Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Elfin Saddle
Devastates

The band are called Elfin Saddle, so I think we can safely assume that Devastates ain’t gonna be too heavy on the ears. What it is, however, is a collection of earthy folk stomps that nod to both Richard Dawson and The Incredible String Band. The vocals of Jordan McKenzie and Emi Honda - his a reedy tenor, hers a full-throated alto - complement each other beautifully.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

This Is The Kit
Live at Third Man Records

This Is The Kit find the sublime in the humdrum on this new live 7”. Masterminded by Kate Stables, This Is The Kit have been recording since 2003, with records coming out on labels like Rough Trade and Brassland. Recorded live, ‘Cold and Got Colder’ comes out via Third Man Records, and sees Stables further explore her niche of shuffling, disjointed songwriting, pairing subdued soloing with stellar brass interplay.    
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

First Aid Kit
Drunken Trees

Sweedish folk duo First Aid Kit deliver their debut: Drunken Trees. This quietly accomplished mini LP centres itself around an acoustic sound. At no point does this record make a concerted effort at hiding an undeniably impressive vocal capacity. This is a mightily impressive sounding record. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

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 lyrics. It’s a warm cup of tea on a rainy Sunday, just how good folk music should be.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Andrew Combs
Worried Man

First vinyl pressing of Andrew Combs' 2012 album Worried Man (those pressing plant waiting lists are getting ridiculous). Combs is a committed blues and folk troubadour who very likely lists a certain Bob Dylan at the top of his biggest influences. He's warms of voice and vivid of lyric, and knows exactly when to turn the instrumentation up to thrilling. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Donovan
Barabajagal

Barabajagal was Donovan’s 7th album. It finds the Scottish folk/pop singer/songwriter in a rockier than usual frame of mind. The title track featured Jeff Beck on guitar and laid down a bluesy/psych-rock groove, with Superlungs (My Supergirl) and the exploratory psychedelia of Atlantis providing some of Donovan’s best moments. The album was produced by Mickie Most and was originally released in 1969. Reissue LP on The State51 Conspiracy.

The Delines
The Imperial

Singer, songwriter and novelis Willy Vlautin’s post-Richmond Fontaine band, The Delines return with their second album, The Imperial. The band feature members of The Damnations TX, The Minus 5 and other members of Richmond Fontaine. They play a soulful brand of alt. Country which would suit fans of Whiskeytown and Lambchop. LP and CD on Decor.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Larry Jon Wilson
Let Me Sing My Song To You

Larry Jon Wilson is compelling proof that spending time in corporate America isn't all corrupting. He spent ten years in a suit before starting a career as a musician. On Let Me Sing My Song To You, his second album, Wilson flexes his distinct funky country style alongside a voice that feels like the warmest of hugs. A long overdue reissue from Be With Records.

Jeff Tweedy
Warm

Warm is the second solo album by Jeff Tweedy, but the first to be comprised entirely from new material. It follows on from last year’s Together At Last, which contained acoustic versions of songs from his bands Wilco, Golden Smog and Loose Fur. Here, he is ably assisted by his son, Spencer Tweedy, Wilco drummer, Glenn Kotche and Tom Schick. It was produced and recorded by Jeff Tweedy, which really makes it totally his album. LP and CD on dBpm Records.
  • Vinyl LP (0850001284011)
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  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

The Felice Brothers
The Felice Brothers

The Felice Brothers debut album was originally released in 2008. The band, who call New York’s Catskill Mountains home, took their inspiration from The Band - seemingly just as much from their unkempt, ragged look on the cover of their self-titled second album as they did from the music. For those that enjoy their alt. country/Americana, this is a high-point of the genre. 10th anniversary reissue.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Robert Wyatt
Nothing Can Stop Us Now

Though he could have been seen by some as a relic from the '60s and '70s, Robert Wyatt was at his most potent in the early '80s. Taken under the wing of the left leaning Rough Trade label he produced a string of excellent singles  - all cover versions which were collected onto Nothing Can Stop Us Now. The headliner is the remarkable Top 40 hit Shipbuilding but Wyatt's take on Chic's At Last I Am Free and Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit are spine tingling. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

The Sensory Illusions
The Sensory Illusions

The Sensory Illusions are Bill Wells and tuba genius Danielle Price. Both the songs, which vary from jazz to folk and  more, and the name came to Wells in a dream. Wells has had a long and illustrious career, never content to settle. Price meanwhile has played with Mats Gustafson, Ntshuks Bonga and more.

Larry Jon Wilson
New Beginnings

Larry Jon Wilson may have one of the loveliest voices I've ever heard, and yet odds are, you've never heard of him. Be With Records have taken on the important task of reissuing his early work, New Beginnings being his debut album recorded after a decade in corporate America. Sadly, he was never a huge success in his own time but his voice and its accompanying country but funky style are well worth trying on. 

