Detailed info. Total Ratings: Not enough ratings. Please login before doing this. QY Posted at Samsung Galaxy Note2 Fun 2 7 1 Replies. Discover Superb Games. Cooperation E-mail: Related Recommendations More. Infinite Dungeon Breach: God of Highschool Action 8. Confirm Cancel. Anyone who digs recent Woods, or likes digging into the post-psychedelic Grateful Dead catalog, could find plenty to like here.
The album possesses unfussy warmth that is quiet and easygoing, and divulges with each spin heartstring hooks and compositional depth. It can be a weakness as much as a strength; it can keep you from the reality of your own life, your own self. Lindeman writes literate songs with unusual precision and sings them in an understated, open-hearted way that lends good poetry the directness of conversation.
There are many wise, deceptively simple insights on this wonderful album. A stunningly beautiful thing. Every song exudes a strong and individual musical personality, each one wrapped in a carefully shaped arrangement. When I started reading the words, my interest in the album redoubled — just like that. These turn out to be short stories in prose-poem form, arranged with great scrupulousness and performed with imaginative sensitivity.
Tradition-spanning contemplative folk that captures rare beauty in both lyrics and melodies. One of the year's most stirring and understated folk records, a masterful collection of humble, ethereal, and introspective music. Instantly recalls the work of fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell, due to her phrasing and the sweet airiness of her voice, but musically speaking, Bill Callahan is more of a kindred spirit. These 11 country and folk-toned songs draw from both the US and British traditions and are as ravishing as they are effortlessly sophisticated and precise.
Recalls the vignettes of another Canadian folk divinity [Joni Mitchell. Joni Mitchell has been casting a large shadow over folk music recently as we remember and celebrate her legacy. And it's hard not to hear her whisper behind the voice of Tamara Lindeman. The 11 songs on third LP Loyalty feel like eavesdropping on a private conversation within a car on a long winter road trip: For listeners compelled to hitch a ride, Loyalty rewards with a beautifully delivered collection of quiet revelations.
This is pure, low-key, expressive modern folk music, with sparse arrangements that hit with a strange power that kick drum on "Shy Women" might punch a hole in your chest. Singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman sounds like a lucid, late-day Chrissie Hynde, her voice floating over the strings, electric piano, acoustic guitar and deep well of bass like the spirits watching over us all.
Her lyrics evoke the human condition, taut and immediate, effortlessly blending moods with descriptors to the point where it's hard to separate the poetry from the feelings they drag forth. An album full of wonderful, enigmatic murkiness, an album that should earn The Weather Station a place at the top table of Canadian songwriters. To say I was completely blown away by it is an understatement. When I heard The Weather Station's "Shy Women" for the first time last month, I felt like I had found the elegant, fragile folk music I'd been waiting for years for someone to make.
Her new song, "Tapes," is just satisfying and even more gorgeously languorous. Her voice is the aural equivalent of watching a sparrow coast across a gray sky. She may be rooted in an old American folk tradition, but her melodies are so effortless that they keep sounding fresh. One of the best albums of so far. Yet that in itself is a triumph. Her specific, detailed visuals are not opaque, but rather offer a portal for the exploration of enigmatic emotional relationships: Part travelogue, part monologue.
Instead, they ask questions. They wonder about the world and equip the listeners with tools to deepen their own sense of wonder. There's something confidential, something almost painfully intimate, in the gorgeously bucolic imagery of The Weather Station's music. Each song is a secret whispered in a dark alleyway that may or may not have people listening in on your conversation. One of those old-fashioned, pure-at-heart folk records one must listen closely to lest a rousing metaphor be missed A collection of folk-leaning songs so rich in lyrical detail that reading the liner notes is an acceptable initial approach to the record.
Across these 11 songs, Lindeman effortlessly draws us into her confidence, shares her insights, her fears, her greatest regrets. Within Lindeman's wispy delivery are striking depictions of landscape and relationships that read like stand-alone poems or essays. The melodies can be minimal, but the tradeoff comes in moments of such delicacy that the songs seem to be breathing. There's a stillness and observant quality that makes Loyalty feel—to use another buzzword—mindful. Like the album cover suggests, it sounds like a cloudy and quiet morning falling upon a serene lake. The meditative and contemplative mood of this album is straightforward enough to be captivating, but otherworldly enough to be mesmerizing.
