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Hiss Golden Messenger
Lateness of Dancers

M.C. Taylor is the folkie who hides behind the Hiss Golden Messenger moniker. 'Lateness of Dancers' is second record in as many years, and he follows on from the dark and fractured tones of 'Haw' with a warmer, more welcoming vibe. It continues his pattern of recording his records wherever he damn well chooses, made in a small barn in his home-s...view item »

Martin Carr
The Breaks

Martin Carr you may remember was the main songsmith in The Boo Radleys.  Responsible for some good early shoegazy work.....and then they did 'Wake up, Boo' didn't they? He then went on to do Brave Captain and is now solo. Why doesn't the other man do music? Y'know the one with the Terry Nutkins hair (before it sensibly got shaved off). Prob...view item »

Chelsea Wolfe
The Grime and The Glow

Marrying the gentle intimacy of folk, the atmospheric voodoo of death rock, and the bleak, sullen nihilism of black metal, Wolfe's sound effectively cast a genre all her own: a cavernous rumble, marked by stuttering drums, ethereal synths, and a wash of guitar, all very much in the service of one of the most hypnotic, celestial voices in modern ...view item »

Her Name Is Calla
Navigator

Brooding folky post-rock types Her Name Is Calla are back with their third album, ‘Navigator’ which has been produced over the last few years with band members Tom and Adam passing demos back and forth to each other to be eventually filled out with their usual sound of uber downbeat post-apocalyptic folk. ‘Navigator’ is a...view item »

Michael Chapman
Playing Guitar The Easy Way

Michael Chapman is a folk guitarist of some repute. So much so, his work is frequently mentioned in the same breath as Bert Jansch, Roy Harper and John Martyn. Chapman also discovered guitarist Mick Ronson, known for his work with David Bowie. ...view item »

Ela Stiles
Ela Stiles

Over the years, Ela Stiles has built a name for herself as an adept musician in Sydney's often strange and varied music scene. Moving beyond her work in local favourites Songs, she became a driving force in Melbourne outfit Bushwalking, releasing two records with the band while still based in Sydney and working on numerous projects. Now, Ela has...view item »

Anthony D’Amato
The Shipwreck From The Shore

He used to be so alone; thank you for coming back to him. Anthony D'Amato gravitated towards bedroom pop and sparse solo song-writing before 'The Shipwreck From The Shore', but the ten tracks on this album see him herald in a new era with a full band who tinker with keyboards, marching percussion and knotty guitar interplay. It's quite joyous, h...view item »

Robert Wyatt
Different Every Time

He's got a huge beard and he's releasing a new record: that is literally all you can ask from Robert Wyatt. 'Different Every Time' compile two elements of Wyatt's work. One side is for the wee perplexed, introducing the songwriter to a new, clueless generation, while the second collects together his best feature work in a career filled to the br...view item »

Lewis & Clarke
Triumvirate

Post-rock influenced composer Lou Rogai is actually one person and is not named Lewis or even Clarke -- the name is in fact a reference to C.S. Lewis and his pen pal Arthur Clarke. Meanwhile, Rogai uses the moniker to make fragile compositions crafted of all those pretty instruments: piano, string swells and soft percussion. 'Triumvirate' i...view item »

Alexis Taylor and Bonnie "Prince" Billy
Am I Not A Weaker Soldier

Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip and Bonnie “Prince” Billy have joined forces on a new double A side 7” Am I Not A Weaker Soldier, which originally featured on Taylor’s solo album Await Barbarians, released earlier this year. Here, the A side feature...view item »

Wilco
Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014

Wilco have never been particularly good at hiding their so-called rarities away, half of their fan-base having already been treated to the stellar, suffocatingly intimate early versions of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot songs. Here, though, the band leave another offering: Alpha Mike Foxtrot coll...view item »

Alice Gerrard
Follow The Music

Alice Gerrard is a country and bluegrass singer from way back when, who has played a hell of a lot of banjo in her time, and collaborated with artists such as Mike Seeger. 'Follow the Music' shows she's still kicking with performances of folk standards and some of her own songs. It's produced by M.C. Taylor of the rootsy folk group Hiss Golden M...view item »

