Songs: Ohia – Love & Work: The Lioness Sessions

Style: Lo-Fi Singer/Songwriter, Slowcore, Alt-Country

Vibe: Intimate, Depressive, Romantic, Nocturnal, Sombre, Tender, Haunting, Dark, Lethargic, Lonely, Longing, Love, Poetic, Raw

Jenks Miller / James Toth – Road to Ruin

Style: Gothic Americana, New Weird America, Country-Drone

Vibe: Haunting, Western, Pastoral, Moody, Rainy, Loner, Dark

Musical Qualities: Droney, Lo-fi, Atmospheric, Improvisation

Instrumentation: Banjo, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Field Recordings, Percussion, Harmonium

Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes – Ame debout

Style: Progressive Folk, Avant-Folk

Vibe: Brooding, Visceral, Witchy, Sombre, Forest, Intense, Driving, Passionate, Rebellious

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Progressive, Experimental Vocals

Instrumentation: Organ, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Vocals

Portishead – Roseland NYC Live

Style: Trip-Hop

Vibe: Noir, Brooding, Sensual, Passionate, Melancholy, Angsty, Sombre, Mysterious, Cinematic, Anxious, Sad, Dark

Musical Qualities: Orchestral, Live, Lush, Dense, Rhythmic, Sampling

Senyawa – Alkisah

Style: Avant-Folk, Tribal Drone-Doom, Southeast Asian Folk Music

Vibe: Ceremonial, Apocalyptic, Aggressive, Hypnotic, Murky, Shadowy, Dark, Tribal

Musical Qualities: Percussive, Acoustic, Fuzzy, Heavy, Loops, Noisy, Repetitive, Droney, Extended Technique, Electroacoustic

Instrumentation: Homemade Bamboo Instruments, Electroacoustic Treatments, Percussion, Throat Singing, Chants

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

Moor Mother – Black Encyclopedia of the Air

Style: Experimental Hip-Hop

Vibe: Futuristic, Mellow, Aquatic, Brooding, Cryptic, Haunting, Liberation, Philosophical, Poetic, Ritualistic, Spiritual, Sombre, Sci-Fi

Musical Qualities: Rap, Vocal Manipulations, Glitchy, Sampling, Digital, Spoken Word, Catchy, Suite, Percussive, Sound Collage

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

On this mournful offering, Cave’s poetic reflections on loss, longing, and loneliness slowly float down a river of gloomy synth drones, somber strings, and sparse piano. While not exactly uplifting, the album has a sense of peace and beauty that continues up through the repeating final refrain, “and it’s alright now”.

Swans – The Glowing Man

Style: Experimental Rock, Post Rock

Vibe: Cathartic, Visceral, Spiritual, Brooding, Shadowy, Apocalyptic, Ritualistic, Suspenseful, Climactic, Dark, Powerful, Heavy, Cryptic, Philosophical, Surreal, Epic, Hypnotic, Sombre, Meditative, Mysterious, Monolithic, Longing, Existential, Disorienting

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Repetitive, Dense, Crescendo, Rhythmic, Droney

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

Moor Mother & billy woods – Brass

Style: Hip-Hop (Hardcore, Boom-Bap, Experimental, East Coast)

Vibe: Gritty, Ritualistic, Ominous, Dystopian, Philosophical, Futuristic, Apocalyptic, Cold, Cryptic, Dark, Philosophical, Political, Surreal, Woozy, Conscious

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Beats, Percussive, Noisy, Lyrical, Spoken Word, Rhythmic

Boards of Canada – Geogaddi

Style: Trip-Hop, Psychedelic Electronic, IDM, Downtempo, Ambient Techno

Vibe: Mysterious, Hallucinogenic, Woozy, Occult, Cryptic, Nature, Eerie, Warm, Surreal, Hypnotic, Mellow, Haunting

Musical Qualities: Atmospheric, Beats, Sampling, Vignettes, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Rhythmic

The Kniфe – Shaking the Habitual

Style: Experimental Electronic, Post-Industrial

Vibe/Mood: Ominous, Disorienting, Mechanical, Brooding, Chaotic, Colorful, Anti-Capitalist, Feminist, Complex, Cryptic, Dance, Futuristic, Surreal, Messy

Musical Qualities: Manipulated Vocals, Dissonant, Polyrhythmic, Dense, Percussive, Polyphonic, Noisy, Repetitive

Comus – First Utterance

Style: Avant-Folk, Progressive Folk

Moods: Ominous, Forest, Surreal, Dark, Theatrical, Disturbing, Hallucinatory, Mysterious, Ritualistic, Aggressive, Complex, Shadowy

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Percussive, Chamber Arrangements, Technical

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar (6 & 12-Strings), Violin, Viola, Oboe, Flute, Percussion, Electric Bass

fAust vs. Dälek – Derbe Respect, Alder

Style: Industrial Hip-Hop, Experimental, Krautrock

Vibe: Gritty, Dystopian, Mechanical, Political, Heavy, Cold, Dark, Conscious

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Noisy, Rhythmic, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Armand Hammer & The Alchemist – Haram