Daniel Knox
Chasescene

Chicagoan vibrato-on-legs Daniel Knox scrambles Jarvis Cocker and Nina Natasia to lend their talents to new album Chasescene. Knox’s heartfelt, mongrel style of piano playing and weary, croaky voice drive his cinematic and noirish representations of nighttime heartbreak, intrigue and disarray in the windy city.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Richard Swift
The Novelist / Walking Without Effort

Richard Swift was in fact a Christian artist back in the '90s recording under the name Dicky Ochoa. The Novelist and Walking Without Effort were his two debut secular releases showcasing the producer as he found his way around the recording studio. Both showcase his ability to make records that have something of the Harry Nilsson or Burt Bacharach about them yet remain completely contemporary.  
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Darren Hayman
Thankful Villages Vol. 3

Since 2016, Darren Hayman has been conducting an investigation into the the nuances of rural life in Britain. He took as his starting point the island's Thankful Villages, those to whom all their soldiers returned from the First World War alive. He visited each in turn, creating in response to them. Volume 3 marks the end of Hayman's study, one whose pastoral folk guitar capture the essence of its subject.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Israel Nash Gripka
Live In Holland - Barn Doors Concrete Floors Tour

Remember neo-Americana soul-pourer Israel Nash Gripka’s 2011 live album 2011 Barn Doors Spring Tour, Live in Holland? Yes, that one. We do too, and now most of the songs from it (and apparently one not on it?) have found their way onto a vinyl rerelease courtesy of Must Have Music. If you’re one of those people who must have must-have music in your lives, come on then. No excuses.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Lily & Madeleine
Canterbury Girls

US duo Lily & Madeleine started making music at high school. They were young but very good at what they did and got signed to Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty label. Now signed to hip Nashville label New West, they’re not that much older and already have album number 4 ready to go. Canterbury Girls was produced by Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk, the duo behind Kacey Musgraves’ crossover success, Golden Hour. LP and CD on New West.

Henry Jamison
Gloria Duplex

Gloria Duplex is the second album by Vermont-based singer/songwriter Henry Jamison. The album examines how it feels to be white and male in the US in the current social climate, but not in a disturbing Trump kind of way. It was produced by Thomas Bartlett, who has worked with Sufjan Stevens, with string arrangements by Rob Moose, who did the same for Bon Iver. LP and CD on Akira Records.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Matt Elliott
The Calm Before

Matt Elliott launched his career with ferocious albums of experimental drum and bass under his The Third Eye Foundation alias, but on his subsequent solo work he’s focused that energy on inventive folk and acoustic music. The Calm Before continues this approach with six pieces of delicate and rich songwriting.  

Calexico
The Black Light (20th Anniversary Edition)

The Black Light by Calexico was originally released 20 years ago so it seems fitting that we now have a 20th anniversary version to savour. It was the band’s second album, but probably the first to get them noticed. Their mix of mariachi brass, flamenco, indie rock and jazz wrapped up in dusty Americana was seamlessly blended to create a sound that is very much their own. Features a guest appearance from Howe Gelb of Giant Sand. Double LP and CD on City Slang.

Daniel Romano
Finally Free

Daniel Romano is definitely good at two things: 1) making his album covers look like albums that are found in charity shops (check out the covers for Workin’ For The Music Man and Come Cry With Me). 2) working hard - Finally Free is his eighth album in as many years. His music has run the gamut of classic sounds from the past. On the evidence of the track All The Reaching Trims, he delves into the world of late ‘60s singer/songwriter to great effect. LP and CD on New West.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Mandolin Orange
Tides of a Teardrop

Tides of a Teardrop is about as sad as it sounds, with the songs on this album searching for weights to bear. Country music mister and misses Mandolin Orange try to deal with the death of Andrew Marlin’s mum by writing songs about it. The result is a quiet and introspective album with mournful tunes, wailing violins, and slow-paced vocals. 
  • Vinyl Double LP (LPYEP2638X)
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Neil Young
Songs For Judy

Songs For Judy sees Neil Young delving into his rich archive again. This time, it’s a debut release for his own Shakey Pictures Records label. The album gathers together solo live recordings from November 1976. There are well-known classics such as Heart Of Gold, The Needle And The Damage Done and After Gold Rush coupled with early versions of songs such as White Line which wouldn’t appear in studio form until his 1990 album, Ragged Glory. This album’s USP, however, is No One Seems To Know - a song that has never been released anywhere before. Double LP on 140g vinyl and CD.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore
Ghost Forests

Meg Baird and Mary Lattimore are both great, let's be honest. So Ghost Forests was bound to be a winner of a record: and so it has proved. The two musicians have built six songs together, mixing the many strings of the guitar and the harp with Mary’s vocals. Ghosts Forests feels like a perfect fitting-together of two excellent solo artists: try it. On Three Lobed Recordings.