Aldous Harding
Aldous Harding

Aldous Harding makes pastoral folk for when your house is full of cold air in the winter and needs a little warmth. Bringing to mind a whispered version of Sharon Van Etten in vocal melodies and First Aid Kit in the sparse but strangely full instrumental arrangements, her self-titled record is recommended for fans of narratively woven and impres...view item »

Sound of Yell
Sound of Yell

Searching mood variations from Sound of Yell (aka Stevie Jones), on their new self-titled record. Exploring the textured and timbral effects of acoustic instruments, Sound of Yell takes you on a sonic folksy voyage. At times akin to Sufjan Steven's orchestrations, whilst juxtaposed Radiohead's dark angst, SoY i...view item »

Tout
Second

After receiving a fantastic sampler from relatively new London label Trestle Records I’ve been champing at the bit to say a few words about one of these new releases, I’m thrilled to bits to get my hands on this second full length from Tout cuz it’s right up my street. The label itself is aimed specifically at experimental inst...view item »

Robert Lester Folsom
Ode To A Rainy Day: Archives 1972-1975

The folk music of Robert Lester Folsom remains unsung in modern times, probably because he was a little too out there for his time to be assimilated into the canon. His sweet, vulnerable acoustic compositions are matched with a dosage of psych folk and cerebral instrumentals. Ultimately, though, Folsom had a lot of affection for folk traditions,...view item »

Howard Eynon
So What If I'm Standing In Apricot Jam

Explaining a record called 'So What If I'm Standing In Apricot Jam' is a totally futile exercise, and you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you Howard Enyon's brand of acid folk is often sinister and eerie, as if a twee/psych icon had travelled into the future and taken on the neo-folk pagans of today. Really, though, he recalls acts such a...view item »

Greg Gobel
Impermanence

Here is an album of experimental sound art from this Madrid based multi instrumentalist who has produced an ambitious album veering around between genres. He deals with love, death and all that shit across the course of these 14 songs. From the soundclip I'm listening to, he makes a right old racket too. Terrifying stuff....view item »

Tim Wheeler
Lost Domain

A solo project from the lead singer of old Britpop mainstays Ash is apparently the order of the day: with his new haircut, smart suit and pretty cool living room wallpaper, Tim Wheeler is maturing well, and his latest solo record, 'Lost Domain', shows him working at a less bombastic and more reflective pace. Still lots of big Ash climaxes, thoug...view item »

Eaves
As Old As The Grave

Leeds local Eaves is a singer-songwriter with a knack for supreme sparsity and modesty. His newest EP, 'As Old As The Grave', depicts him as a masterful pianist and understated guitarist, using both to create dramatic songs with a bare minimum of supplementing. These songs are simple but grandiose, with lyrics about getting stuck in bitter cycle...view item »

Strand Of Oaks
HEAL

Not a clue why I like this album. It starts with a melodic stomp of a track that has a great J Mascis-style guitar explosion before settling into fuzzy anthemic FM rock driven by a thumping drum machine (or a very wooden drummer). I dunno, there's something truly rousing about it. I like his earthy voice and the st...view item »

Last Harbour
After The Flatlands

Rarities, collaborations and reworks by Last Harbour. These Mancunians gently hum out their rusty songs on After The Flatlands. Evoking the spirits and attitudes of John Steinbeck, Terrance Malick and Johnny Cash, these cats let their country-folk grumblers roll out at their own pace. Put out on cassette tape by Little ...view item »

Various
I’m Your Fan

Like "I'm Your Man", get it? Such a fantastic pun is surely worthy of one of the most renowned songwriters of all time -- 'I'm Your Fan' features reinterpretations of Leonard Cohen's work by canonised rock acts like the Pixies, R.E.M., Robert Forster, Nick Cave and John Cale. Some of these covers are light, respectful and affectionate, while oth...view item »

Leonard Cohen
Popular Problems

Legendary songwriter and renowned (or at least published) poet Leonard Cohen has a new album out! It's called 'Popular Problems', and its release date coincides with Cohen's eightieth birthday, marking both a day of personal celebration and another milestone for Cohen -- it's the thirteenth record in his long career, though only his se...view item »

