The Invisible Comes to Us is a haunting, modern take on Appalachian and Irish folk songs. Beautiful close-harmonies, banjos and acoustic guitars are juxtaposed with droning atmospheres of woodwinds, Moog bass, pump organ, and euphonium. Guest musicians include Jim White on drums and Susan Alcorn on slide guitar.
Amidst the icy winds of tribal drones and pagan folk rituals, there are moments of mystical serenity in the music of Natural Snow Buildings, like serendipitously finding warm shelter while lost in a punishing blizzard.
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
Style: Loner Folk, Singer Songwriter, Psych Folk
Vibe: Lethargic, Loner, Peaceful, Soothing, Airy, Mellow, Contemplative, Dreamy, Droney, Hypnotic, Intimate, Introspective
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Droney, Slow, Sparse, Soft
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
Originally released in 2005 on Locust
Drag City Reissue (2020)
Style: Chamber Folk
Vibe: Mellow, Morning, Melancholy, Rootsy, Ethereal
Style: British Folk, Country-Influenced
Vibe: Contemplative, Earthy, Introspective, Melancholy, Rootsy, Rural, Storytelling
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Vocal Harmonies, Lyrical, Melodic, Simple, Sparse
Released in 2004 on Young God Records Format: LPx2
Originally released in 1998 Exiled Records reissue (2016) Format: LPx2, blank D-side
Style: American Primitive Guitar, Folk
Vibe: Rootsy, Eclectic, Raw
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Lo-fi, Sound Collage, Vignettes, Bluesy, Instrumental
Released in 1968 on ESP-Disk Format: LP Style: Chamber Folk, Psych Folk Vibe: Peaceful, Mellow, Psychedelic Themes: War, Nature, Love … More
Released in 2019 on Western Vinyl Format: LP
The other day I asked myself how I could possibly be thinking about music when the continuing dangers of capitalist-imperialism, … More
Released in 1965 on Elektra Records Recorded in 1964 Format: LP
Released in 2005 on Drag City Format: LP
Originally released on CD in 2005 on Drag City First vinyl pressing – 2009 Format: LP
Released in 2001 on Future Farmer Records Format: LPx2, 45rpm
Released in 1971 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Released in 1973 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Another interesting one from Fahey, side A consists of some amazingly intricate guitar duets with Woodrow Mann, including my favorite Fahey song “Jaya Shiva Shankarah”. Side B takes a strange turn though…halfway through the title track a 10-piece dixieland band kicks for a few tracks of New Orleans-style jazz. The album closes in a more familiar place with a contemplative solo piece that most Fahey fans would dig.
Released in 2018 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP
Released in 2007 on Sub Pop Records Format: LP
These impassioned, and often mournful, renditions of klezmer folk songs (both traditional and original) are infused with elements of free jazz, drone, and chamber music to create something both rooted and urgently modern (Even 15 years after its release). The mostly acoustic band features violinist Jessica Moss (also of Silver Mt. Zion) and upright bassist Thierry Amar (asmz, GY!BE) in addition to singer/multi-instrumentalist Scott Levine Gilmore and Clarinetist/Guitarist Gabe Levine.
Released in 1967 on Elektra Records Format: LP
Released in 1964 on Columbia Records Recorded in 1963 Format: LP
On his latest, producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Bibio blends serene folk pop, lush instrumentation, pastoral guitar instrumentals, nature field recordings, Walt Whitman-esque lyrics and beat-oriented grooves into the perfectly crafted springtime album. Ribbons feels like daydreaming in a garden or out in the woods under a tree or by a trickling stream.
Warm, mellow Scottish folk with lyrics that border spiritual, philosophical, and fantasy themes. The arrangements are a bit stripped down from their lush psychedelia of previous releases, but still feature a good amount of sitar, organ, Irish harp, and violin to add some color to the vocals and acoustic guitar-centric songwriting.
Released on Elektra in 1968 Format: LP Track Notes A1 – Jobs Tears (Uplifting, Morning, Spiritual) “Stranger than that we’re alive” … More
Released in 1967 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Exuma’s first album is a powerful and ritualistic masterpiece of spiritual folk from the Bahamas. Exuma, the Obeah Man, is a master storyteller and preacher, sharing visions, myths, and prayers. His expressive, soulful voice takes on many tones as he delivers his musical sermons, from smooth to raspy, soft to confident. A group of singers, percussionists, whistlers, and toads join him and his acoustic guitar, making me imagine them all circled around a large fire in communal worship and grateful that they let us listeners in on it.
