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

Sons of Kemet – Your Queen Is a Reptile

Style: Afro-Caribbean Jazz, Spiritual Jazz

Vibe: Protest, Political, Intense, Propulsive, Conscious, Energetic, Groovy, Hypnotic, Passionate, Rebellious, Spiritual, Powerful, Tropical, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Dense, Polyphonic, Rhythmic, Improvisation, Spoken Word, Percussive

Charlie Haden / Liberation Music Orchestra – Ballad of the Fallen

Style: Experimental Big Band, Avant-Garde Jazz, Flamenco

Vibe: Mournful, Communal, Political, Anthemic, Conceptual, Conscious, Liberation, Sombre, Traditional

Musical Qualities: Polyphonic, Suite, Acoustic, Complex, Dynamic, Thematic Improvisation, Instrumental, Orchestral, political, Technical

Fletcher Tucker – Unlit Trail

Style: Ritual Folk, Drone

Vibe: Ancient, Forest, Meditative, Ritualistic, Intimate, Devotional, Earthy, Nature, Autumnal, Contemplative

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Field Recordings, Drone, Atmospheric, Sparse, Suite

Hawkwind – Warrior on the Edge of Time

Style: Space Rock, Heavy Psych, Prog

Vibes: Epic, Triumphant, Apocalyptic, Driving, Fuzzy, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Psychedelic, Riffs, Spacey

Brainticket – Celestial Ocean

Style: Kosmische Musik, Prog, Space Rock, Progressive Electronic

Vibe: Cosmic, Ethereal, Aquatic, Groovy, Exploratory, Hypnotic, Meditative, Hallucinogenic, Spiritual, Futuristic

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Suite, Raga, Headphone Album, Raga, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Dense

Lyrics: Conceptual, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Spiritual, Philosophical

Steve Hillage – Fish Rising

Style: Prog-Pop, Canterbury Scene, Space Rock, Jazz-Rock

Vibe: Playful, Aquatic, Mystical, Adventure, Spacey, Hypnotic, Sunny, Energetic, Triumphant, Colorful, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Groovy, Technical, Polyphonic, Suite, Melodic, Riffs, Atmospheric, Jams

Richard Dawson – 2020 [Review]

Style: Progressive Songwriter, Art Rock, Progressive Pop

Vibe: Satirical, Depressive, Anxious, Dystopian, Bright, Eccentric, Existential, Longing, Pessimistic, Urban, Storytelling

Musical Qualities: Complex, Dense, Progressive, Intricate, Dynamic, Conceptual

The Incredible String Band – U

Style: Psychedelic Folk, Brit-Folk

Vibe: Theatric, Colorful, Eccentric, Eclectic, Imaginative, Messy, Mystical, Playful, Surreal, Warm

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Lyrical, Conceptual, Indian-Influenced

Lyrics: Storytelling, Philosophical, Fantasy, Humorous, Poetic

David Bowie – Black Star

Style: Art Rock, Jazz-Rock
Vibe: Introspective, Moody, Passionate, Sentimental, Sombre, Conceptual
Musical Attributes: Lyrical, Complex, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Rhythmic, Progressive
Lyrical Themes: Death, Existential, Personal, Reflective

Gong – Angel’s Egg (Radio Gnome Invisible Part 2)

The second Radio Gnome transmission finds Zero the Hero astral projecting to PlanetGong where he meets with Selene the Moon Goddess and the Octave Doctors to learn the infinite powers of their lovewisdom vibrations. This psychedelic journey brings together fantastical imagery of pothead pixies and flying teapots (and a dose of hippy hedonism) with heady spiritual concepts delivered in a quite fun and silly way, but even before digging into the concept I was immediately grabbed by their unique style spacey jazz-rock with its propulsive bass lines, immersive synthesizer atmospheres and serpentine soprano sax soloing.

Sufjan Stevens – Illinois

Released in 2005 on Asthmatic Kitty Records Format: LPx2 Listen: Purchase: https://asthmatickitty.com/merch/illinois/  

Human Behavior – Bethpage

The apocalyptic chamber-folk of Bethpage soundtracks multiple chapters of cryptic storytelling, mixing one’s darkest thoughts with religious imagery and allegory through banjo sing-alongs and haunting spoken word passages. The heavy climaxes are whirlwinds of bombastic drums, driving bass, fiddle, clarinet, and banjo that often recall the communal chamber-punk of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. While many tracks feel seeped in shadow and darkness, a heavenly light occasionally floods in through some truly serene and beautiful passages.

Damien Jurado – Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

Lushly cinematic folk-rock draped in sweeping string arrangements and spacey synth atmospheres. Damien’s reverbed falsetto recalls Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Bon Iver as he softly sings of God, “spaceships”, and other imagery blending Christian themes with science-fiction.

For fans of My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, and Beck’s Sea Change