Rozi Plain / Rachael Dadd
Split

This 7" of beautifully muted folk and electronica pangs with nostalgic longing, with a delighted melancholy shared between artists Rozi Plain and Rachael Dadd. The split sees a track from Plain's record 'Friend' and Dadd's forthcoming, perfectly titled 'We Resonate', both ricocheting with folk music that is never traditional nor sparse....view item »

Musee Mecanique
From Shores Of Sleep

This indie folk band sound like they just stepped out of a slightly too sincere Wes Andersen film, with gorgeously full arrangements on tinny instruments and with shuffling drums that push them through the streets. 'From Shores of Sleep' is a concept album that holds water as its key motif, and is suitably fluid with its transitions and flourish...view item »

Queens
End Times

Debut album on Dial Records from Scott Mou, one half of duo Jane (ft. Panda Bear), ‘Yellow Pages’ begins with an almost Godspeed-like post-rock echo, a lonely g...view item »

CocoRosie
Noah's Ark

Cocorosie are back with a new album on that Touch & Go label. The twisted folk scene continues with the 2 Cocorosie girls (and scary earth mother in tow from the pics inside) bringing their own mark to this blossoming scene with their brand new 2nd album. Which features other luminaries like Devendra Banhart, Anto...view item »

Silver Servants
Silver Servants

This is the debut album by Silver Servants, created in sporadic sessions over the past four years. The massive list of contributors includes Mark Fry, Sharron Kraus, Aine O'Dwyer, Katie English (Isnaj Dui), Nick Franglen (Lemon Jelly)...I'm barely scratching the surface here. Basically everyone on Second Language and some of their friends. The m...view item »

Little Arrow
Furious Finite

Welsh folk-popsters Little Arrow follow up 2013's acclaimed 'Wild Wishes' with LP number three 'Furious Finite'. This time round they're injecting some high drama into their pastoral sound with elements of grunge, prog, country, choral music, ambient and psychedelia fleshing out songwriter William Hughes' heartfelt storytelling....view item »

Gemma Ray
Milk For Your Motors

Gemma Ray's new album, 'Milk For Your Motors', brings together dark pop tones, goth folk and noir with a more conventional girl-group aesthetic, recalling a sound championed by Marissa Nadler and Zola Jesus.    Tracks: The Wheel ...view item »

Robert Lester Folsom
Music And Dreams

Understated folkie Robert Lester Folsom conjured up the pastoral sounds of the deep American South from his Georgia home state. 'Music and Dreams' was initially released back in 1976, and hinted at his psychedelic inclinations more clearly than ever before. This is chilled out, breezy folk rock, full of good times and southern comfort....view item »

Joseph Houpert / Norm Chambers
Split

Yet more ambient joy comes from Desire Path here, with a 7" split by artists Norm Chambers and Joseph Houpert. Known more commonly as Panabrite, Chambers crafts Komische-influenced ambient works that synthesise the natural world with a krautish impression of it. Desire Path continue to show off every experimental and ambient act worth caring abo...view item »

RM Hubbert
The Ampersand Extras

Former El Hombre Trajeado guitarist RM Hubbert's 'Ampersand Trilogy' of solo albums have really established him as a formidable solo guitarist with a flamenco-inspired but still very Scottish sound. The collaboration-heavy 'Thirteen Lost and Found' even netted him the Scottish Album of the Year award. Those who are sad that the trilogy is finish...view item »

Oliver Cherer
Sir Ollife Leigh & Other Ghosts

Old ambient neo-folkster Dollboy here, now trading under his own moniker. Beginning with a piece of faintly dissonant drone-laced forest folk; bewitching and becalming in equal measures with a nuanced choral aspect. Then comes brief instrumental 'Mentmore Waltz' following sharply on its heels, with recorder, acoustic guitar and zither being prom...view item »

Balmorhea
Balmorhea

Post-rock/chamber pop group Balmorhea consits at its core of duo Rob Lowe and Michael Muller. This self-titled debut showed off a very young incarnation of a band interested in serene arrangements and plenty of supplementary orchestration, and while it was initially self-released by the band, their friends at Western Vinyl now offer it up as a f...view item »