Style: Hardcore Boom-Bap, Experimental Hip-Hop

Vibe: Gritty, Cerebral, Ominous, Futuristic, Restrained, Cryptic, Spiritual, Storytelling, Urban, Powerful

Musical Qualities: Beats, Sampling, Rhythmic

Holy Sons – Raw & Disfigured

Style: Loner Folk, Psych Rock, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Introspective, Loner, Dark, Nocturnal, Psychedelic

Lyrical Themes: Philosophical, Existential, Death, Personal

Musical Attributes: Lush, Melodic, Lyrical

Nicolas Jaar – Cenizas

Released in 2020 on Other People Records

Artist: Nicolas Jaar

Format: LPx2


Style: Progressive Electronic, Ambient Pop, Sound Sculpture

Vibe: Introspective, Mysterious, Nocturnal, Shadowy, Abstract, Dark, Hypnotic, Meditative

Musical Attributes: Electro-Acoustic, Progressive, Digital, Studio-as-an-Instrument

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

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

Human Behavior – Kedumim

Religious allegory, profane thoughts, and lustful confessions intertwine on Human Behavior’s third LP; Kedimum is a brooding suite of psychological chamber folk that introspects into a conflicted mind, struggling to reconcile matters of indoctrinated faith, natural human desires, and internalized guilt. Primary songwriter Andres Parada is joined by a sympathetic cast of vocalists to create a vivid sonic drama complete with choral vocals and spoken word passages to complement his haunting narrations. The intricate and shadowy arrangements blend distorted electronic beats with a wide array of acoustic instrumentation, including banjo, clarinet, accordian, acoustic guitar, violin, ehru, and cello.

Univers Zéro – Univers Zero

Style: Chamber Rock, Avant-Prog, Rock In Oppositon

Vibe: Anxious, Angular, Mysterious, Ominous, Dark, Dystopian

Musical Attributes: Instrumental, Complex, Dissonant

Instrumentation: Bassoon , Violin, Viola, Cello, Harmonium, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Drums

Ambarchi / O’Malley / Dunn – Shade Themes from Kairos

Style: Drone-Rock, Experimental Rock

Influences: Dark Ambient, Psych Rock, Kosmische, Noise, Drone-Metal

Vibe: Shadowy, Ominous, Brooding, Dark, Driving, Haunting, Hypnotic, Mysterious, Exploratory, Nocturnal, Hallucinogenic

Musical Attributes: Studio-as-an-instrument, Dissonant, Droney

Ensemble Pearl – Ensemble Pearl

Style: Drone-Rock, Dark Ambient. Experimental

Vibe: Suspenseful, Eerie, Atmospheric, Slow, Haunting, Dark, Psychedelic, Mysterious,

Musical Attributes:  Dissonant, Repetitive, Sparse, Instrumental, Noisy

Musicians: Stephen O’Malley (Sun O)))), Atsuo (Boris), William Herzog, Michio Kurihara

This Heat – Deceit

Originally released in 1981 on Rough Trade Modern Classics Reissue (2016) Format: LP

The Flaming Lips – The Terror

Released in 2013 on Bella Union UK Pressing Format: LPx2, Bonus 7″, Holographic Cover Studio album takes up sides A, … More

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.

Grails – Deep Politics

Darkly cinematic rock instrumentals with some creeping, Dostoevskian vibes. This is probably the most meticulous and progressive album I’ve heard from these guys, who are always finding new ways of funneling their omnivorous library of influences into their dramatic and atmospheric psych rock stylings.

Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada EP

“Side A is cut at 45rpm and features “Moya”, a broiling cascade of upward scales that repeatedly explodes beyond its own threshold. “BBF3” on Side B clocks in at 18 minutes, and was the band’s most lyrical, multi-movement music to date — more elaborated melodic figures wind around an angry spoken-word field recording (infamously culminating in the recital of the speaker’s poem — verses lifted straight from Iron Maiden)”

lojii – lofeye

Categorization and comparison are the least of lojii’s worries, instead prioritizing creative expression and finding spiritual truth and power in this dimly lit dystopia. He delivers his prophetic words with a focused, unwavering determination, while the beats are gritty and nocturnal with their open percussion, eerie synths, and negative space. Don’t miss out on this one.

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew

Recorded August 19-21, 1969 Originally released in 1970 on Columbia Records 2008 Legacy Pressing Format: LPx2

Marriages – Kitsune

A unique blend of post-rock, stoner rock, and shoegaze crafted into a cohesive, perfectly fluid 25 minutes. Hallucinogenic atmospheres, shadowy guitar effects, and mysterious pitch-shifted vocals envelope driving, stoner-fuzz bass lines that often liquify into the watery chorus-bass you might find on the Cure’s Disintegration or an Isis album.