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Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

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Palace Brothers
Days In The Wake

Will Oldham has used many names in his recording career. His early work was released under either Palace Music or Place Brothers depending on the band's line-up. Here, the band consists of his brothers Ned and Paul Oldham therefore the album was released under the Palace Brothers name. This is Will Oldham's second album and was released in 1994....view item »


Mark Lanegan
Field Songs



Various
Shanti Project Collection 2

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Blanche
Little Amber Bottles

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Various
The Great Koonaklaster Speaks: A John Fahey Celebration



James Yorkston
Roaring The Gospel

James Yorkston: "Roaring The Gospel" (Domino) is a compilation of B-sides and odds and sods that includes his version of "Song To The Siren", once covered by Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins). For those that don't know he's part of Fife's Fence collective and are part of Dominos early folk adoption. He writes and sings some capti...view item »


Fireworks Night
As Fools We Are

Fireworks Night: "As Fools We Are" (Kartel). Their singer sounds like David Bowie in a very croonsome way if you get my meaning. They've been likened to the 'Folknoir' of Bonnie Prince Billy, Joanna Newsom and the emotional theatrics of Grizzly Bear (reviewed above). Their sparse acoustic instrumentation draws you in from the off gatherin...view item »
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Blood Music
Sing A Song Fighter

We like Static Caravan here..... lovely folks... lovely music... We have this new CD in by Blood Music who I think had one of those limited cork sleeve jobbies out some time back. This is some Swedish dude making pleasant enough folk music which reminds me of a more folky less twee Darren Hayman. A couple of the tracks are ...view item »


Dave House
See That No One Else Escapes

A split, clear pressing 10" on Gravity Dip features Dave House and Jenny Owen Youngs. Two songs each one, Houses' s very Beatlesque, chiming jangly guitars and harmonies. Owens Youngs comes over all singer songwriter, stripped down approach much like Morrisette, Regina Spektor. Second track is a cover of the Nelly hip-hop track ...view item »
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Dan Sartain
Thought It Over

"Thought It Over", another artist on One Little Indian's roster gaining kudos from Mark Radcliffe on Radio 2. Personally I didn't have to mull over the decision to come and work at Norman Towers, they offered more money than I was already earning so there was no contest, didn't even have to hand in a c...view item »
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The Low Lows
Elizabeth Pier

The Low Lows single on Monotreme is a fuzzed out trip through Spacemen 3/ Mary Chain (again) territory. Elizabeth Pier CD single only and rather good we thought. Well early 90's! ...view item »
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Michael Andrews
Just A Thought/ Orange Meet Lemon



Josh Ottum
Like The Season

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Regina Spektor
Fidelity

Regina Spektor is a really great artist and this song is one of her better ones. She seems to have two types of songs. The ones that are a little weird and and ones that are like this that are a little more serious. The former are great, but I usually prefer the latter. "Fidelity" has a deceptive simplicity with thoughtful lyrics underlying the lig...view item »
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Essie Jain
We Made This Ourselves

Essie Jain: 'We Made This Ourselves' (Leaf) A very mellow, melancholic, down tempo singer-songwriter offering from the new signing on the UK's Leaf label. Not exactly new, this collection was formerly released in America by the Ba Da Bing label. At times fragile and moving, the voice is clear and pure with a sparse backing of guitars and ...view item »


Blanche
What This Town Needs EP

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Lavender Diamond
The Cavalry Of Light

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The Secret Show
Impressionist Roadmap Of The West

Tracks LOVERS TWO DROWNED RATS IN THE DESERT THE GIRL FROM CHAPEL HILL WE BLAZE A TRAIL IMPRESSIONIST ROAD MAP OF THE WEST THE DUKE MAÑANA THE WIDO OLD BLACKTOP EVERYONE'S A CRITIC THE ONE THAT I LOVE ...view item »
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David Vandervelde
The Moonstation House Band

