Bittersweet

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

Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions – Until the Hunter

Style: Ethereal Country, Psychedelic Folk, Slowcore, Singer-Songwriter, Dream Pop

Vibe: Enchanting, Dreamy, Hypnotic, Forest, Wistful, Brooding, Western, Nocturnal, Sensual, Lethargic, Soothing, Melancholy, Reflective, Autumnal, Ethereal, Desert, Romantic, Bittersweet, Spectral

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

Instrumentation: Slide Guitar, Vibraphone, Keyboards, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Drums, Cello

Mickey Newbury – Better Days

Style: Country, Singer/Songwriter

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

Musical Qualities: Lyrical, Sparse, Acoustic, Slow

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

Sathima Bea Benjamin – Windsong

Personnel: Sathima Bea Benjamin – Vocals; Kenny Barron – Piano; Buster Williams – Upright Bass; Billy Higgins – Drums

Style: Vocal Jazz, Spiritual Jazz, Ballads, Traditional

Vibe: Healing, Flowing, Warm, Airy, Spiritual, Soothing, Sombre, Heartfelt, Elegant, Uplifting, Bittersweet, Intimate, Morning, Peaceful, Reflective, Rootsy, Sentimental,

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Soft, Improvisation, Slow, Polished, Lyrical, Lush

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 – 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

Damon & Naomi – Within These Walls

Style: Chamber Folk, Slowcore, Dream Country

Vibe: Flowing, Lethargic, Peaceful, Dreamy, Melancholy, Elegant, Airy, Romantic, Bittersweet, Contemplative, Intertwined, Intimate, Mellow, Sentimental, Smooth, Soothing, Twangy

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Lush, Slow, Soft, Simple, Chamber Arrangements, Melodic

Leonard Cohen – New Skin for the Old Ceremony

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Chamber Folk

Vibe: Poetic, Bittersweet, Conversational, Sexual, Dry Humor, Brooding, Melancholy, Longing, Tender, Introspective, Breakup

Musical Qualities: Lush, Lyrical, Groovy, Dynamic

Instrumentation: Electric Bass, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Backup Vocalists, Trombone, Jaw Harp, Woodwinds, Strings, Banjo, Mandolin, Trumpet, Drums, Percussion, Keyboards

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

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

Mess Esque – Mess Esque

Style: Slowcore, Post-Rock, Progressive Songwriter

Vibe: Oceanic, Ethereal, Unstable, Intimate, Bittersweet, Tamed Wilderness, Reflective, Gentle, Exploratory, Hypnotic, Pastoral, Poetic

Spellling – The Turning Wheel

Style: Progressive Pop, Baroque Pop

Vibe: Epic, Surreal, Haunting, Ethereal, Passionate, Dramatic, Dreamy, Romantic (LP1), Triumphant, Fantasy, Uplifting (LP1), Grandiose, Theatric, Brooding (LP2), Spacey (LP2)

Musical Qualities: Dense, Orchestral, Progressive, Polyphonic, Polished, Melodic, Rhythmic

Spirit of the Beehive – Entertainment, Death

Style: Noise Pop, Glitch Pop, Neo-Psychedelia, Hyper Dream Pop, Shoegaze

Vibe: Disorienting, Woozy, Messy, Dreamy, Futuristic, Chaotic, Surreal, Dystopian, Cryptic, Alienation, Bittersweet, Colorful, Energetic, Washy, Urban,

Musical Qualities: Noisy, Dense, Catchy, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Vocal Manipulation, Suite, Melodic, Progressive

Yo La Tengo – Electr-O-Pura

Style: Noise Pop, Shoegaze, Indie Rock

Vibe: Autumnal, Nocturnal, Intimate, Heartfelt, Bittersweet, Eclectic, Sentimental, Romantic, Raw, Reflective

Musical Qualities: Loose, Melodic, Noisy, Driving, Jammy, 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

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

Bill Orcutt – Odds Against Tomorrow

Style: American Primitvism, Ambient Blues, Solo Electric Guitar

Vibe: Meditative, Longing, Spiritual, Pastoral, Loose, Kinetic

Musical Qualities: Improvisation, Dissonance, Instrumental, Sparse

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson

Style: Jazz-Funk, Soul Jazz

Vibe: Conscious, Empathetic, Passionate, Groovy, Liberation, Political, Energetic, Warm, Bittersweet, Sunny

Musical Qualities: Percussive, Lush, Polished, Rhythmic, Lyrical, Improvised Sections

Swamp Dogg – Rat On!