Mirel Wagner
When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day

From Ethiopia via Finland, Mirel Wagner returns this week with a second album of her bare-bones gothic folk intimacy. This time round she's got some impressive names behind her - firstly she's now on Sub Pop, but on top of that she's got sonic magician Vladislav Delay twiddling the knobs and Scots soundtra...view item »

Olivia Jean
Bathtub Love Killings

The pastoral folk musings of Olivia Jean are finally here, after years of backing work from the instrumentalist who has devoted her time to Third Man Records, working with artists such as Jack White and Wanda Jackson. With 'Bathtub Love Killings', she offers a spry, inventive take on the singer-songwriter album, essentially acting as a one-woman...view item »

Flagship
Flagship

If you watch the video about the making of Flagship's new record, basically all you will learn is that half the band worked at Chick-Fil-A as teenagers. Here are some further details though: this soft-spoken band of dudes make emotive folk rock with clean riffs and brooding vocals, switching up between widescreen sounds influenced by Coldplay to...view item »

Maggie Bjorklund
Shaken

After years of touring in Jack White's band, as well as contributing to his latest solo venture, 'Lazaretto', Maggie Bjorklund is set to step out on her own and release 'Shaken'. The record shows off Bjorklund's own brand of alt-country, with her prowess as a singer and pedal steel guitarist pushed to the forefront of these close-up recordi...view item »

Bonnie Prince Billy
Singer’s Grave A Sea Of Tongues

Following up last year's totally homegrown and fiercly DIY self-titled record, resident folkie Bonnie "Prince" Billy is returning with 'Singer's Grave A Sea Of Tongues'. The record sees the man also known as Will Oldham tackling the dark recesses of his mind, with songs he has claimed as being about "one day when only two people died in the whol...view item »

Mark Kozelek & Jimmy Lavalle
Perils From The Sea

Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon/Red House Painters/come on you know by now) chooses some odd bedfellows, I mean he didn’t exactly climb into bed with Modest Mouse but he covere...view item »

Maailma
Speculum

Scandinavian drone-pop combo Maailma are quite a mysterious bunch but I've managed to establish that they're comprised of Laura Naukkarinen (who you may already know as ambitious outsider pop type Lau Nau) along with buddies and live-soundtracking veterans Matti Bye and Kristian Holmgren, with the combo rounded ...view item »

Jenny Hval & Susanna
Meshes of Voice

Here's one for the Rune Grammofon fans - although it's not actually on that label but Susanna's own SusannaSonata imprint, it's a collaboration between two unique Norwegian singer-songwriters who've put out their best-known work on that label, Susanna and Jenny Hval, and was mixed and mastered by mysterious micronoise genius Helge "...view item »

Nicholas Krgovich
On Sunset

Nicholas Krgovich can't decide whether to bow at the Americana altar or give it up for synth pop, and so his song-writing prowess lies between the two, recalling traditional folk songwriters as much as he does artists such as Prefab Sprout and the Dirty Projectors. His new record, 'On Sunset', is a love letter to Los Angeles, and was produced by...view item »

Lucinda Williams
Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone

Alt country star Lucinda Williams returns with 'Down Where The Spirit Meets Bone', being released on her very own label, Highway 20. A sprawling double-disc record, 'Down' features twenty tunes, including collaborations with Williams' own father (who wrote a poem for the record) and Jakob Dylan, the son of that other Highway guy. ...view item »

Mark Fry
South Wind, Clear Sky

Psych folk troubadour Mark Fry hasn't done much beyond releasing his lightning-in-a-barrel classic 'Dreaming With Alice', which showed a young artist create a quite epic record of beautifully ornamented folk music. In 2008, Fry made something of a Vashti Bunyan move, returning to release his second record 'Shooting The Moon' after years and year...view item »

Joan Shelley
Electric Ursa

Plaintive folk, anyone? Joan Shelley's plucked tunes aren't innovative, but they breathe new light into old traditions. 'Electric Ursa' brings together her compelling voice, which sounds a little like Lotte Kestner -- and sometimes recalls the lower end of Joni Mitchell's register -- with strikingly fluid guitar collaborations. 'Electr...view item »

