Americana

Courtney Marie Andrews – Loose Future

Style: Americana, Singer/Songwriter

Moods: Bittersweet, Road Trip, Warm, Reflective, Introspective, Breakup, Rustic

Recommended if you dig Gram Parsons, Edith Frost, or Neko Case

Eli Winter – Eli Winter

ft. jaimie branch, Tyler Damon, Sam Wagster, Cameron Knowler, David Grubbs, Ryley Walker, & Yasmin Williams

FFO: Jim O’Rourke (Bad Timing / The Visitor), William Tyler, Ry Cooder Instrumentals, Gastr Del Sol, Elkhorn, Moon Bros, Appalachian Folk, Leo Kottke, Jack Rose

MV & EE with Golden Road – Gettin’ Gone

Style: Country-Rock, Psychedelic Americana

Vibe: Sunny, Ragged, Warm, Freewheelin’, Messy, Tender, Romantic, Rustic, Raw

Musical Qualities: Fuzzy, Loose, Vocal Harmonies, Jams, Dense

Joan Shelley – Over and Even

Style: Folk, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Morning, Reflective, Soothing, Gentle, Bittersweet, Warm, Mellow, Contemplative

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Lush, Soft, Vocal Harmonies, Melodic, Sparse, Polished Production

Instrumentation: Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Piano, Harmonium, Glockenspiel, Keyboards

Mickey Newbury – Better Days

Style: Country, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Bittersweet, Reflective, Breakup, Intimate, Introspective, Melancholy, Poetic, Sombre, Longing

Musical Qualities: Lyrical, Sparse, Acoustic, Slow

Bill Callahan – Woke on a Whaleheart

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Americana, Alt-Country

Vibe: Observational, Deadpan, Earthy, Reflective, Rustic, Confident, Warm, Storytelling, Contemplative, Loner

Qualities: Lush, Choral Vocals, Lyrical, Rhythmic, Simple

Jenks Miller and Rose Cross NC – Blues for WHAT

Style: Swamp Psych, Southern Gothic, Country Drone

Vibe: Haunting, Murky, Brooding, Bluesy, Adventure

Musical Qualities: Droney, Suite, Improvisation, Crescendo, Modal

Instrumentation: Electric Guitar, Organ, Grendel Drone Commander, Drums

Mickey Newbury – I Came to Hear the Music

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Progressive Country

Vibe: Introspective, Reflective, Heartfelt, Bittersweet, Longing, Lush, Warm, Soothing, Rustic, Tender, Sentimental, Spiritual, Contemplative, Intimate

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Lyrical, Melodic, Orchestral, Polished, Background Vocals

Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Superwolf

Style: Americana, Singer/Songwriter, Alt-Country, Slowcore

Vibe: Tender, Bittersweet, Stark, Cryptic, Storytelling, Melancholy, Lethargic, Poetic, Autumnal, Heartfelt, Mellow, Playful

Musical Qualities: Lyrical, Soft, Sparse

Magnolia Electric Co. – Josephine

While Magnolia Electric Co’s final record is still tinged with the weariness & melancholy that pervades all of Jason Molina’s previous work, Josephine also feels imbued with vital life force, bittersweet romance, and hopefulness that make it uplifting despite the odds.

Recommended if you dig dobro & lap steel, ditch-trilogy Neil young, and autumnal contemplation

P.G. Six – The Well of Memory

Style: Mystical Americana, Ritual Folk, Loner Folk

Vibe: Seeking, Contemplative, Gentle, Spiritual, Heartfelt, Intimate, Healing, Mystical, Pantheistic, Reflective, Soothing, Introspective, Warm, Nature

Musical Methods: Acoustic, Suite, Raga, Lyrical, Soft, Droney, Fingerstyle

P.G. Six – Slightly Sorry

Style: Loner Folk, Weird Americana, Folk Rock, Singer Songwriter

Vibe: Peaceful, Melancholy, Reflective, Romantic, Gentle, Rustic, Warm, Autumnal, Bittersweet, Breezy, Contemplative, Lethargic, Mellow, Intertwined

Musical Qualities: Soft, Lush, Lyrical, Vocal Harmonies, Acoustic, Atmospheric

Sam Amidon – Sam Amidon

Style: Dream Folk, Jazz-Folk, Warped Americana

Vibes: Warm Melancholy, Springtime Reflection, Rootsy, Early Afternoons in the Garden, Dreamy, Intertwined, Heartfelt

Musical Qualities: Lush; Improvised Arrangements; Studio-as-an-Instrument, Melodic, Vocal Fx

Instrumentation: Banjo, Saxophone, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Flute, Acoustic Bass, Synthesizers, Piano

