intimate

By the Fruits… You Shall Know the Roots

Style: Free Folk, Ritual Psych, Dhrupad, Tribal Ambient, Acoustic Drone, American Primitive, Weird Americana

Feelings: Ritualistic, Nocturnal, Earthy, Forest, Mystical, Eerie

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Droney, Improvisation, Raga-influenced

Willie Nelson – Spirit

Style: Outlaw Country, Singer/Songwriter, Flamenco-Influenced

Vibe: Tender, Breakup, Reflective, Patient, Personal, Lonely, Longing, Peaceful, Romantic, Bittersweet, Heartfelt, Intimate, Melancholy, Mellow, Sentimental, Spiritual

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Lush, Lyric-Driven, Chamber Arrangements

Alabaster DePlume – GOLD

Style: Art Pop, Spiritual Jazz, Dub Poetry, Collage Pop

Moods: Triumphant, Conversational, Uplifting, Conscious, Communal, Heartfelt, Passionate, Hypnotic, Intertwined, Intimate, Intricate, Playful, Rebellious, Love, Poetic, Reflective, Soothing, Spiritual, Warm,

Musical Qualities: Suite, Improvisation, Analogue Recording, Tape Edits, Dub Production, Sound Collage, Thematic, Polished, Catchy

Instrumentation: Saxophone, Spoken Word, Upright Bass, Drums, Group Vocals, Tabla, Synthesizers, Percussion, Guitar, Cello

Joan Shelley – The Spur

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Chamber Folk

Moods: Reflective, Poetic, Intimate, Lonely, Loving, Wise, Compassionate, Tender, Soothing, Contemplative, Bittersweet, Rustic, Peaceful, Melancholy, Intricate, Pastoral

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Lush, Vocal Harmonies, Soft, Melodic

Mickey Newbury – Better Days

Style: Country, Singer/Songwriter

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

Musical Qualities: Lyrical, Sparse, Acoustic, Slow

Fountainsun – Sweep the Temple

Style: Spiritual Folk, Outsider Folk

Vibe: Mystical, Pantheistic, Contemplative, Uplifting, Enchanting, Intimate, Heartfelt, Forest, Ritualistic, Meditative, Morning, Warm, Storytelling

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Suite, Spoken Word, Melodic, Lyrical

Instrumentation: 12-String Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, Marimba, Vibraphone, Vocal Harmonies, Gong, Percussion, Shakuhachi,

Six Organs of Admittance – Dust & Chimes

Style: Psych Folk, American Primitive Guitar, Ritual-Folk

Vibe: Forest, Ritualistic, Seeking, Mystical, Witchy, Nocturnal, Adventure

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Droney, Fingerstyle, Loose, Percussive, Modal, Raga

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

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

Joseph Shabason – Anne

Style: New Age, Ambient Jazz, Progressive Electronic

Vibe: Healing, Woozy, Personal, Ethereal, Soothing, Intimate, Hypnotic, Mellow

Musical Qualities: Atmospheric, Spoken Word, Soft, Slow, Electroacoustic, Field Recordings, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Instrumentation: Saxophone (w/ FX), Synthesizers, Piano, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Violin, Trumpet, Flute

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

Flying Saucer Attack – Chorus

Style: Bedroom Psych, Drone, Noise Pop, Shoegaze, Space Folk

Vibe: Nocturnal, Murky, Dreamy, Introspective, Hazy, Hypnotic, Intimate, Washy, Ritualistic

Musical Qualities: Feedback, Drone, Atmospheric, Noisey, Lo-Fi

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

Richard Youngs – Sapphie

Style: Lo-Fi Songwriter, Loner Folk, Slowcore

Vibe: Intimate, Sad, Ethereal, Hypnotic, Heartfelt, Stream of Consciousness, Introspective, Longing, Depressive, Lonely, Melancholy, Loss

Musical Qualities: Sparse, Acoustic, Lo-Fi, Minimalistic, Raw, Repetitive

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

C.O.B. – Spirit of Love

Style: Chamber Folk, Spiritual Folk, English Folk

Vibe: Mystical, Medieval, Warm, Spring, Intimate, Mellow, Morning, Spiritual

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Lush, Vocal Harmonies, Progressive

Instrumentation: Organ, Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, Dulcitar, Recorder, Electric Bass, Washboard, Drum, Bongos, Tambourine, Cello, Indian Hand Organ

Collie Ryan – The Hour is Now

Style: Folk, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Mystical, Nature, Soothing, Mellow, Tender, Flowing, Forest, Peaceful, Morning, Earthy, Intimate

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Sparse, Simple, Lyrical, Soft, Melodic, Solo

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

Brigitte Fontaine / Areski / Art Ensemble of Chicago – Comme á la Radio

Style: Chanson, Chamber Jazz, Avant-Folk

Vibe: Serpentine, Nocturnal, Mysterious, Ominous, Storytelling, Suspenseful, Open, Beguiling

Musical Qualities: Spoken Word, Collective Improvisation, Thematic, Percussive

Instrumentation: Duet Vocals, Muted Trumpet, Acoustic Guitar, Bouzouki, Shenai, Oboe, Flute, Percussion, Drums, Upright Bass, Lute

Julius Lester – Departures

Style: Folk, Acoustic Blues, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Outsider, Rebellious, Melancholy, Storytelling, Intimate, Philosophical, Personal, Political

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Sparse, Bluesy, Lyrical

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”.