Tweedy
Sukierae

On 'Sukierae', dad rock gets literal: initially set to be his first solo record, Jeff Tweedy enlisted his son Spencer on drums, making the record an ensemble Tweedy affair. The record recalls the light, airy folk rock of latter-day Wilco records, especially 'The Whole Love', while retaining some of their weight and complexity. 'Sukierae' is a wi...view item »

She Keeps Bees
Eight Houses

Blues-rock duo She Keeps Bees are back in business this week with album number four, 'Eight Houses'. Here again they present a moody mixture of their sparse, tense rock songs (think Patti Smith meets White Stripes), countryish fingerpicked songwriter business and slinky, synth...view item »

Peter Escott
The Long O

Peter Escott has been carefully learning and unlearning the piano since childhood; recorded an unknown number of self-released, increasingly intricate and discordant instrumental piano CD-Rs,  added a fairly serviceable singing voice to his playing on his let's-try-something-that-might-make-sense-to-people debut Slowcoach (independently rel...view item »

Syd Barrett
Opel

180g vinyl reissue of this sought-after compilation of rare and unreleased material from the legendary Pink Floyd frontman. Compiled from recordings made between 1968 and 1970, including takes from 'The Madcap Laughs' and 'Barrett' and two unreleased tracks that the Floyd had previously vetoed....view item »

Jason Trachtenburg
Let the Fishes Do The Asking EP

This brisk little cassette captures some of Jason Trachtenburg's finest moments as a silly and touching songwriter. These songs were recorded in 1993 and feature raw banjo playing, sweet gang vocals and that high-pitched coo of Tratchenburg's. 'Let The Fishes Do The Asking' is one for fans of anti-folk that recalls Daniel Johnston and ...view item »

Sean Rowe
Madman

Sean Rowe makes elegiac, uplifting folk music with ornate arrangements on guitar and piano, supplemented with Wilco-esque soft drumming and his own soft, deep voice. 'Madman' is his latest record for Anti Records, and focuses less on knotty lyricism than it does on simple, cyclical songs that become more layered over time. It makes for a hy...view item »

Smoke Dawson
Fiddle

That Vanessa Mae- I'd let her have a fiddle. Boom and indeed vaguely sexist boom. Start with a joke and run as fast as you can to the end. This is a re-issue of Smoke Dawson's 1971 private press (yawn) LP. Leader George Dawson was a bagpipe and fiddle player roaming around the US with nary a care in the world. There's a vaguely...no not vaguely,...view item »

Honig
It's Not A Hummingbird, It's Your Father’s Ghost

Of course! What on earth made you think it was a hummingbird? After having played 300 concerts in two years this loose group of friends and musicians have tightened up into a rocking five piece line up to create a sophisticated and complex album. Not your normal singer-y songwriter-y effort by any stretch of the imagination. They are moving slow...view item »

Cold Specks
Neuroplasticity

This Canadian/Somali singer, I recall now, made an impression on me with her début single. But after her three years away, I thought this C Dwas by one of those generic modern indie bands with the interchangeable generic name. My memory is so bad. Cold specks of what? Rain? Snow? An introspective and aloof moniker indeed. I never ...view item »

The Travelling Band
The Big Defreeze

Manchester, so much to answer for etc. The Travelling Band construct rootsy country folk rock stuff that will appeal to the more beardy-weirdy , foot-tapping thoughtful type who likes their music thoroughly authentic, retro and earnest. There's harmonies and tunes galore and no doubt some ballads too. The guitars have been commented on elsewhere...view item »

Robyn Hitchcock
The Man Upstairs

Robyn Hitchcock has been prolific in recent years, releasing a slew of singer-songwriter records with the Venus 3, but 'The Man Upstairs' takes on a different tack, billed by Hitchcock and collaborator/producer Joe Boyd as an intimate and varied performance: some of these songs are rock standards reworked, others are obscure favourites Hitc...view item »