John Carter – Fields

Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Country-Jazz, Jazz Theater

Vibe: Rural, Historical, Sombre, Resolute, Intertwined, Passionate, Storytelling, Determined, Resolute, Heartfelt, Complex, Theatric, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Suite, Acoustic, Progressive, Collective Improvisation, Polyphonic, Dynamic, Technical

Jackie-O Motherfucker – Liberation

Style: Free Folk, Mystical Americana, Drone, Free Improvisation, Post-Rock

Vibe: Weary, Hopeful, Rustic, Communal, Spiritual, Ragged, Eerie, Melancholy, Deconstructed, Hypnotic, Communal, Haunting, Raw, Suspenseful, Intertwined

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Dynamic, Lo-Fi, Atmospheric, Droney, Group Vocals, Dub FX

Instrumentation: Electric Guitars, Vibraphone, Flute, Drums, Violin, Cello, Clarinet, Saxophone, Banjo, Melodica, Sitar, Electronics, Turntable, Keyboards, Trumpet, Electric Bass

Smog – Red Apple Falls

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Americana, Slowcore, Alt-Country, Loner Folk

Vibe: Existential, Warm, Morning, Spiritual, Deadpan, Peaceful, Poetic, Introspective, Lonely, Melancholy, Mellow, Contemplative, Intimate

Musical Qualities: Slow, Lo-fi, Lush, Soft, Sparse, Lyrical

Instrumentation: Pedal Steel, Piano, Hammond Organ, Guitar, Trumpet, Drums, Drum Machine, Hurdy Gurdy, French Horn

Robbie Basho – Visions of the Country

Style: American Primitivism, Singer/Songwriter, Folk, Raga?Vibe: Mystical, Nature, Open, Passionate, Pastoral, Peaceful, Airy, Contemplative, Earthy, Impressionistic, Meditative, Morning, Spring, Spiritual,
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Indian-Influenced, Sparse, Technical

Hardin & Russell – Ring of Bone

Style: Country, Folk

Vibes: Melancholy, Desert, Western, Sombre, Lonely, Sad, Breezy, Peaceful, Dreamy

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Vocal Harmonies, Lush

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica, Dobro, Piano, Fiddle, Trombone, Saxophone, Sousaphone, Trumpet, Flute, Congas, Electric Bass

Neko Case – Blacklisted

LP, Anti- Records, 2002 (2016, RE) Style: Gothic Americana, Alt-Country, Singer/Songwriter Vibe: Bittersweet, Rebellious, Haunting, Western, Passionate, Energetic, Longing, Anthemic, Breakup, Depressive, Heartfelt, Introspective, Twangy, Rustic, Sentimental

Hiss Golden Messenger – Terms of Surrender

Vibe: Contemplative, Tender, Soothing, Warm, Bittersweet, Rustic, Open, Pastoral, Light

Themes: Family, Existential, Spirituality, Love

Musical Qualities: Soft, Melodic, Vocal Harmonies, Atmospheric Production, Lyrical

Instrumentation: Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Banjo, Piano, Organ, Harmonica, Mandolin Synthesizer, Electric Bass, Lap Steel Slide Guitar, Omnichord, Drums, Percussion

Neko Case – Furnace Room Lullaby

Style: Alt-Country, Americana, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Bittersweet, Warm, Angsty, Rustic, Heartfelt, Confident, Passionate, Twangy, Love, Breakup, Reflective, Sentimental, Lush, Rootsy

Instrumentation: Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Lap Steel & Pedal Steel Slide Guitars, Fiddle, Electric & Upright Basses, Drums, Vocal Harmonies, Banjo, Mandolin, Organ, Accordion

Moon Bros – These Stars

Style: Americana, Folk

Vibe: Pastoral, Breezy, Sunny, Morning, Rustic, Warm, Rootsy

Instrumentation: Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel, Upright Bass, Drums, Harmonica

Ditch Americana :: Vinyl Mixtape

A sprawling meditation on American melancholy & discontent by ways of gothic country, loner folk, country rock, slowcore and folk-blues songwriters.