Hazy and eternal. Drink wine, for it is everlasting day.
It is the very harvest of our youth; In time of roses, wine and comrades gay, Be happy, drink, for that is life in sooth. Throughout the record, workaday details punctuate and puncture cosmic concerns, as Nigel wrestles with air and angels, struggling and often failing to reconcile the Romantic rifts, both real and imagined, that define our lives: The songs resonate because they manage to delicately balance the cryptic and the quotidian, rendering a compellingly honest equivocation without evasiveness, a relatable ambivalence without apathy.
Originally released in by Plastic Factory Records in a highly limited edition of LPs, Whine of the Mystic has gone largely unheard beyond the finely-tuned ears of Montreal and the Maritime Provinces, so Paradise of Bachelors is delighted to introduce it to more Southerly climes. Part of the secret of Nap Eyes may reside in their avowed recording method, which eschews any overdubs in favor of capturing the immediacy and singularity of full-band live performances. Nigel explains their methodology best: Unkempt rock songs that are steeped in tradition yet impossible to pin down. This guy spends his days studying the infinite complexity of seemingly simplistic cells, and his songs function the same way.
Nap Eyes moves from psych-riffs to astrophysicists; from Rubaiyatic poetry to punctuated bass, in easy fluid motions. A band from Halifax with a sound like young caterpillar and old silk, like the Velvet Underground and Electrelane and Destroyer and Guided by Voices.
Like liking a drink you know isn't good for you; that's good for you, that's good for you, that you know isn't good for you. They are a rock band just so faintly tripping. They are priests of Shaolin and the Holy See, with electric guitars in their hands, with an un-fancy drum-kit. Nap Eyes' songs are mazey and riddled, but ambivalent about their mazes, ambivalent about their riddles; in this way they remind me of good smoke, holy incense smoke, always true to its incantation.
But rather than a drawl or sneer, there's vulnerability on Chapman's lazily charming voice. The band definitely deserves a wider audience. Every spin of the album has lodged its contents deeper and deeper into my brain. Chapman seems to be exploring an emotional complexity that matches the knots in his words. A wiry voice, a cluttered lyric sheet, and subtly nuanced, live-to-tape instrumentals: A thoughtful, complicated, and knotted debut that manages to feel grounded even as it explores the stars. Modern Lovers. The Verlaines.
Early Pavement. Parquet Courts. If you know these bands, you know the vibe. If you don't, think jangling guitars, sub-punk pace, and just enough vocal melody to make a sneer seem sweet. But where the aforementioned bands were always ready with some standoffish snarl, Nap Eyes tend to follow a path that's more pastoral, perhaps reflective of their roots in the relatively isolated music scene of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Frontman Nigel Chapman is a Halifax punk rock preacher cast in the mould of those holy ones: The album is full of ragged, glorious guitar tunes, and in all its idiosyncrasies, gushes heart. A ne'er-do-well you can really root for. This is going to be my record of choice when I find out my child is putting me in a retirement home. Each successive listen yields countless untamed pleasures. It is, in a word, awesome. Listen with your eyes closed, and be carried away with bliss. You really feel like you're in the room with them.
It's a tremendous listen. They say the only good thing to come out of Indiana is I South. Jim and Nathan can vouch for it; they've been making the drive for years: And after playing three shows in honor of its release, they returned to more typical pursuits: This second iteration of their twenty-finger collaboration achieves and sustains the limpid, architectural elegance and rakish formality suggested by the first album.
Elsewhere e. Tunes grew out of constituent elements assembled like a round of Jenga, with the occasional crash to the floor and outbursts of laughter. When the teetering edifice seemed complete, it was played till structural integrity was achieved and it sounded good enough to record. Their melody-first sensibilities are perfectly suited to each other.