Michael Chapman
Live At Folk Cottage, Cornwall 1967

Michael Chapman is a house name in the UK's folk underground scene, having collaborated with acts as renowned as Hiss Golden Messenger, with whom he has recently made a split record. 'Live At Folk Cottage' unearths his earliest recordings, taken from a 1967 live show in Cornwall. Chapman was oblivious to the recordings existence, ...view item »

Erland & The Carnival
Closing Time

When unassuming young Orkney music-maker Erland Cooper picked up his guitar and travelled the length of the country to play a show in London’s Notting Hill, little did he know that a chance encounter with musical veteran Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good The Bad & The Queen, and Gorillaz) would be the start of a unique son...view item »

Bob Carpenter
Silent Passage

The late Bob Carpenter finished working on 'Silent Passage' in 1974, but thanks to a contract headache on Warner Records' behalf, it wasn't released until 1984, by which time Carpenter was no longer active in the country rock scene. The record is a sinister personal collection of songs performed with Carpenter's rusty and unforgiving vocals at t...view item »

Splintered Man
Splintered Man

There's a certain Mark Eitzel melancholy at heart in the work of Splintered Man. They consist of Simon Kobayashi and Alex Carter. Simon being the singer/guitarist and Alex playing guitar and doing some back up. There's a host of other people involved including Jon Clayton who produced the thing. This will definitely appeal to fans of Mark Kozele...view item »

Tom Kovacevic
Universe Thin As Skin

You might have already come across the music of Tom Kovacevic in his bands Fire On Fire, Cerberus Shoal, Olas and Tarpigh, but here he's going it alone with a series of eerie mystical folk songs which draws on Kovacevic's experience studying Arabic music, employing the oud, nay flute, and djembe and tchung drums to provide a sparse earthy b...view item »

Mick Harvey
Intoxicated Man / Pink Elephants

This release is a double collection of Mick Harvey’s two interpretive works of the musical compositions and performances of legendary singer songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. These recordings originally released in 1995/1997 are the first major translations of Gainsbourg’s work from French to English and the release includes two previousl...view item »

Ellie Daniels
Both Sides Of The Coin

Deluxe reissue of this totally unknown new england teenage folk private press from 1971. originally released by the artist herself as a demo only blank cover edition of 100 copies.  The original had no cover art, so we've kept the packaging suitably stark & mysterious, yet quite exquisite : each heavyweight...view item »

Padang Food Tigers / Lake Mary
Crabbing King Sappling / White River

Speaking of weeping (which I was earlier....speaking that is, not weeping....yet) if the sound of a banjo gently plucking away makes you get all misty-eyed for the back porch and the mountains and the lake then this might be for you. Its a lovely collaboration between two pluckers, one on each side of the thing we call Earth. The banjo p...view item »

Tout
First

Here's the second of three Trestle Recs offerings I have to write about, the first of two albums by Tout. I'm not sure if that's from the French for "all" or the nasty scalper types who stand outside sold-out gigs trying to sell you tickets for inflated prices. I hope it's the former because those twats piss me off. Anyway, what I gather...view item »

Luluc
Passerby

In a world where instant gratification is the norm, patience has become a rare commodity. For Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett, who make up indie-folk duo Luluc (pronounced Loo-LUKE), letting things unfold in due time not only def...view item »

Trampled by Turtles
Wild Animals

Formed in Duluth, MN in 2003, Trampled by Turtles is Simonett, Tim Saxhaug (bass, vocals), Dave Carroll (banjo, vocals), Erik Berry and Ryan Young (fiddle). Within the contained music scene of Duluth, the members of the band did their own time in punk and rock bands brandishing their electricity proudly before switching to acoustic instruments. ...view item »

Sebastien Tellier
L’Aventura

L’Aventura by Sebastien Tellier is a concept album formed from a Brazilian-themed childhood fantasy. Tellier has produced and directed this ambitious new project using carefully selected Brazilian musicians to create the perfect Brazilian trip without the jet lag. Available on viny...view item »

Fink
Hard Believer

This is what happens when a DJ/producer successfully jumps the chasm to singer-songwriterism. Fink’s newest album is filled with well-considered and obviously mintly produced songs. Hard Believer is the next in Fin Greenall’s oblique journey through the musical lands, and this is your chance to join him and ...view item »