Eliza Shaddad
Future

Eliza Shaddad has threatened an LP for a while now. In Future she's come through with a debut full-length for Beatnik Creative that makes good on the promise of her early EPs. Shaddad confesses to listening to plenty of Hole and Portishead in the run up to Future, and their influence is palpable here. See also PJ Harvey and Lyla Foy. You’ve got the keys, now Shaddad and drive.

Ed Harcourt
Beyond The End

Famed for writing exquisite pop songs that plough similar furrows to Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson on albums such as Here Be Monsters before turning his hand to being songwriter to the stars, Ed Harcourt follows his expansive major label debut, Furnaces (2016), with a real curveball. Beyond The End is an album of piano-led instrumentals, with inspiration taken from Saite, Mozart, Debussy, Max Richter, Philip Glass and Warren Ellis all imbued with Harcourt’s melodic and mournful sensibilities. LP and CD on Point Of Departure.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Sun Kil Moon
This Is My Dinner

This Is My Dinner is the ninth album from Sun Kil Moon. It was written and recorded in November and December 2017 in Copenhagen and San Francisco. There are covers of AC/DC and Partridge Family songs. Mark Kozelek has also set a chapter from Irish writer, John Connolly’s novel ‘He’ to music. So it’s not just songs about his evening meal, then? CD on Caldo Verde.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Ryley Walker
The Lillywhite Sessions

Dave Matthews Band recorded an album with producer Steve Lillywhite which was scrapped at the label’s behest. Now, this bit confuses me - the press release here describe the album in terms I would not match with Dave Matthews Band such as ‘art rock’ and ‘masterpiece’. However, they are terms I can associate with Ryley Walker who has tried his hand at re-recording the album, The Lillywhite Sessions. Although the Dave Matthews Band version was scrapped, some tracks showed up on their 2002 album Busted Stuff. From hearing those tracks I think they might sound rather fine in the hands of Ryley Walker. LP and CD on Dead Oceans.

Heather Woods Broderick
Glider

‘Glider’ is the latest LP release from melancholic, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Heather Woods Broderick. The album is comprised of richly textured, atmospheric dreamscapes crafted from Broderick’s, uniquely ethereal, wall of sound vocals, carried by untreated, exposed piano and layers of hypnotic guitar sounds.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou
Fair Lady London

Indie-folk couple, formerly of Indigo Moss and Danny & The Champions Of The World, Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou put their career on the back-burner for a few years to have a baby. Now they’re back with Fair Lady London, their fifth album. After having the luxury of a full studio and the experienced ears of Ethan Johns to produce their last album, they have stripped everything back and recorded this of a trusty ol’ Tascam 4-track recorder. Features a guest appearance from Danny George Wilson (Danny & The Champions Of The World, Grand Drive). LP and CD on Maiden Voyage.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

The Gracious Losers
The Last of the Gracious Losers

More creativity from Glasgow which is surely one of the UK's most productive cities. I went to a dog disco there  - it was incredible. Anyway this is the brainchild of one Jonathan Lilley and it features a 12 piece ensemble made out of people from Thrum, God Help the Girl and something called The Berrie Big Band. Influences include Neil Young and Van Morrison so this could be rather interesting. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Devon Church
We Are Inextricable

Brooklyn Winnipegger Devon Church, fresh out of a dissolved marriage and creative partnership (Exitmusic) with Aleksa Palladino, bounces back with solo album We Are Inextricable on same old label Felte. Awkward! Now solely responsible for vocals, he seems to have assumed the role of a heavily wizened, Waits-like whiskey crooner, rasping away over swirls of glum dream pop.
  • Vinyl LP (FLT053LP)
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  • Last copy
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Simon Finn
Pass The Distance

Pass The Distance by Simon Finn was originally released in 1970 and is a defining album in the history of psychedelic folk. It pushes the oddball leanings of Skip Spence and Pearls Before Swine to a new level of weird. One song only exists because one of his flatmates wrote down his mescaline-fuelled meanderings so he was able to remember them.  Finn is backed on the album by famous David Toop and Paul Burwell, two experts in free-improvising.