Their cover of The Smiths' "Reel Around the Fountain" makes it seem like it was always a front-porch jam. James Elkington and Nathan Salsburg have made a record about chance and memory, telling stories completely in guitar vignettes that communicate universal archetypes wordlessly. Its overall effortlessness sights why both of these dudes are some of the most highly regarded guitarists in the country. Well, in this case, two pairs of capable hands.
Both men are careful pickers, disinclined to either flash chops or improvise around blind corners. The same care and instinct for nailing whatever is essential that enables Salsburg and Elkington to make other musicians sound good turns out to be eminently transferrable to their own music. A winding track that takes you on a journey, a dreamy yet lively trip, with each string bend and pick. That was an inspired idea, because Jim is a great guitarist and a tremendous, empathetic listener.
The best part of their music is the entwining lines of southern acoustics and British styles, two artists at the zenith of their powers engaging in fascinating conversation Their guitar parts move succinctly but with quick instinct, the way fewer words are required the deeper you know someone. Few things are better than stumbling upon an astounding new instrumental acoustic guitar record made by two pickers who never let their dazzling technique get in the music's way. Featuring beautiful fingerpicking and a symphony of warm acoustic melodies, this is the perfect music for enjoying a lazy Friday afternoon.
One of those serendipitous things that seems to have come out of nowhere but once heard begs the question of why there's not more yet. The current lineup likewise prominently features invaluable Nashville stalwarts Peter Stringer-Hye The Paperhead on additional vocals and rhythm guitar and polymath Mitch Jones Fly Golden Eagle on keyboards, as well as handling co-production and string arrangements on the record. But beyond key personnel shifts, sometime over the course of the last year, after serious time spent writing and weeks on the road with Alabama Shakes and Angel Olsen, something ineffable crystallized.
Cale and Can. In this case, the time and place are significant; the band recorded all the foundational tracks with engineer and co-producer Jason Meagher at his venerable Black Dirt Studio in Westtown, New York. Rural upstate New York is a long van ride from their native Nashville, a city overflowing with fine recording facilities, but the Nashville exodus was intentional and symbolic: Sorrow -era Pretty Things without all the conceptual baggage, but retaining the razor-wire guitars and unabashed ambition.
Photo by Alysse Gafkjen. On constant rotation in the MOJO offices was this second album from a young Nashville five-piece who appear to have studied every great country-rock LP of the s and added their own special mix of eerily hypnotic riffs, cryptic lyrics, and hazy, plaintive harmonies. One of my LPs of the year. What feels real is the power of this song to transform the past into a rippling memory, carrying it into the present on the wings of a melody.
Itasca Embarks on UK/EU Tour. | Paradise of Bachelors
Promised Land Sound approach their folk-rock source material with both wide-eyed wonder and deep understanding. Lead guitarist Sean Thompson displays precocious virtuosity, spinning out bent-note filigrees that recall the work of his legendary namesake. Joe Scala summons a strident quaver, evoking Dylan and McGuinn amid lysergic guitar splendor, suggesting this throwback band has a bright future. Loosely wandering but tightly composed forays into garage rock with a blurry, psychedelic edge.
But the rest of the LP is stellar as well. This is the sound of a band coming into its own.
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The Young Nashville band have quietly established themselves as folk-rock revivalists par excellence over the past couple of years, artful connoisseurs of jangle and twang. Picks up where their debut self-titled album left off, taking the cosmic Americana of The Byrds, Burritos, and Band and adding light touches of psych and dreamy melodies to create a sound which burns brightly. PLS transcend their influences and stand on their own as major contenders. The music is beautifully captured with an overwhelmingly organic feel in spite of being festooned with plenty of wah-guitar and other tasteful effects.
Steve Gunn's technique of psychedelia through exploratory musicianship has clearly encouraged PLS to let their songs travel, and the result is a second album of distinct personality. With three vocalists, and a perfect balance of swing, punch and sensitivity, this is music that casually enters a room and wins the attention of everyone present. If you wanted to characterize PSL as alt-country before, you will find that they have evolved into much more sophisticated territory. Their references are thoughtful and classic, and their melodies are catchy and mesmerizing.