David Vandervelde's debut album "The Moonstation House Band" was recorded in ex-Wilco member Jay Bennett's basement studio and released in 2007. The most striking thing about the record is that his voice sounds a lot like Marc Bolan check out "Feet Of A Liar". The music is of a kind of retro '70s singer/songwriter sty...view item »
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Sancho
Mystery Year

Seed Records have finally released the SANCHO 'Mystery Year' album after we got a promo of it about 7 months ago. Again this is a slight change in direction for the label with this not being an entirely electronic record. Traditional instruments such as piano, viola, trumpet etc are all augmented and fiddled with and glitched ...view item »
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Deaf Mutes
Exploring The Secrets of Treating



David Karsten Daniels
Sharp Teeth

Not content with one release this week Fat Cat deliver a full length from DAVID KARSTEN DANIELS. The bare bones of 'Sharp Teeth' is one man and his guitar augmented by a more than competent selection of strings, horns, slide guitar, piano, viola, cello, organ, glockenspiel etc. His vocal is tender lyrics sharp and soul search...view item »
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The Curtains
Calamity

Do you trust me people? Well here I have the fecking album of the month in my painted nails by THE CURTAINS on Asthmatic Kitty. A beautiful, vulnerable, kooky intelligent melody central of an album, with a hook highway driving right through it.  I've been whistling it in the office all week driving everyone mad resulting i...view item »
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Tobias Froberg
Somewhere In The City

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R Keenan Lawler
Music For Bluegrass States



Now It's Overhead
Dark Light Daybreak

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Benoit Pioulard
Precis

've reviewed a few things on Kranky and not one of them has been less than totally interesting. The label seem to consistently release high quality music. BENOIT PIOULARD's new CD 'Precis' is no exception. There's a real 60's hazyness feel, really magical and dreamy sounding. His vocals and acoustic guitar playing really stand o...view item »


Kevin Tihista
Home Demons Volume 1

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Eric Matthews
Alley Way Masters

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Dan Sartain
Replacement Man / Indian Ink (Toerag versions)

Now on red vinyl 7" I have the new single from DAN SARTAIN. One man and his guitar singing rocking out in a rock-a-billy way with the a skiffle beat and Shadows style lead guitar. He's kept his format simple using his scratchy vocals as the pivot for this 1950's throwback style kickabout. ...view item »
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James William Hindle
Joshong



Merz
Silvertree EP

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Ladyhawk
Ladyhawk

Sonically and lyrically this album is one of the more raw and honest albums I've heard. Each song is solid, and I can't quite put my finger on it but they're definitely doing something right. Although they carry a distinctly independent sound, what they lack in overall catchiness they make up for in emotional depth. Ladyhawk isn't an earthy hipp...view item »


Danielson
Ships



Tunng
The Pioneers

Tunng... Everyone's favourite new folk pop act have their final release on Static Caravan ever apparently as they have moved to new pastures. It's a 1 sided 7" or CD with' Tale from Black' plus video (ie enhanced). Both formats are limited and once they've gone that's it. Oh it's a cover of Bloc Party's 'Pioneers' as w...view item »


Ralfe Band
Women of Japan

Next we have the new CD single on Skint records by The Ralfe Band called Women of Japan who aren't as pukey as their name suggests. However I do get sea sick and this is indeed a chugging sea shanty of a release. An atmospheric delight of haunting soft vocals/wierd lyrics. I'd put this on again if I owned it ...view item »
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Lambchop
I Hope You're Sitting Down Now

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Adam Green
Jacket Full Of Danger

This album is widely recognised as the album where Adam Green "went Hollywood". Most of the tracks give-off a lounge music sort of vibe and the arrangements are warm and glittery for the most part, but rarely wreak of the cheapness that genre typically has associated with it. Like all of his CDs, it's lighthearted and shouldn't be overanalysed. ...view item »
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Black Ox Orkestar
Nisht Azoy

If you didn't fancy the Jew Tang Clan record in this week yet you need some Hasidic misery in your life then look no further than the new Black Ox Orkestar CD on Constellation bringing together Jewish folk, the whole Constellation type orchestral post rock big pompous thing and 2000 years of misery and...view item »