Cubs
Darkr Earlyr

Right, well I hope you're up for some fireside folk on these dark and wintry evenings. It's Cubs, with their second LP 'Darkr Earlyr' following their 2011 debut 'The Whispering Woods' on Rusted Rail records. Taking advantage of the resurgence of interest in leftfield folk, the Irish band features members of A Lilac Decline, Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon, United Bible Studies and Loner Deluxe. Dreamy melodies, stellar improvisation and rustic songcraft make Darkr Earlyr an essential late-season listen.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Bert Jansch
A Man I’d Rather Be (Part I)

The Bert Jansch estate has worked with Earth Recordings to bring us A Man I'd Rather Be (Part 1). The collection arrives as a 4-LP set in case-bound book or 4-CD set in book-back packaging. With music culled from the highly prolific Jansch's '60s years, namely: 'Bert Jansch'; 'It Don't Bother Me'; 'Jack Orion' and 'Bert & John' -- so Part 1 starts, logically enough, at the very beginning. These four records were recorded in the space of just 2 years, and amazingly enough were of the highest quality. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Ruby Throat
Stone Dress

Stone Dress is the fifth album by folk noir duo Ruby Throat. The band feature KatieJane Garside, known for previous bands the '90s flash-in-the-pan indie noiseniks Daisy Chainsaw and noughties alt-rockers Queenadrena, and her American partner Chris Whittingham. LP and CD on One Little Indian. Both formats feature bonus CD Liar, Flower.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Mumford & Sons
Delta

You know when a band is expected to shift a few units when the press release bangs on about the massive tour the band are about to embark on. In this case it’s the trust-fund Wurzels (thank you, Charlie Brooker) Mumford & Sons. Their new and fourth album filled with anthemic folk-rock is locked and loaded and ready to go. Produced by master polisher Paul Epworth whose production credits range from Adele to Friendly Fires to Thurston Moore. Lovely double LP and CD on Island. 

Adrianne Lenker & Buck Meek
A Sides and B Sides

Big Thief duo Adrianne Lenker & Buck Meek bring together their 2014 EPs A-Sides and B-Sides on one slab o’ wax/disc o’ polycarbonate. Anyone who copped the records when they first saw light of day will know that these are spare indie-folk affairs that any Zooey Deschanel-types in your life will go crazy for. For those who're new here - these are spare indie-folk affairs that any Zooey Deschanel-types in your life will go crazy for.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Craig Brown Band
Big City Small Town

Craig Brown Band follow-up their debut album, The Lucky Ones, with Big City Small Town, a 7” single that meshes garage-rock with country. Since their debut album, they have toured with country...legend, probably….Dwight Yokam and now are about to embark on a European tour for the first time. 7" on Third Man.

Stephen Steinbrink
Utopia Teased

And I thought Stephen Steinbrink was such a nice clean living young man. Well understandably perhaps, after the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland he went a bit off the rails... eating LSD daily, refusing to sleep and locking himself in his studio. The results are contained within Utopia Teased, an album which eschews the clear lines of previous albums for a rougher production which mirrors the dark days Steinbrink was having whilst making the record.  

Dan Mangan
More or Less

With his new album, More Or Less, Canadian songsmith, Dan Mangan has made music that is both more sparse and more direct than on previous albums. He was inspired to take this path by listening to classic albums such as Pink Moon by Nick Drake and Astral Weeks by Van Morrison during the recording process. He also took less time over whole process in an attempt to capture the ultimate performance for the record. LP and CD on City Slang.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Alela Diane
The Pirate's Gospel (Deluxe Edition)

The Pirate's Gospel was the debut album by the now renowned singer/songwriter Alela Diane. It was originally released in 2006. It seemed inevitable that she would end up as a recording artist, both of her parents were musicians and she grew up in a house filled with music. Her songs generally focus on family and nature, and here she is found already re-evaluating her life as things she had previously relied on were no longer available to her.  180g vinyl or CD, remastered with 10 bonus tracks on Allpoints.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

David Allred
The Transition

David Allred’s The Transition arrives on Erased Tapes (A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Nils Frahm). There’s a nice interplay of chamber composition, folk music and close harmony going on here. ‘The Garden’, for instance, is the sort of thing you imagine Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears might have got up to were they alive today.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Two Medicine
Astropsychosis

Peaceful psychedelic rock is a genre underrepresented in between all the endless distorted guitar solos we get to listen to here at Norman HQ. Two Medicine, created by Paul Alexander from indie/psych rockers Midlake, are taking a much more poppy approach to psychedelia. Named after a part of Glacier National Park, the album flaunts a romantic sound, something of an appreciation of quiet, peace, and natural beauty.