You can hear an intense passion in these songs. There is a kind of shimmer to this whole album. Every song and performance feels as if it has been presented just as it is meant to be. There is an incredible amount of honesty and ingenuity in this music that really shines through. Scuzzy melodies and chiming guitars combining to encapsulate the sounds of summer in song form. The rosy lyrics and shimmying chords take you back to warm bonfires and the glow of fireflies during hot July evenings.
What the Byrds might have sounded like had Gram Parsons joined the band a year or two earlier. On their most refined and ruefully elegant album, Gun Outfit perfect their incandescent sonic signature: These imaginary displays provide a temporary relief. Opening credits. But the band somehow communicates this kinship by barely acknowledging the formal tropes of either genre. With its echoing grooves, drifting landscapes, and new textures—bits of bluegrass banjo, homemade electric sitars— Dream All Over has the blue-sky sensibility of a soul-searching road trip.
Levitating hooks and an emotional heaviness co-exist in their impressionistic songs, like the light-and-dark glow of a perpetual magic hour. Dreamers wielding slide guitars. This band has a punk aesthetic deep at the center and, especially now, slow and drifting, double-guitar desert-rock psychedelia at the surface. Peyote for the ears Expansive, arid, and dusty. Darkness and trippiness coexist with the West Coast sun. Key is that cinematic, slight dreamy quality combined with the desert sun. Lo-fi and understated, the twin vocals of Dylan Sharp and Carrie Keith are also strong throughout.
Stoic and weird as ever. Exquisite, shambolic songs. Harmony-rich, slow-building, guitar-rock glory. It's easy to get psychically lost in these songs: That's the at-large feeling of this hymn for liberation, too, a song so simple but subtle you want to get lost inside of it, to turn it up on a road trip that lasts for weeks.
Or you can just build a one-song playlist loaded only with "Gotta Wanna", and let it cycle forever as summer slowly relents to fall. The latest outing from Gun Outfit crystallizes from nothingness like a Yo La Tengo song slowly surfacing out of primordial ooze. This is music of becoming, indie rock that sounds more like the process of making a pop song than a pop song itself.
This release is a whole barrel of lovely. Sharing vocals with Carrie Keith, Dylan Sharp has a drawl to die for, especially when he's burring out lines about "trying to buy some time to fuck around". This expansive collection tunes plays like a post-party, pre-hangover wander under a freeway. A perfect blend of grace and unrest A tradition-warping band.
Draws strangely close to unpuzzling mellow rock while still remaining puzzling. Listen close enough and you can almost hear the buzzing of neon bulbs in some low-lit Old Hollywood dive. Gun Outfit is a group incapable of making bad record. The way the rhythms spread out across the cymbals and the liquid guitars stream sounds downy and welcoming. I keep listening to it, again and again. Sublimely textured guitars spin off one another into an ether of faded memory, next to skeletal patches of warm, crawling psychedelia.
One of the most overlooked guitar bands going. But the briny, cold Atlantic roils beneath these exquisite, literate guitar pop songs, posing riddles about friendship, faith, mortality, and self-doubt. The result is a document pristine in its intentional imperfections. Indeed, Nap Eyes make soul music, in the sense that their music describes, from a position of uneasy humility, the often mundane maintenance of the fragile human soul.
Chapman has one of those voices that feels immediately familiar, yet is bracingly distinct It finds confidence in humility, power in relaxation. Its lethargy feels like an act of defiance against the hyper-speed pace of modern life. Its pledges of sobriety and good health constitute affronts to peer-pressured intoxication and food-blogged indulgence. And its purity of vision amounts to a declaration of war against a culture that encourages mass distraction. Let this record be the first step in your rehabilitation from information overload. For my money, Nap Eyes are one of the best rock bands in business today, handily spanning the space between Bob Dylan and The Microphones.
A timeless release, already. An existentialist indie pop daydream. Wonderfully and beautifully frigid — frozen in time and place, despite its humid surroundings. Chapman has been compared to Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Jonathan Richman, among other singularly compelling singer-songwriters. Nap Eyes are one of my favourite bands in Canada. Nigel Chapman sings his lines with a certain distance, Father Superior and his riddles, but the band is affectless, profane, casual as a bowl of cereal.