The Fugitives
Everything Will Happen

Vancouver’s news and entertainment website Georgia Straight once described The Fugitives as “the missing link between Leonard Cohen and the Pogues”. Formed by the eclectically talented Brendan McLeod (a award winning novelist and former Canadian SLAM poetry champion) and Adrian Glynn (a critically acclaimed actor most recently ...view item »

Eugene McGuinness
Chroma

Songwriter Eugene McGuinness is back with his second album this week, having cut his teeth in the backing band of the execrable Miles Kane before dropping a slick but promising debut LP on Domino. On 'Chroma' he's aiming for more of a live band sound, well suited to his lively and melodic songwriting, enlisting...view item »

Firefay & Alison O'Donnell
Anointed Queen

This is a collaboration between the veteran O’Donnell (who was releasing albums as early as 1972 as part of Mellow Candle) and folk-noir outfit Firefay. O’Donnell’s voice is quite something. It swoops, it soars, it bends at incredibly obtuse angle around the tracks. Its suits the material which Firefay come up with perfectly. T...view item »

The Walkabouts
Nighttown (Deluxe Edition)

First things first, I have to say that this album’s cover is quite impressively uninspiring. Four stock images and some dodgy typefaces? Hmmm… Nevertheless, as a deluxe reissue of The Walkabouts 1997 second album, fully featured with previously unreleased tracks and a booklet, this is the perfect gift for the ...view item »

The Walkabouts
Devil's Road (Deluxe Edition)

Going down the old dusty trail with The Walkabouts. Devil's Road (Deluxe Edition) is the 1996 reissue from the Seattle group. It's full of Americana styled rock sounds with luscious vocal melodies, country-esque guitars and wistful organs and pianos. They also got a helping hand from the Warsaw ...view item »

Beth Orton
Central Reservation - Expanded Edition

It was released in 1999 as a follow up to the acclaimed Trailer Park and received a Mercury Music Prize nomination and helped Beth earn a BRIT Award in 2000 for Best British Female. The album also features in the book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The album featured the hit singles Stolen Car and Central Reservation and is n...view item »

Conor Oberst
Upside Down Mountain

The first time Conor Oberst hit my radar was back in 2005 when, home one night with MTV on in the background, I happened upon the video for the Bright Eyes song ‘Lua’. The starkness of the arrangement; the wobbly cracked-up vocals and the bleak low fi simpli...view item »

Woods
Cali In A Cup

Woods are absolutely unstoppable! They seem incapable of making bad records and ‘Cali In A Cup’, the first single from their up-and-coming ‘Bend Beyond’ LP is no exception. Absolutely blissful country-tinged psych pop, as good as anyt...view item »

The Felice Brothers
Favorite Waitress

Technically, this is the tenth album by Catskill mountain-dwelling troubadours The Felice Brothers. Earlier releases, such as 2007's Tonight at the Arizona and the excellent 2008 eponymous record, were raw and ramshackle, with satisfying glitches in the recording (such as, where lightning hit the chicken coop they were recording in) and fuzzy, r...view item »

Alexander Turnquist
Flying Fantasy

I loved Hallway Of Mirrors so much that it was my favourite album of 2011. I was 40 then and I still did things like that. Anyway his new album sounds like a return to form and it's more lush orchestration and 12 string guitar wonderment. I 'need' to spend more time with this fella but I reckon it's an absolute winner (on first listen!)....view item »

Alice Boman
EP II

EP II by Alice Boman is the second release on Happy Death, the fledgling London label. Boman's ethereal and ghostly tones were perfectly suited to the secluded Swedish log cabin where EP II was recorded and will certainly please fans of Stina Nordenstam. EP II is available on limited edition 12...view item »

Moulettes
Constellations

Its hard to know what to make of this. Its an extremely polished and well put together take on a kind of cabaret folk, with some sweeping grandiose statements amongst the busy arrangements. Its sorta Cardiacs meets the Smoke Faries with hints of The Chap...view item »