Hiss Golden Messenger – Poor Moon

Style: Americana, Country Soul, Singer/Songwriter, Folk Rock

Vibe: Warm, Introspective, Existential, Rustic, Mystical, Reflective, Uplifting, Christian

Musical Qualities: Lush, Melodic, Lyrical

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Beware

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Americana, Loner Folk, Slowcore-Country

Vibes: Contemplative, Bittersweet, Warm, Loner, Mellow, Uplifting, Love, Break-up, Intimate, Heartfelt, Playful, Soothing, Intertwined

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Lush, Lyrical, Vocal Harmonies

Mark Lanegan – Field Songs

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Grunge Folk, Americana

Vibe: Depressive, Lonely, Regretful, Gruff, Ragged, Lethargic, Rustic, Haunting

Akron/Family – Set Em Wild, Set Em Free

These guys are my favorite American Rock band. Every album they’ve released explores different sides of rock, folk, experimental and psychedelic music in such a natural, unforced way that my mind usually envisions them jamming by a campfire in the woods. What’s even better is I imagine I’m there with them singing along and worshipping the great creative spirit that inspires their music. There’s such an unpretentious, inclusive sense of community and spirituality in their music that I can’t help but feel welcomed and embraced into the family.

Jackie O Motherfucker – Change [Tour Edition]

Style: Free Folk, Mystical Americana, Post-Rock

Vibe: Ragged, Deconstructed, Rustic, Warm, Communal, Ritualistic, Messy, Raw, Triumphant, Mystical, Eerie

Musical Qualities: Group Vocals, Collective Improvisation, Acoustic, Loose, Lo-fi

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Vibraphone, Slide Guitar, Fiddle, Saxophone, Drums, Upright Bass

Ben Lamar Gay – Open Arms to Open Us

Style: Creative Music, Future Jazz, Organic Beat Music, Pan-Americana, Art Pop

Vibe: Romantic, Sci-Fi, Determined, Triumphant, Colorful, Eclectic, Communal, Futuristic, Groovy, Rootsy, Spiritual, Warm

Musical Qualities: Thematic, Polyphonic, Percussive, Polyrythmic, Percussive, Improvisation, Electro-Acoustic, Progressive

Jakob Battick – Rabbit’s Moon

Style: Dream Country, Slow-Drip Americana, Gothic Country, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Sedated, Nocturnal, Contemplative, Dreamy, Haunting, Pastoral, Soothing

Musical Qualities: Slow, Sparse, Acoustic, Lyrical

Jerry David Decicca – Understanding Land

Style: Americana, Singer/Songwriter, Folk

Vibe: Peaceful, Rustic, Deadpan, Mellow, Lethargic, Nature, Warm, Morning

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Slow, Vocal Harmonies, Lush, Simple

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Lap Steel & Pedal Steel Guitars, Strings, Upright Bass, Vibraphone, Tabla, Bongos

Angels of Light – We Are Him

Style: Gothic Americana, Experimental Folk-Rock

Vibe: Rustic, Creepy, Surreal, Autumnal, Nihilistic, Disturbing, Dark, Bittersweet, Rootsy

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Rhythmic, Repetition, Vocal Harmonies

Neil Young – On the Beach

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Ditch Americana, Country Rock, Folk Rock

Moods: Loner, Introspective, Melancholy, Alienation, Bittersweet, Apocalyptic, Depressive, Lonely, Sombre, Rebellious

Eric Chenaux – Dull Lights

Style: Warped Americana, Free Folk, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Heartfelt, Airy, Raw, Lethargic, Soft, Psychedelic, Peaceful

Musical Qualities: Loose, Lyrical, Acoustic

Instrumentation: Vocals, Banjo, Electric Guitar w/ Fx, Lap Steel, Drums

Sturgill Simpson – Cuttin Grass – Vol. 2 (Cowboy Arms Sessions)

Style: Progressive Bluegrass, Americana, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Energetic, Heartfelt, Rootsy, Communal, Passionate, Sunny, Warm

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Lyrical, Fast, Technical

Instrumentation: Mandolin, Fiddle, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Banjo, Upright Bass

David Crosby – If Only I Could Remember My Name…

Style: Folk Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Cosmic Americana

Vibe: Dreamy, Hippy, Longing, Bittersweet, Airy, Autumnal, Warm, Loose, Peaceful, Ethereal, Introspective, Psychedelic, Hypnotic, Mellow, Meandering, Stoned, Communal

Musical Qualities: Vocal Harmonies, Heavy Reverb, Jams

Jason Molina – Eight Gates

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Americana, Slowcore

Vibe: Lament, Depressive, Intimate, Lonely, Rustic, Mournful, Dark

Musical Qualities: Sparse, Lyrical

Instrumentation: Voice, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Organ, Cello

Neil Young – Tonight’s the Night

Style: Country-Rock, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Raw, Heartfelt, Sentimental, Mourning, Drunk, Reflective

Musical Qualities: Loose, Vocal Harmonies

Papa M – Whatever, Mortal

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Slowcore, Americana

Vibe: Apathetic, Bittersweet, Breakup, Contemplative, Depressive, Humorous, Intimate, Lethargic, Loner, Love, Melancholy, Mellow, Moody, Personal, Rootsy