Harmony Rockets with Special Guest Peter Walker
Lachesis / Clotho / Atropos

Harmony Rockets, better known as Mercury Rev, of course renowned for their free-wheeling psychedelic rock. Joining forces on Lachesis / Clotho / Atropos with Peter Walker, known for his American-folk approach to ragas. The record also boasts appearances from Steve Shelley from Sonic Youth and Nels Clines from Wilco, so it's gonna be either a trip, pretty radical, or both.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

John Cale
Music For A New Society/M:FANS

An interesting move here from John Cale, who is simultaneously re-releasing and re-interpreting his 1982 album Music For A New Society. The new version, M:FANS, is unlikely to be confused with the original, as it is laden with very modern electronic production, often coming through as a weird kind of R&B. This 2CD release has both versions. On Domino.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Loren Connors
Unaccompanied Acoustic Guitar Improvisations Vol. 10

Loren Connors has been a prolific maker and documenter of guitar music for many years now; across at least a hundred records spanning four decades in fact. Here is the latest volume -- the tenth! -- a continuation of his unaccompanied acoustic guitar improvisations; he made a series of 9 solo acoustic records under the name of Loren Mazzacane between 1979 and 1980. His delta and country blues style is sounding as spectral and distinctive as it ever did. Limited edition LP on Blank Forms with hand-assembled art covers.

Novo Amor & Ed Tullett
Heiress

Heiress is the culmination of over three years of writing, recording, rerecording and tinkering on the part of electro indie-folk producer Ed Tullett and multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Ali Meredith-Lacey aka Novo Amor. Bursting with choruses of heartfelt crooning and very meaningful lyrics (“In your outdoors, lay your throne and your wreath in your hung jaw, were you caught on your feet?”), it’s a solid work of millennial romance.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Bob Dylan
More Blood, More Tracks - The Bootleg Series Vol. 14

More Blood More Tracks by Bob Dylan is available as 2LP or CD versions which offer an interesting, diluted overview of different takes from his classic 1975 album Blood On The Tracks. It is also available as - Dylan nerds, listen up - a 6CD box set with numerous outtakes of each track including 8 takes of You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go, one after the other. I’d say the latter is for serious fans only, but there are plenty of you out there, so go for it!
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Laura Gibson
Goners

Goners is Laura Gibson’s fifth album, but her first after having completed an MFA in writing, which brings a particular mature depth to her lyrics, which explore strange and dark feelings of grief and loss. These songs are brought into being by a band that includes Dan Hunt and Dave Depper, and with Gibson sometimes stepping away from the guitar into Wurlitzer and tape loop territory. Out on City Slang.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Doug Paisley
Starter Home

Doug Paisley’s fourth album, Starter Home, is his first since 2014’s Strange Feelings. Recorded in and around his native Toronto, the folk and country singer/songwriter used various friend’s home studios with many of them starring on the record too. The time lag between albums has only seen Paisley transform into an even better songwriter. LP and CD on No Quarter.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Emma Tricca
St. Peter

Emma Tricca’s first LP since 2014’s Relic is another record of delicate, dreamy folk-rock. Devendra Banhart and Jane Weaver spring to mind on tracks like the gorgeous, feathery ‘Julian’s Wings’. St. Peter also features a pretty star-studded credit reel - members of Sonic Youth, The Dream Syndicate and Paper Dollhouse all make appearances.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Tom Odell
Jubilee Road

Crooning posho Tom Odell limbers up for another chart-dominating year with his third LP Jubilee Road. The title track sounds nothing like Nick Cave’s late-period masterpiece ‘Jubilee Street’. In fact it’s more like closing-time Elton John. The rest of the album is that sort of thing you turn to whenever you’ve run out of Adele. We look forward to images of Odell chinking glasses with Marcus Mumford at the first post-Brexit Brit Awards.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Micah P. Hinson
When I Shoot At You With Arrows, I Will Shoot To Destroy You

Strong words from Texas native Micah P. Hinson, although his album seems to be on target if you're big into distorted singer-songwriter stuff with a retro early 2000s feel. When I Shoot at You With Arrows, I Will Shoot to Destroy You is the 4th album by the man who considers Obama to be 'the Murderer of the American Dream'--whatever that means. 
  • Vinyl LP (FTH330LPA)
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  • CD (FTH330CD)
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  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Bert Jansch
Just a Simple Soul

Just A Simple Soul is the first career-spanning anthology of master guitarist and folk hero, Bert Jansch. The album has been compiled by super-fan Bernard Butler along with the Bert Jansch estate. For the uninitiated, this collection will give you an insight into the music and talent of a man who was loved by the likes of Johnny Marr and Neil Young. Double LP or Double CD on Sanctuary.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Mary Lou Lord
Got No Shadow

Mary Lou Lord gave the world her debut LP Got No Shadow in 1998, issued via a since defunct sub-label of Sony. Two decades later this remarkable blend of indie-rock and folk gets a wider, remastered release on Fire. A collection of a baker's dozen of songs drawn from sets that Mary Lou performed for weary commuters passing through London and Boston underground stations; both self-penned and made collaboratively with Nick Saloman of The Bevis Frond. A taut, emotive and bittersweet LP with cameos coming from Money Mark , Elliott Smith and Jon Brion. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Oh Pep!
I Wasn't Only Thinking About You…