Hamilton Leithauser
Black Hours

Listening to Hamilton Leithauser’s debut solo album is a bit like having afternoon tea with the Queen. The former front man of New York indie rock outfit The Walkmen has crafted a record that is exquisitely tasteful in ways only proper royalty can achieve; there are no sows’ ears here, it’s sil...view item »

Two Wings
A Wake

Always happy to hear a 12 string as there is on opener 'Peace-Fear' but this lot are steeped in the folk tradition having had backgrounds in Scatter and Trembling Bells amongst others. You are also going to struggle with singer Hanna Tuullikki's voice unless you are a dog, i...view item »

Ma Turner
ZOZ

For my money Louisville's Sophomore Lounge surprise and delight more consistently with their weirdo indie rock discoveries than any comparable DIY label active today. If you don't believe me, try to think of a better one. Theirs is a diverse roster, ranging from minimal psych experiments (PC Worship, ...view item »

Emma Ruth Rundle
Some Heavy Ocean

A highly accomplished debut solo album from Red Sparrows and Marriages singer Emma Ruth Rundle. Much like her band efforts, Some Heavy Ocean adopts a gothic-hued post-rock template to great effect. This time she lets her Elizabeth Frazer-esque voice fly above the instrumental soundscape. Except with actual words. Out on...view item »

Wooden Wand
Farmer’s Corner

James Jackson Toth aka Wooden Wand is back this week with his latest album of smoky country rock. Didn't he just bring out an album? Is he coming to another period of intense productivity like he had a few years ago when there seemed to be something new from him every month or two? Anyway, I'm enjoying 'Farmer's Chair', he seems to have dropped ...view item »

Marissa Nadler
July

Its always amusing to watch Phil all a quiver at even the mention of Marissa Nadler’s name. Get her swooping voice coming out of the stereogram and he’s a puddle on the floor. I’m not sure what he thinks about this her 6th album (he usually has something to declare on the subject) but it sounds at first rather like business as ...view item »

Emily Jane White
Blood / Lines

Emily Jane White’s fourth album in as many years is an echo-drenched and vaporous affair, and something of a departure from her earlier, PJ Harvey-influenced, guitar-driven sound.From the first track, ‘My Beloved’, we are transported, somewhat disconcertingly, into a place a...view item »

Diane Coffee
My Friend Fish

California-spawned Shaun Fleming, aka Diane Coffee, is perhaps best known as the sometimes drummer in avant-garde rock outfit Foxygen. His debut solo album 'My Friend Fish' was recorded in his Manhattan apartment shortly after he fled sun-soaked Agoura Hills in search of new inspiration. Following a bout of 'flu, ...view item »

The DeSoto Caucus
The DeSoto Caucus

Liked this one immediately. These lads are part of the Giant Sand touring band and have played with Lambchop and assorted alt country types. Some of this type of music I find rather dull but like a lot of affilate Howe Gelb’s projects ther...view item »

The Trouble With Templeton
Rookie

Here's the debut album by The Trouble With Templeton, who started out as Aussie youngster Thomas Calder on his own but have since expanded to a five-piece. Given that he's only 23, this is a confident and fairly likeable album of sweeping indie pop along the lines of Stornoway or in places early ...view item »

Douglas Dare
Whelm

Erased Tapes finally releases the debut album by Londoner Douglas Dare, after really enjoying his little EP ‘Seven Hours’ I was very excited to hear this full length and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. With a pretty standard take on the pianist/singer-songwriter thing it’s not that mindblowingly different but with Dougla...view item »

Anna Calvi
One Breath

The inner sleeve of this new Anna Calvi album is the glossiest thing I’ve ever touched. It’s like some kind of new super-gloss paper. The music luckily retains a grainier edge. There is no getting away from it so I might as well say it before we go any further...PJ Harvey...view item »

TE Morris
And You Were The Hunter

And You Were the Hunter is the debut album from TE Morris. Tom (TE) Morris is the front man of Her Name Is Calla and although relatively new to releasing solo material, he has already amassed a healthy back catalogue of 5 self-released EP’s and one full length over the course of the last 18 months. 'And You Were The Hunter' sees...view item »

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