Style: Country-Soul, Funk

Vibe: Anthemic, Bittersweet, Triumphant, Political, Satirical, Playful, Groovy, Sunny, Conscious, Heartfelt, Warm, Sentimental, Rebellious, Philosophical

Musical Qualities: Lush, Rhythmic, Polished, Melodic, Lyrical

Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs

Style: Chamber Folk, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Mellow, Morning, Soothing, Bittersweet, Warm, Introspective, Ethereal

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Sparse, Soft

Bonnie Prince Billy – Ask Forgiveness

Bonnie covers Björk, Mickey Newbury, Danzig, R. Kelly and others with help from Espers’ Meg Baird & Greg Weeks

Style: Folk, Slowcore, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Introspective, Morning, Melancholy, Existential, Bittersweet

Musical Qualities: Covers, Vocal Harmonies, Sparse, Soft, Acoustic

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

Gil Scott-Heron – Pieces of a Man

Style: Soul Jazz, Singer/Songwriter, Jazz-Funk

Vibe: Conscious, Bittersweet, Political, Uplifting, Sunny, Warm, Urban, Sombre, Poetic, Contemplative, Observant, Passionate, Determined, Confident

Musical Qualities: Groovy, Lush, Spoken Word, Technical

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

Yves Jarvis – The Same but by Different Means

Style: Psychedelic Gospel Folk, Bedroom Soul, Experimental Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Woozy, Imaginative, Cryptic, Warm, Ethereal, Stoned

Musical Attributes: Lo-fi, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Vocal Harmonies, Vocal Manipulation, Eclectic, Collage

Jim O’Rourke – Simple Songs

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Chamber Pop, Progressive Pop

Vibe: Playful, Bittersweet, Satirical, Catchy

Musical Attributes: Lush, Progressive, Melodic, Lyrical, Polished

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

J Dilla – Donuts

Style: Instrumental Hip-Hop, Plunderphonics

Vibe: Bittersweet, Groovy, Heartfelt, Love, Warm, Lush

Musical Attributes: Sampling, Vignettes, Loops, Sound Collage, Rhythmic, Repetitive

Lonnie Holley – Mith

Style: Experimental Singer-Songwriter, Soul Blues, Psychedelic Soul

Vibe: Imaginative, Bluesy, Cathartic, Conscious, Cosmic, Spiritual, Heartfelt, Passionate, Psychedelic, Rootsy, Bittersweet, Poetic

Lyrical Themes: Existential, Afro-Futurism, History, Racism, Reflective

Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Lyrical, Improvisation, Raw, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Instrumentation: Vocals, Piano, Synthesizers, Keyboards, Saxophone, Trombone, Percussion

The Microphones – The Glow Pt. 2

Style: Lo-Fi, Experimental Singer/Songwriter, Loner Folk
Vibe: Heartfelt, Imaginative, Introspective, Nature, Intimate, Loner, Bittersweet, Depressive, Psychedelic, Raw, Lonely
Lyrical Themes: Existential, Alienation, Breakup, Philosophical, Poetic, Personal, Death
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Noisy, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Analogue Recording, lo-fi, Distorted

Paul de Jong – IF

Style: Collage Pop, Glitch-Folk, Plunderphonics

Vibe: Bittersweet, Warm, Eclectic

Musical Attributes: Sampling, Electro-Acoustic

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – Bridges

Style: Soul, Jazz-Funk, Singer-Songwriter

Vibe: Conscious, Groovy, Lush, Lyrical, Passionate, Philosophical, Political, Sunny, Triumphant, Uplifting, Urban, Accessible, Bittersweet, Catchy, Confident

Alex G – Beach Music

Listening to Alex G, one might imagine a young alien sitting alone in his martian bedroom baring his angsty, teenage confessions to his 4-track tape recorder. Yet, at the core of his music, underneath layers of psychedelic guitars, weird pitch-shifted vocals, and occasional lo-fi hiss, lies some genius pop songs that feel simultaneously adolescent and mature.

Recommended for fans of lo-fi experimentation and bedroom pop. Alex seems to pull influences from all over and channel them through his own unique personality and penchant for odd, psychedelic production. Recalls Elliot Smith’s loner acoustic songwriting and drum machines pulled from 80?s pop songs; there’s even a fucked up jazz piano ballad thrown into the mix.

James Blake – The Colour in Anything

Released in 2016 on Polydor Records Format: LPx2 Style: Modern Soul, Future Garage, Art Pop Vibe: Sad, Heartfelt, Reflective, Lonely, Intimate, Futuristic Musical Attributes: Lyrical, Digital, Melodic, Beats, Ballads Themes: Breakup, Love, Personal  

Yo La Tengo – Fade [Deluxe Edition]

Released in 2013 on Matador Records Format: LP + 7″ The bonus 7″ features covers of Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw the Light” and Times New Viking’s “Move to California”

Neil Young – Harvest

Album Information: Released in 1972 on Reprise Records 2009 reissue, mastered from original analog tapes

Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me

Album Information: Released in 2010 on Drag City Records Produced by Joanna Newsom Arranged & Conducted by Ryan Francesconi Recorded by TJ Doherty, Noah Georgeson, Ryan Francesconi, Dana Gumbiner Mixed by Noah Georgeson & Jim O’Rourke Mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Studios Format: 3xLP Box Set, includes 12″x12″ lyric booklet with full musician …

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