ATO Records (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For The Riff Raff) drop the sophomore LP from Australian twosome Oh Pep!. I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You is a record full of nice, well-crafted ditties, a few of which also come equipped with festival-friendly choruses. Think Camera Obscura with a bit more of a straight-up folk-rock vibe.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Kurt Vile
b’lieve i'm goin down…

b’lieve i’m goin down… is album number six from troubadour Kurt Vile. What he has for us is a rich new collection of twelve songs, a kind of country-indie-rock that Vile is obviously extremely comfortable making. CD and 2LP editions, and also available as a triple-LP with six extra tracks, titled believe I’m goin (deep) down...

Terry Callier
The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier

The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier was the debut album by the celebrated guitarist. The album was recorded in one afternoon in 1964, capturing a raw talent in his element. With just voice, guitar and a pair of bass players, Callier infuses jazz and soul with folk to create a unique sound. The album wasn’t released until 1968 as the master tape was temporarily lost. This reissue comes with new liner notes by Jason Woodbury which add a valuable narrative to the album. 50th anniversary 2LP reissue featuring 5 previously unreleased alternate takes.

Lindsay Clark
Crystalline

Begat and raised in the Sierra Nevada mountains and now resident of Portland, Oregon, subtle songwriter and nature-lover Lindsay Clark returns with her fourth album. Crystalline focuses on highly delicate, nuanced songwriting. Layered vocals, piano, flute, clarinet, piano and guitar quietly articulate Clark & co's expressive tunes.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Francis Plagne
Funeral Mutes

Frances Plagne (of Waste Drink and Food Court) is a keen explorer of longform experimental folk songs, with at least a touch of prog. Funeral Mutes was recorded with assistance from musicians including Oren Ambarchi-collaborator Joe Talia and James Rushford. 300 LP copies on Plagne’s own Mould Museum label.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

John Grant
Love Is Magic

John Grant feels that album-by-album his music is becoming a truer reflection of who he is. Judging by the cover of his 4th solo album, Love Is Magic, he’s really coming out of his shell. The former Czars frontman debuted with Queen Of Denmark, an album of sublime soft rock with unflinching and, at times, humorous lyrics. Since then his music has become increasingly more electronic and more experimental. His brutal and confessional lyrics remain.Love IS Magic was Produced in collaboration with Benge, AKA Ben Edwards from Wrangler who collaborated on the Creep Show project earlier in the year.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Charalambides
Charalambides: Tom and Christina Carter

Though Tom and Christina Carter have enjoyed long and varied solo careers, they are also known for their long running acid-fried improvisational duo Charalambides. You'd think from the title that this was a 'best of' of some sort but no this is a new studio album, delving deeper into their hypnotic world. Recorded over two sessions with no overdubs this is sure to be a fascinating take on the duo at work.      

Richard Ashcroft
Natural Rebel

I mean... will you just look at him. This 'natural rebel' was of course best known for being the frontman of the Verve until they multi imploded. "My strongest set of songs to date" says Ashcroft about his latest collection. Not a hard achievement I suppose given the quality (or lack of) seen in his solo career to date.  Someone get this man a tin of prunes.  
  • Label(s):
  • BMG
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Buxton
Stay Out Late

Texas quintet Buxton emerge from an involuntary hiatus of strummer’s block with new album Stay Out Late. Aside from dictating to you how to spend your Friday night, the album comprises the results of reinvigorated creativity, the band having found itself back in the studio for the first time in years. The similarity of principle songwriter Sergio Trevino’s voice to Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor’s is quite remarkable. Has anyone ever seen them both in the same room?

Julie Doiron
Julie Doiron Canta en Español Vol. III

Former Eric's Trip bassist Julie Doiron has long been a much loved songwriter whose work has been compared to Damien Jurado or Bill Callahan. Influenced by the '60s and '70s songwriters who did the same and with the assistance of label boss and poet Jesus Llorente she has now translated her work into Spanish of which this 10" is the third in a series.  
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Phosphorescent
Song For Zula 


  • Vinyl 12" (DOC089LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition
  • Last copy
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Benoît Pioulard
Temper / Precis

The first two albums by Benoit Pioulard, dating from 2006 and 2008 originally, get a nice double LP reissue here from Kranky. Temper and Precis showcase a talent apparently fully-formed already: these homemade-feeling songs, dripping in characterful fuzz and electronic tweaks, immediately draw you in to Benoit’s intimate world. Two albums in one package!
  • Vinyl Double LP (KRANK123LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Benoît Pioulard
Lasted