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Sparse, Simple

Hiss Golden Messenger – Quietly Blowing It

Style: Country-Soul, Singer/Songwriter, Americana

Vibe: Uplifting, Bittersweet, Introspective, Political, Rural, Mellow, Warm

Musical Qualities: Lush, Groovy, Melodic, Anthemic, Polished, Lyrical

The Third Mind

Style: Psychedelic Jam Band

Vibe: Bluesy, Cosmic, Meandering, Pastoral, Rustic

Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Riffs

Hoyt Axton – My Griffin Is Gone

Style: Progressive Country, Singer/Songwriter, Americana

Vibe: Nature, Autumnal, Morning, Rustic, Pastoral, Sunny, Uplifting, Warm

Musical Attributes: Lush, Melodic, Lyrical, Orchestral

Califone – Roomsound

Style: New Weird Americana??Vibe: Bluesy, Contemplative, Earthy, Morning, Pastoral, Rootsy, Rustic, Psychedelic, Warm??Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Percussive, Rhythmic, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Electronics

Hiss Golden Messenger – Haw

Style: Country-Soul, Americana, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Passionate, Rootsy, Rural, Spiritual, Triumphant, Uplifting, Warm, Contemplative, Introspective

Califone – All My Friends Are Funeral Singers

Style: New Weird America, Alt-Country, Psychedelic Americana, Chamber Folk

Vibe: Rustic, Rootsy, Bittersweet, Psychedelic

Musical Attributes: Chamber, Percussive, Studio-as-an-instrument, Rhythmic, Electro-Acoustic, Loops

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Vocals, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Fiddle, Mallet Percussion, Horns, Electronic Percussion, Upright Bass, Electric Bass, Piano

Sixteen Horsepower – Folklore

Style: Gothic Country, Americana, Chamber Folk?Vibe: Rustic, Sombre, Murky, Rootsy, Ominous, Loner, Western, Melancholy, Moody, Dark?Musical Attributes: Acoustic Instrumentation (Banjo, Upright Bass, Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Accordion, Piano), Atmospheric, Droney, Slow, Lyrical?Lyrical Themes: Alienation, Religious, Christian, Storytelling

Jim O’Rourke – Halfway to a Threeway

Style: Chamber Folk–Pop, Americana, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Warm, Lush, Deadpan, Uplifting, Soothing, Humorous, Soft

Musical Attributes: Lyrical, Melodic, Polished

Magnolia Electric Co. – What Comes After the Blues

“Human hearts and pain should never be separate, then they wouldn’t tear themselves apart both trying to fit”. The first album under the Magnolia Electric Co. name touches on the loneliness and depression of much of Jason Molina’s work, but it also contains a fair amount of the hope, light, and perseverance one needs in times of struggle. The musicians here were recorded live in a room by the great Steve Albini, featuring slide guitar, fiddle, and beautiful vocal harmonies from Molina’s band members. With its mix of melancholy Americana, country-tinged rock, and stripped back folk, What Comes After the Blues feels like a continuation of Neil Young’s great ditch trilogy.

Gene Clark – No Other

No Other is a masterpiece of Cosmic Americana from Gene Clark (Ex-Byrds). Here his amazing songwriting is complemented by lush instrumentation, psychedelic production, and grandiose choir arrangements.

Ajay Mathur – Little Boat

Released in 2018 on Yakketeeyak Music Review: Right out of the gate Little Boat sounds like an homage to the country-tinged classic rock and Americana of the 1970’s. It is full of soaring choruses, bluesy riffs, slide guitars, polished production, and perfectionist Eagles-esque harmonies (especially on “Start Living Again”). Mathur’s lyrics contain all the introspection and …

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Bill Callahan – Dream River

Released in 2013 on Drag City Records Format: LP Overview In an interview around the release of Dream River, Bill Callahan said he wanted it to be “the last record you could listen to at the end of the day, before you go to bed, around midnight.” So for my first listen of the album I …

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Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Album Information: Released in 2002 on Nonesuch Records Produced by Wilco Mixed by Jim O’Rourke Recorded at the Loft, Chicago Format: 180g LPx2, includes CD

Songs: Ohia – The Magnolia Electric Co

“Sometimes it’s hard doing anything”. Somehow Jason Molina knows how to perfectly express what depression feels like without ever succumbing to hopelessness. His music has been a friend and a voice of encouragement when I need it most, reminding me to persist and not beat myself up when I feel unproductive or lazy or unmotivated. “The real truth about it is no one gets it right. The real truth about it is we’re all supposed to try”