Richard Hawley
Born Under A Bad Sign

The king of crooners Richard Hawley is back with a new single called Born Under A bad Sign (not the Cream cover mind you...).... it's both very Richard and Hawley.... CD features a video and the 7" is numbered of 1000........view item »


Centro-Matic
Triggers & Trash Heaps

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Ralfe Band
Swords

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Roger Dean Young & The Tin Cup
Casa

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Amanda Rogers
Something Borrowed, Something Blue

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Vincent Gallo
Recordings Of Music For Film

Vincent Gallo was once quoted as saying "All Europeans are monkeys". I say "Vincent Gallo, what a nice man". Well we being monkeys of the European variety we find your LP quite boring. A couple of the songs are quite nice in a Slint sort of way but mainly it's oddball whining singer songwriter...view item »
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Richard Swift
The Novelist / Walking Without Effort



Vashti Bunyan
Lookaftering

Vashti Bunyan has released her second album 35 years after the first one. She makes Kate Bush seem prolific. The thing is, over the years, for some reason the first one has gained all these cult fans (like Four Tet and Animal Collective -with whom she recently collaborated). Its sometimes quite hard to see why the fu...view item »


Eric Malmberg
Den gtfulla mnniskan

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S.E.V.A. (Mumbles)
S.E.V.A. (Mumbles)

This third eye opening gem was discovered completely by accident and quickly became one of my favourite albums in 2005. I still pull it out of collection and listen to it on occasion. The vocal tracks are unfortunately kind of awful, but are short and can easily be deleted from a digital set of the tracks. Regardless of these minor speed-bumps on t...view item »
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Elizabeth Anka Vajagic
Nostalgia/ Pain

Elizabeth Anka Vajagic has a new mini album out on Constellation. It's on vinyl and CD and it's pretty much full price despite it being sold as an EP (3 tracks totalling 33 mins ish) which I reckon is a bit of a rip so whoever has to sort the pricing out of these things at the label sort it! Musically it's very dark and it's for e...view item »


Turin Brakes
Fishing For A Dream

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Ben Weaver
Blueslivinghollerin'

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Kathryn Williams
Shop Window

I can cope with Kathryn Williams much better. It sits nicely on my ageing ears  Though I didn't really know what to say about it so I had a quick peek on Google to see what other folks were saying and lo and behold every single review of it was the same. How appalling is that. Obviously cut and pasted from some press sheet. They all...view item »
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Summer Of Mars
Glaciers

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Brendan Benson
Spit It Out

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A Hawk And A Hacksaw
Darkness At Noon

Now onto A Horse And A Hacksaw. New LP/CD 'Darkness At Noon' brilliantly blends Eastern European folk , klezmer, mariachi, American folk and modern composition to construct a fantastic wall of sonic wonderment & blissed out psychedelic meditation. a right old breathtaking cavalcade of sound! I wrote that, I did. Didn't nick half of i...view item »


Phantom Buffalo
Shisimumu

There is a heavy Byrds element in most of the songs, from the jangle (on almost all the tracks) to the use of pedal steel (`Anywhere With Oxygen'). This coupled with frontman Jonathan Balzano-Brookes Fran Healyesque vocals make this a special record indeed. By far my favourite track is Wimp Souffle'. With a sound that's as catchy as chicken pox,...view item »
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Stephen Fretwell
Run

Another northerner doing ok for himself is Stephen Fretwell. His recent 10" sold millions apparently. Here's a new single which although the tune is ok, leans rather too far into the middle of the road David Gray, Shack, singer songwriter territory for these tired ears....view item »
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Antony & The Johnsons
I Am A Bird Now

I Am A Bird Now is one of those albums you will be delighted to have found. It is moving, eloquent, beautiful, soulful and most important of all, unique. The lead singer has a wonderful voice that was immediately reminiscent of Nina Simone and from the album opener "Hope There's Someone" you know you are in for a very special album. While only j...view item »


