking at the Bones' & they sure sound well Manc. The guitars chime & ching in a stern yet melodic fashion, the drums are solid & motorik & the vocals are cut of that Northern yelp/wail cloth. Oh, and they've got a wonderful folk violinist called Sophie...view item »

Flo Morrissey
Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful

Flo Morrissey’s press release boasts that she is “causing a stir amongst the hip and cool press”, but don’t let that put you off. Her debut album Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful is convincingly led by her potent voice, suggesting mystery and weighty emotional engagement. Ten tracks, on the Glassnote l...view item »

ALA.NI
YOU & I - Spring

ALA.NI gained her singing chops by performing with artists as diverse as Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli and Damon Albarn. Her voice is fragile yet strong, her sound is anachronistic yet completely perfect for now. Not only is she a performer, but she directed the video for &ldquo...view item »

Baby Dee
I Am A Stick

Baby Dee finds serial percussionist Alex Neilson (Death Shanties, Trembling Bells) and a band also including Joe Carvell, Victor Herrero and Jordan Hunt working with Dee herself, to bring her piano-led songs to ...view item »

Headland
Cosy EP

Sounding like the end of a long day of sun-soaking, Cosy is filled with gentle surf guitars that keep rolling onto the shore. Headland could be a choice pick for a Late Night Tales mix, but instead it’s a splendid 5 track 12”. Limited to 500 editions worldwide, and on clear vinyl at that. Surf’s up, du...view item »

Jon DeRosa
Black Halo

The second full-length release from LA-based Jon DeRosa. Having studied under La Monte Young no less and inspired by the positive sunshine vibes of West Coast pop, Black Halo is a collection of shimmering numbers underpinned by DeRosa's classically crooning baritone vocals. Out on CD from Rocket Girl....view item »

David Kauffman and Eric Caboor
Songs From The Suicide Bridge

Originally released in 1984, Songs from Suicide Bridge is highly overdue for a vinyl reissue. Remastered from the original tapes, the minimalist folk-rock of David Kauffman & Eric Caboor sounds fresh as ever. Their desolate sound comes to its full potential like never before on this 2x45rpm LP, including the necessa...view item »

Little Wings
Explains

Little Wings is the alias of Kyle Field and he’s accumulated a large discography by now. Explains is the latest addition to that vast collection. Here we have a collection of folk tunes which gingle along gently with Field’s deadpan voice drawing you further into the song and the lyr...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 »

Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles
Oh Man, Cover the Ground

Oh Man, Cover The Ground is a slowly unfolding collection of tracks sprouting up around languid fingerpicked guitar and Shana Cleveland’s wistful voice. With her band The Sandcastles she creates a relaxed air somewhere between traditional folk and contemporary songwriter territory. Out on Suicide ...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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