Benoît Pioulard may have concentrated a little more on his drifty ambient side in recent years and monumentally gorgeous it is but Lasted was the moment he blended his sonic explorations with glorious songwriting. It has a beautifully autumnal feel as if Jose Gonzales or Elliott Smith had been smothered head to foot in leaves fallen from sycamore trees. A beautiful record. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Matt Berry
Television Themes

The Voice himself aka Matt Berry comes through with a typically zany collection. Along with his band The Maypoles, Berry has reinterpreted several of his favourite television themes - hence the LP being called ... Television Themes - from days of yore. ‘Blankety Blank’, ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Rainbow’ and more are reimagined in a library-ish style here. Naff as hell, but all the better for it.
  • Genre(s):
  • Soundtracks
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Valley Maker
Rhododendron

Valley Maker is the project of Seattle-based songwriter Austin Crane. On Rhododendron, taking inspiration from the likes of Gillian Welch, Bill Fay and Jason Molina, he sings about moving from one thing, place or belief to another. With all this movement, however, comes a firm-footed reassurance that he’s not going anywhere. LP and CD on French Kiss.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Anna St. Louis
If Only There Was A River

Anna St. Louis’s voice is not powerful. Nor is it impressive. It’s not even particularly reliable - the eleven tracks of If Only There Was A River find her frequently sliding between notes to find pitch. However, all of this stuff just adds fuel to the fire of David Byrne’s old adage that ‘the better the singer’s voice, the harder it is to believe what they’re saying’. St. Louis’ singing is absolutely beguiling here, guiding us like an old friend through these gentle folk-rock tunes. Think Gillian Welch and certain corners of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s catalogue. Lovely record.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Adrianne Lenker
Abysskiss

A collection of new and unforgotten songs from Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker. The songs on Abysskiss are much more intimate than those Lenker plays with her band, giving us a more complete vision of her abilities as a songwriter. The guitar playing is plaintive and tender, and her singing is warm and welcoming. On Saddle Creek.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Cat Power
Wanderer

Cat Power celebrates the great blues tradition of transience on her first album in six years Wanderer. It was written over the course of a couple years during which she toured, and travelled, and played. Folk and blues are fundamentally collaborative genres and Wanderer is no different, featuring old friends, and a tour mate in Lana Del Rey.

Nathan Bowles
Plainly Mistaken

Banjo player, Nathan Bowles, who has played with Steve Gunn, The Black Twig Pickers and Pelt has assembled a band for the first time for his new album, Plainly Mistaken. Casey Toll of Mt. Moriah plays double bass whilst CAVE drummer Rex McMurry completes the three-piece. There are a few meditative solo pieces on show but the when the band get together they swing. Inspiration comes from places as diverse as the Appalachian tradition,  Julie Tippetts, Cousin Emmy and Silver Apples.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Madeline Kenney
Perfect Shapes

Perfect Pitchfork-ready indie dreaming here from Madeline Kenney who has had her latest produced by Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak. She's previously been compared with Liz Phair and has worked extensively with Chaz Bear (Toro Y Moi). She's also getting ready to tour the UK and Europe just as soon as that 7.6 score comes in. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

William Elliott Whitmore
Kilonova

Chicago’s Bloodshot Records (The Mekons, Murder By Death) release an LP of covers by seasoned troubador WIlliam Elliott Whitmore. Whitmore COVERS (geddit?) a lot of ground on Kilonova. Some of the tunes here were written relatively recently - he opens with a version of The Magnetic Fields’ ‘Fear Of Trains’, for instance - while others date back to the Great Depression. However old the source material, Whitmore and his guitar always imbue these ten songs with a dose of whisky-soaked wisdom.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

The Other Years
The Other Years

Kentucky duo The Other Years consists of Anna Krippenstapel (Joan Shelley, Freakwater) on fiddle and Heather Summers on guitar and banjo, with both singing. Their self-titled debut offers a charming and haunting suite of original songs alongside Michael Hurley’s ‘Wildgeeses’ and a few traditional renditions.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Phosphorescent
C’est La Vie

The ‘Song For Zula’ singer (you’ll know it when you hear it) comes back with his first LP in a half-decade. Now that Justin Vernon is fully lost in the Kid A sauce, Matthew Houck’s guise positions him well to assume the mantle as the king of folkish indie. Judging by positive stuff that’s happened in his life since 2013’s Muchacho - he’s had some kids and left New York - and the upbeat strum of new Phosphorescent single ‘New Birth In New England’, Houck will be a more benevolent ruler than the furrowed-browed Vernon.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Marissa Nadler
For My Crimes

The eighth LP from Marissa Nadler arrives courtesy of Sacred Bones. While this record may feature contributions from Angel Olsen, Mary Lattimore, Kristin Kontrol and Sharon Van Etten, their parts only ever act as augmentations to Nadler’s beguiling songs. The eleven tracks of For My Crimes cover ground between Murder Ballads-y gallows-song (the title track) to a sort of heartland-grunge hybrid (‘Blue Vapor’).
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Cult Party
And Then There Was This Sound