David Kitt
Dancing In The Moonlight

David Kitt returns with 'Dancing In the Moonlight' a cover of Thin Lizzy's wretched pile of cack that Toploader ruined everyone's life with. This is inoffensive, pointless & bland but mercifully won't win him the hand of Gail Porter. No longer a...view item »
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Adam Green
Gemstones

Adam Green is annoying for several reasons  - mainly the fact that he can't pose for a photo without having his mouth drooping open. Last years magnificent single 'Jessica' was a reason to give him the benefit of the doubt  - a magnificent melodic gem that suggested that Green could be a Neil Diamond for the new milleniu...view item »
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Amanda Rogers
Daily News

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Charlemagne
Charlemagne

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The International Noise Conspiracy
Black Mask

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Drew
Songs from The Devil's Chimney

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Black Ox Orkestar
Ver Tanzt

Another Month, another impeccably packaged release on Constellation. This is by Black Ox Orkestar & features 13 traditional Jewish folk songs, beautifully rendered in a most astonishing fashion, utilizing Balkan & Slavic arrangements & instruments such as Mandolin, Countrebass, Bass clarinet, ...view item »


Chris Brokaw
My Confidante + 3

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Elizabeth Anka Vajagic
Stand With The Stillness of This Day

Fancy some tortured Southern Gothic folk vignettes in the vein of early PJ Harvey, Diamanda Galas, Black Heart Procession or Nina Nastasia? Well look no further than Elizabeth Anka Vajagic's album on Constellation. Called 'Stand With The Stillness Of this Day', this is dark & de...view item »


Paul Armfield
Songs Without Words

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Simon Joyner
Lost With The Lights On

Simon Joyner is a proper miserable get. So misery hunters you can feel happy as yr leader hath released a brand n...view item »


Winston Echo
When Will We Commute Like The Jetsons Did?

Next up is a 3" CD by Winston Echo which is winsome acoustic pop like a young  and lively Television Personalities. Kind of all over the place but not without the all important entertainment value. On Undereducated Music. ...view item »
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The New Pornographers
Electric Version

The New Pornographers contain Neko Case and ex members of that band on Sub Pop beginning with a Z. Anyway its catchy high energy power pop with shouty tuneful harmonies. Electric Version is like an energetic Shins and is already turning out to be a big grower......view item »


Frankie Sparo
Welcome Crummy Mystics

Frankie Sparo on Constellation is an odd one. There's bits of yr post rock on there as you'd expect, shades of Low too... But also there's some lo fi ramblings too which I didn't expect. Quite twinkly and pretty in places, emminently tuneful in the majority of places and only a tiny bit a...view item »


Kelli Ali
Tigermouth

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The International Noise Conspiracy
Capitalism Stole My Virginity

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James Yorkston And The Athletes
Tender To The Blues

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Golden Synthetic Songbook/ Blue Period
Split

In on HHBTM is a new split 7" by the Golden Synthetic Songbook and The Blue Period. The GSS do the 60's sounding singer songwriter thing in yr typical lo fi fashion. The Blue Period side sounds somwhere in between XTC and Apples In Stereo. And we like this...view item »
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Jason Walker
Stranger To Someone

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Nina Nastasia
The Blackened Air

Nino Nastasia- album on Touch & Go. Singer songwriter stuff recorded by the Albini man. Lots of strings and moodyness. The Blackened Air sounds a bit special on 1st hearing.Is gonna appeal to folks who dig Tara Jane O Neill........view item »


The Arlenes
Stuck On Love

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Frankie Sparo
Arena Hostile

Hot from Canada is the new Frankie Sparo CD single on Constellation. Very mournful depressing but yet beautiful music. How do they do that? Violins and that, you get the picture. We like this here. Arena Hostile it be called.......view item »


Ashley Park
The American Scene

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Frankie Sparo
My Red Scare



Kathryn Williams
Soul To Feet

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