I figure this is usually the way with gurus: It's easy to imagine Lou Reed's ghost giving Nap Eyes his gruffly benevolent blessing, impressed by their unvarnished diarizing in lean, art-pop songs that channel his spirit. But along with kitchen-sink detail, there's real poignancy in the Canadians' second set. Astutely played, instant charmers. It's almost a relief to hear the stoical guitar-bass-drums simplicity of this quartet. You don't wanna miss them: Dig deeper though and there's much to get lost in. Subtle and intricate, they're an impressive outfit Frontman Nigel Chapman [is] owner of one of the most beautiful voices I've heard in years.
He's a fucking great singer, and an impressive lyricist to boot. A little bit skewed? All these and more. Incredible album. Nap Eyes is a great band that will remind you of a lot of great things. Best New Artists of To live with this record is to hear it unfurl a beauty and intelligence some might have feared extinct. Awash with delicate wit and poignancy, this is traditional rock music only in that these are well-read kids from an isolated location who have made the music they hear inside their heads, not off the internet.
One of the most enjoyable and insightful albums released this year so far. It sounds like Pavement, circa, playing a stripped down Stax Records house band slow jam Get ready to get a little existential. By Mike had already progressed beyond and exhausted his interest in electric Chicago blues with his first band The Blues Committee. He could actually match Davey Graham both in technique and musical ideas. Derek and Davey were one of those cases. Those songs form the inner core of the EP, but the two performances bookending the 45, inhabiting its outer and inner edges, demonstrate how the duo was pushing gently against the bounds of folk forms.
A brief but brilliant intersection of two divergent artists, the Cooper and Hall duo did not last long. A few years ago Mike tracked him down and reestablished contact. He was a million times better guitar player than I would ever be. It was like Charlie Parker , if he was alive today, playing the same thing he did in It is this internal tension between tradition and innovation that animates all great art, Out of the Shades included.
Heartily recommended. Exceptional LPs. Is there any more potent and perfect koan? Not for our money here at PoB. Perceptive fashionistas will recognize this as the second installment in our grand tradition of apparel featuring hirsute smoking men. David in White. David in Slate. The Characters a simple story " 2: The Run South" 1: Legendary Texan artist Terry Allen occupies a unique position straddling the frontiers of country music and visual art; he has worked with everyone from Guy Clark to David Byrne to Lucinda Williams, and his artwork resides in museums worldwide.
Produced in collaboration with the artist and meticulously remastered from the original analog tapes, this is the definitive edition of the art-country classic: Things separate from their stories have no meaning. They are only shapes. Of a certain size and color. A certain weight. When their meaning has become lost to us they no longer have even a name. The story on the other hand can never be lost from its place in the world for it is that place. And that is what was to be found here. The corrido. The tale. And like all corridos it ultimately told one story only, for there is only one to tell.
In these fifty-two minutes, geographies, climates, and spectral bodies collide and elide, dragged and fate-flung across the parched Southwest, over mesas and arroyos and through the abraded lens of colonial history, throwing dust, shedding blood, and further blurring the already arbitrary, and forever contested, boundaries of the U. Only one couple emerges from the bloody trailer, escaping across the New Mexican desert to Juarez, where they part, assuming or absorbing?
You can encounter his public commissions across the U. The path that Allen chose was even wilier [than his country music contemporaries]: It's a dialogue between the freedom to move, to flee, to choose one's destination, and the power to dominate — or the powerlessness of being dominated. The juxtaposition of such notions makes human agency feel vital, tenuous and jealously guarded indeed. The fact that Allen isn't the least bit hung up on being linear or realistic in his telling of these tales make them all the more riveting.
A singular moment in the history of country music [and] one of the most singular and underrated works in the history of US conceptual art. Lubbock on everything and Juarez are restless travelogues, songs of feeling out of place and in search of home. This is an old man's confirmation of a young man's speculation, which is as good definition of wisdom as any. Grim, funny, epic and intimate all at once, Juarez belongs in a genre unto itself A lovingly remastered version of the nebulous country classic.