Releases in 1983 on Takoma Records Format: LP
1967 Originally Released in 1965 on Takoma Records 1967 Reissue Format: LP
Released in 1971 on Reprise Records Format: LP White label promo copy
Released in 1970 on Transatlantic Format: LP Original UK pressing
Released in 2002 on Holy Mountain Format: LP
Released in 1969 on Elektra Records Format: LP
Released in 2015 on Drag City Composed using Ben Chasny’s Hexadic System
Released in 2017 on Domino Records Format: LPx2
Released in 2018 on Columbia Records Recorded September and December, 1974
Subgenres: Slowcore, Country, Folk
Vibe: Depressive, Intimate, Lonely, Sad, Introspective, Raw, Loner
Musical Attributes: Lo-fi, Sparse, Raw, Simple
Released in 2011 on Sub Pop Records Produced by Phil Ek and Fleet Foxes Format: LPx2 Includes large foldout poster
Released in 2006 on Drag City Records Format: LPx2
“What I’m asking you to do is take some risks. Stop paying war taxes, refuse the armed forces, organize against the air war, support the strikes and boycotts of farmers, workers and poor people, analyze the flag salute, give up the nation state, share your money, refuse to hate, be willing to work…in short, sisters and brothers, arm up with love and come from the shadows”
Information: Originally released in 1963 on Columbia This pressing was released in 2001 on Sundazed records Format: LP, 180g, Mono
On his debut album, the guitar and banjo virtuoso starts off with a 22-minute droning epic fusing American and Arabic Folk music with Indian Raga on his acoustic guitar (often trying to imitate the feeling of the oud). Here, he is accompanied by the fluid, driving drums of Billy Higgins. Side 2 is made up of 4 shorter solo pieces, mostly for the banjo, including an impressive rendition of “Carmina Burana” by German composer Carl Orff and a folky mountain song.
British singer-songwriter John Martyn fuses folk, jazz, and psychedelic experimentation to create an album that is both eclectic and cohesive, tied together by his flowing voice and virtuosic acoustic guitar fingerpicking.
FFO Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Ryley Walker
Julie Byrne’s gentle new-age folk is so light and airy it’s easy to miss its depth, but repeated listening shows that it’s strength lies in its weightlessness. Her soothing voice and delicate fingerpicking are enveloped in warm string arrangements, all tied together by soft reverb and pristine production that makes for an inviting, peaceful listen every time.
Pastoral psychfolk from guitar master Ben Chasney. Here his serene acoustic fingerpicking is occasionally accompanied by harmonium drones and trippy guitar overdubs, but overall the album is extremely sparse and meditative.
The first side features Dylan going electric for the first time, including classics such as She Belongs to Me and Maggie’s Farm. Side 2 features the acoustic storytelling and surrealist lyrics Dylan had been perfecting up to that point.
Album Information: Released in 1967 on Takoma Records Includes 15-page book of stories and song notes
Album Information: Released in 1967 on Takoma Records This album was originally released on 100 copies in 1959, but was … More
Guitar-genius Mdou Moctar visits Portland, Oregon from his home country of Niger to record a hypnotic solo album of desert folk sung in Tamasheq. Most songs consist of intricate fingerstyle acoustic guitar with occasional electric guitar overdubs to accent the melodies.
A fingerpicking folk odyssey that traverses through passages of delicate piano motifs, tribal drum circles, meditative ambience, celebratory horn arrangements, reverent organ drones, and even a cathartic drum solo, all within a single 40 minute track.
Blue Afternoon continues the flowing jazz-folk of Tim’s previous release (Happy Sad) while starting to detour into the avant-garde atmospheres that would manifest more fully on his next two albums, Lorca and Starsailor. The songs and lyrics refuse to be boxed into one category as “joyful” or “lonely” or “sad” and instead reflect the intangible multi-dimensionality of feeling.
An introspective, instrumental journey of pastoral fingerstyle guitar, occasionally joined by piano, synth and horn arrangements
Album Information: Released in 1969 by Island Records Recorded between June 1968 and June 1969 at Sound Techniques in London, … More
Somber ambient-folk with layers of delicate, circular fingerpicking and sparse arrangements of droning harmonium, piano, guitar feedback and the occasional chirping crickets. The soft reverb dampens everything like a light drizzle over the American prairie
Album Information: Released in 1967 on Takoma Records Original album recorded and released in 1964, but was re-recorded in 1967 … More
Album Information: Released in 1999 by Columbia Records Recorded at Royal Albert Hall in 1966 Format: 2xLP Box Set, 200g, … More
Album information: Released on Takoma Records in 1969
Primitivist acoustic guitar instrumentals in the form of droney ragas, jovial ragtime, and pastoral fingerpicking
A collection of quality songwriting and unpretentious, rootsy arrangements, featuring the beautiful, heavenly, dreamy “Magnolia”.