The Iditarod – The Ghost, the Elf, the Cat and the Angel

Style: Psychedelic Chamber-Folk

Vibe: Haunting, Pastoral, Melancholy, Rainy, Delicate, Intimate, Psychedelic, Intertwined

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Slow, Soft, Electro-Acoustic, Sampling, Home Recording

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Cello, Turntables, Banjo, Tanpura, Violin, Singing Bowls, Percussion, Dulcimer, Bouzouki, Organ, Wine Glasses

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

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

Jackson C. Frank – Jackson C. Frank

Style: Loner Folk, Singer/Songwriter, Folk Blues

Vibe: Introspective, Mellow, Intimate, Longing, Autumnal, Raw, Loner, Simple, Poetic, Melancholy

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Sparse, Lyrical

Anne Briggs – Anne Briggs

Style: English Folk, Celtic Folk

Vibe: Flowing, Pastoral, Melancholy, Heartfelt, Intimate, Rootsy, Storytelling

Musical Qualities: Sparse, Acoustic, A Cappella (A2, A5, B1-3, B5)

Roy Harper – Valentine

Released in 1974 Chrysalis Pressing (US, 1978) Format: LP Style: Psychedelic Chamber Folk, Singer/Songwriter, Progressive Folk Vibe: Romantic, Floating, Heartfelt, Introspective, Psychedelic, Intimate, Contemplative, Dreamy, Elegant, Mellow, Morning, Peaceful, Airy Musical Qualities: Vocal Harmonies, Acoustic, Sparse, Lush, Progressive, Lyrical, Melodic

Peter Hammill – The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage

Style: Progressive Songwriter, Art Rock

Vibe: Dramatic, Intimate, Longing, Existential, Theatric, Lonely, Alienation, Ambitious

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Complex, Progressive, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Instrumentation: Piano, Vocals, Guitars (Acoustic & Electric), Organ, Horns, Flute, Keyboards, Saxophone, Flute, Drums, Mellotron

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

Mourning [A] BLKstar – The Cycle

Style: Avant-Soul, Psychedelic Funk, Trip-Hop

Vibe: Heartfelt, Passionate, Raw, Reflective, Communal, Intimate, Afrofuturism, Nocturnal, Political, Mournful, Eclectic, Powerful

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Groovy, Dynamic, Beats

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

Wendy Eisenberg – Auto

Style: Progressive-Pop, Avant-Songwriter, Jazz-Rock, Math-Pop

Vibe: Whispery, Angular, Intimate, Heartfelt, Cerebral, Reflective, Love / Breakup, Restrained, Introspective, Contemplative, Anxious, Loner

Musical Qualities: Odd Time Signatures, Jazz-Influenced, Technical, Dynamic, Lyrical

Anna & Elizabeth – The Invisible Comes to Us

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.

Ilyas Ahmed – I Am All Your Own

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

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

Jamila Woods – Heavn

Style: Soul, Art Pop

Vibe: Confident, Heartfelt, Introspective, Colorful, Triumphant, Uplifting, Urban, Loner

Lyrical Themes: Conscious, Poetic, Political, Personal, Black Pride, Love, Feminist

Musical Attributes: Groovy, Lush, Headphone Album, Polished, Catchy, Technical

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.

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.

500mg – Vertical Approach

Style: Psych-Folk, Drone-Folk, Free-Folk

Vibe: hallucinogenic, nocturnal, nightmarish, intimate, psychedelic, loner

Musical Attributes: acoustic, droney, raw, studio-as-an-instrument, loops

Arca – Arca

Released in 2017 on XL Recordings Format: LP Overview By introducing heartfelt vocals into her (often) harsh environments of contorted glitch-pop, Venezuelan producer Arca reaches near-claustrophobic levels of intimacy.

Avey Tare – Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a beautiful, enveloping excursion of aquatic psych-folk characterized by flowing, hallucinogenic instrumentation, atmospheric production, nature field recordings, and ghostly background vocals from one of my favorite singers, Angel Deradoorian. Avey Tare’s introspective and intimate lyrics mix psychedelic revelations, reminiscing, surreal imagery, and nature/water themes, often leading to profound realizations of a very personal sense of spirituality. The lush orchestrations are arranged by the amazing and unique violist Eyvind Kang, which include woodwinds, horns, strings, and pedal steel slide guitar from Susan Alcorn.

For fans of Animal Collective’s “Campfire Songs” and the slow portions of “Feels”.

Click for full review

Palace Brothers – Palace Brothers

Style: Singer/Songwriter
Subgenres: Slowcore, Country, Folk
Vibe: Depressive, Intimate, Lonely, Sad, Introspective, Raw, Loner
Musical Attributes: Lo-fi, Sparse, Raw, Simple

Bright Eyes – Vinyl Box Set

Album Information: Released in 2003 on Saddle Creek Format: LPx7, box set Includes 5 Bright Eyes releases between 1997 and 2002

Feist – Pleasure

A cohesive, intimate collection of chamber pop songs, ornate with colorful arrangements, lush production, and some bluesy guitar licks.