This riveting artifact, now with Allen's original artwork and extensive booklet, only improves with age. A thing of intense beauty Juarez retains its kick 40 years on. Nobody else does country music like Terry Allen There's not a wasted word or extraneous musical lick. Buckley Jr. A masterpiece, one of the great songwriter records. The single greatest concept album of all time This little-known Terry Allen album deserves a larger audience, a new and much bigger set of listeners to puzzle over this eccentric classic.
Grounding high art. Every sound and insinuation on this recording is the farthest point from passive and will stay with you like a tattoo. A true modern day Renaissance man Seminal 70s recordings Juarez and Lubbock On Everything are resolute, meant to be absorbed in their entirety. With humor and a gift for songwriting, each finds Allen subtly giving the middle finger to any and all expectations of what Country is or should be Not quite country and not quite rock, the music of Juarez is as unique as the man himself.
Repeated listens will quickly have Juarez clawing at the brain and the heart. Here finally is a soundtrack for an imaginary film where your imagination is allowed to run wild in the borders between myth and reality. From football heroes gone wrong to noble floozies to farmers fiddling while Washington burns, he's a tale-spinning poet of the Panhandle.
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Little official country music is this good. His music defies easy categorization, as it uses his home state of Texas and the American West as a canvas to explore the drama and humor of existence. Juarez continues to sounds fresh and contemporary today. Terry Allen is a fucking genius. On his exquisite third solo album, Nathan Bowles Steve Gunn , Pelt , Black Twig Pickers again augments his mesmeric clawhammer banjo pieces with piano, percussion, and vocals. Straddling Appalachian string band music and avant-garde composition but beholden to neither idiom, Nathan proves himself heir to deconstructivist tradition-bearers like Henry Flynt and Jack Rose.
This bull totem—a detail from an untitled painting by Alabama vernacular artist John Henry Toney , which Bowles acquired from the artist while on tour—recalls both the work of fellow Alabaman self-taught artist Bill Traylor and Picasso alike, demonstrating the interpenetration of modernism and Southern folk forms. Since his last album Nansemond , Bowles has sustained and strengthened his fruitful relationships as a ensemble player with Steve Gunn drums, piano and organ, banjo ; the Black Twig Pickers banjo, percussion ; and Pelt struck and bowed percussion , while undertaking projects with new accomplice Jake Xerxes Fussell and old friend and mentor Michael Chapman , all of which inform this record.
But he has also continued to refine his solo practice, carrying it far beyond the confines of any reductive and rote solo banjo designations. On this third solo album, his most exquisite, immersive, and ambitious to date, he again augments his mesmeric clawhammer banjo pieces with piano, percussion, and vocals mostly wordless, some wordy. Whereas its predecessor was directly inspired by the mutating environment, and his mutating memories, of his childhood home on the fringes of the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia, the new album turns inward, exploring inscapes rather than landscapes.
Since Nansemond , Bowles has moved from the mountains of Blacksburg, Virginia—his longtime home—to the Piedmont city of Durham, North Carolina , an uprooting and displacement that perhaps precipitated the divergent iterations and forking paths on display here. The overriding sense of rupture and return is also perhaps suggestive of the frailty and solidity of human relationships, familial and romantic—they way we live alternately as halves and wholes. The album is bookended symmetrically by the two recordings that bear the most immediately discernable, and brightest, shapes.
Ragtime himself. It sounds like storm-blown rain. Inside the record jacket actual, physical , Bowles himself, in a photograph by Brad Bunyea , spreads jam on a biscuit—split, of course—with an unnecessarily sharp knife, head tilted quizzically, grinning wryly. Photo by Brad Bunyea. Bowles has the power to transform the sound of a banjo—and traditional folk music—into something transcendental, often bringing the spirit of Americana to new heights. Remarkably, it uses traditional folk elements and instrumentation to reach something closer to New Age music.
Bowles' "Gadarene Fugue" isn't actually a fugue, but it does whip a meditative clawhammer banjo melody into a fury. With light percussion that clacks and shuffles in the background, a Gnawan-influenced bass line jolts the tune forward like swine compelled to run and drown in the river. Nathan's music is marked by both his deep study of vernacular American forms and his years-long dedication to the development of his own voice.