Sad hits for all the family (lest there are happy members of it), it's the brand new record by not-at-all-super stars Cult Party! This wonderful band may have been a solitary, self-preserving bedroom band once upon a time, but on And Then There Was This Sound songwriter Leo Robinson opens up his sounds with the help of pals including weirdo rocker Kiran Leonard. Creative and wayward without sacrificing the delicate and skeletal sound of old, this record is bound to be special.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

WELFARE
Useful Toil

For those not yet forlorn enough, may I suggest the appropriately titled Useful Toil, which should sleepily descend melancholy on you without fuss. Dream pop cut from the finest reverb cloth, Welfare take their favourite genre and give its ethereality a lushness, offering acoustic guitars, strings and flutes, plus some of that organ that makes Beach House so good. A sure to be gorgeous release.
  • Vinyl 7" (BBR#32)
  • £7.49 £3.75 (saving: £3.74)
  • In stock and ready to ship

Greg Sage
Straight Ahead

This album by Greg Sage is notable for being the one that persuaded J. Mascis that the acoustic guitar was a thing worth existing, and Straight Ahead is worth your attention for that alone. Though even if you could care less about Dinosaur Jr, you should check it out on its own merit, as Wipers man Sage created an excellent, rather special album here. Remastered and reissued by Luxury Products.

39th & The Nortons
Mourning Waltz

Straight outta Paris come 39th & The Nortons, led by enthusiastic band creator Nick Wheeldon with a mission to resurrect the sixties in sonic form. Specifically, the group are after that lovely overlap between psychedelic guitars and organs, folky songcraft, and symphonic sweep. Mourning Waltz is released by Requiem Pour Un Twister.

Mountain Man
Magic Ship

In this, the age of instant content, an eight year gap between album can prove utterly deadly. Fortunately for us Mountain Man were able to survive such a gulf to bring us Magic Ship. As on their debut, this is an album which celebrates not just the voice, but voices. The genius of Amelia Meath (of Sylvan Esso), Molly Erin Sarlé and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig lies in the control of their own voices, and their awareness of their bandmates'.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Richard Reed Parry
Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1

While Richard Reed Parry has previously explored neoclassical textures, Quiet River of Dust Vol 1 sees him move into exquisite songcraft matching Beach Boys harmonies with electronic pulses and songs culled from both the British and Japanese folk tradition. He's also a member of twenty plus-headed stadium rock beast Arcade Fire which should help his solo works find a deserved audience. 

Richard Thompson
13 Rivers

A member of Fairport Convention all the way back in 1967, Richard Thompson, is still making urgent and heartfelt rock'n'roll. 13 Rivers is his first solo album since 2015, and the first that he's self-produced in over ten years. The result is the complete erosion of any space between the listener and Thompson, making the songs all the more profound. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Rosali
Trouble Anyway

After stints in the bands Long Hots and Wandering Shade, Rosali is now sharing both her strength and vulnerability on her new album Trouble Anyway. Charlie Hall from War On Drugs, Purling Hiss mainman Mike Polizze and critically acclaimed harpist, Mary Lattimore feature in Rosali’s backing band, making an album that displays musical lushness and riffs in equal measure. LP and CD on Scissor Tail Editions.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Current 93
The Light Is Leaving Us All

David Tibet's never-ending Current 93 project continues to do its thing with The Light Is Leaving Us All, another foray into the deep web of psych folk that will most likely shake you to your very core. An interesting lineup characterises this one, including Nurse With Wound's Andrew Liles, renowned contemporary pianist Reinier van Houdt and folk songwriter Alasdair Roberts. Plus others, just in time for the Halloween season.

Emma Ruth Rundle
On Dark Horses

Oh I do love an Emma Ruth Rundle mystery. This week's instalment sees our intrepid sleuth come out of a personal nadir by moving home, getting a new friend and making a new album with other friends. This is heart on sleeve stuff, uncomfortable realties put to music in dark duets that recall Johnny and June.  
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter

Blaze Foley
Sittin' By The Road

Blaze Foley was an Arkansas folksman who was shot to death in suspicious circumstances in 1989. Despite relatively little success in his lifetime, Foley is admired by the likes of Willie Nelson and Caleb Followill. Sittin’ By The Road collects a dozen of his earliest known recordings. The titles on this are bloody great. ‘Big Cheeseburgers And Good French Fries’. ‘Fat Boy’. ‘Let Me Ride In Your Big Cadillac’.
  • Genre(s):
  • Folk / Country / Singer-songwriter