He is a musician who respects tradition as he values experimentation, an artist whose work commands careful listening. This balance is what makes Nathan's voice singular: And as a listener, I am grateful and inspired. He belongs to a school of contemporary musicians—guitar players such as William Tyler and Steve Gunn—who are rethinking folk music as an avant-garde form. On his third solo album, his style is scraggly yet sophisticated, ranging boldly from country drones to rambunctious rural ragas Sounds like Philip Glass playing to barnyard animals.
The standout is the minute epic "I Miss My Dog," which balances the cerebral with the soulful. His best effort yet, with timeless melodies blending seamlessly with hypnotic minimalist moves. He makes these juxtapositions seem as natural as a rolling mountain stream, while still dazzling with his impeccable technique.
His rhythmic instincts are essential here, and set him apart. Banjo picker for Steve Gunn et al. Fluidly melodic digressions and pungent dissonances generate a forward momentum and haunted atmosphere. Emotionally compelling statements. Bowles pushes in a new direction, setting out not to make a cohesive album so much as to seek out new ways to tie an album together, to figure out whether or not the broken can still seem complete. Filled with shimmering, ecstatic moments Nathan Bowles writes songs for the quiet night of the heart.
A banjo can speak, but Bowles makes it talk. Come for Zen koans in backwoods plucking, stay for unsettling moments of noisy dissonance. The songs share an uncanny knack for completely engulfing the listener; you may find yourself losing track of time. A mesmeric, shape-shifting music that walks effortlessly between the invisible boundaries of Appalachian tradition and avant-garde composition. Powerful and compelling.
His ability to combine traditional compositions with a uniquely modern sensibility has set him apart on his two solo albums to date. A gentle pusher of musical experimentation, and his third solo long-player is almost entirely without vocals and almost entirely interested in art-enhanced folk music. The feeling is not just one of a misty mountain ramble, but of a more connected, experiential movement, something secretly providential. Running his fingers along the banjo strings is the same as along the spines of library books.
It is, at its core, an engagement with our shared cultural inventory. A vast terrain of acoustic music that is his most gripping to date. Take this album and go, go wherever you want with it. Wry, sad, troubled, and mesmeric compositions imbued with a spooked and grainy Appalachian potency. Rich chaparrals of deep buzzing color you could lose yourself in forever. Nuanced picking, waterlogged drones, and rowdy singing … captures the same spirit as his mentor, Jack Rose. The music of L. Her adept fingerstyle guitar work—nimble but unshowy, always at the service of framing her plaintively unspooling modal progressions and gorgeous, moonlit voice—centers these melancholy pastorales in a hazy, heat-mirage space equally suggestive of familiarity and distance, community and anomie.
As I was walking I came upon chance walking the same road upon. They also happen to reside within airy, inviting ballads—country songs in the loose, sun-shot Southern Californian sense lots of pedal steel and space —with melodies like arid blooms effortlessly issued from a dusty abode of adobe and tile. Tellingly, her songwriting idiom emerged gradually from her longstanding noise and drone practice.
Her evocative, out-of-time recordings as Itasca—refined over the course of several releases, including the acclaimed LP Unmoored by the Wind —reflect her Janus-faced gaze towards both baroque, acid folk-inflected songcraft and deconstructive, textural sonics. Though deeply informed by the mythology and iconography of the modern American desert West, Cohen likewise finds kinship with a lineage of English iconoclasts such as Michael Chapman and Bridget St John.
Open to Chance is her first album to feature the full band with whom she currently records and tours, including pedal steel player and frequent collaborator Dave McPeters , drummer Coleman Guyon and occasionally Kacey Johansing , and bassist and vocalist Julia Nowak. Photo by Ella Andersson.
The world conjured by Kayla Cohen's low, mournful voice, American primitive guitar, and hazy, wandering songs feels simultaneously familiar and unknown, like spectral early '70s Laurel Canyon incantations from a singer whose name and face is always just out of the reach of memory For Open to Chance, Itasca have become a band The steady acoustic canter, the sighing slide guitar, the serenely idyllic images: Cohen does exactly that, suspending an instant in eternal amber. Publisher Jellyoasis Inc. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.