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
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
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
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.
Style: Psych-Folk, Drone-Folk, Free-Folk
Vibe: hallucinogenic, nocturnal, nightmarish, intimate, psychedelic, loner
Musical Attributes: acoustic, droney, raw, studio-as-an-instrument, loops
Originally released in 2003 on Merge Jealous Butcher Indie Exclusive Reissue (2019) Format: LP, Blue
Released in 2004 on Young God Records Format: LPx2
Released in 2011 on Software Records Format: LP
Released in 1971 on A&M Record Format: LP
Released in 2016 on Blue Chopsticks/Drag City Recorded November, 2014 – July, 2015 Format: LP
Released in 2019 on Western Vinyl Format: LP
Originally released on CD in 2003 2019 Pressing, First Vinyl Issue, Remastered Format: LP Features 2 previously unreleased tracks
Released in 2012 on P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd. Format: LP, clear vinyl
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 1970 on Elektra Records Format: LP
Released in 2007 on Hyperdub Records Format: LPx2
Released in 1997 on Drag City Records Format: LP
Released in 1971 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Released in 1973 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Released in 2011 on Underwater Peoples Recorded in 2010 Format: LP
Released in 2015 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP, gold vinyl
Released in 2099 on Kranky/4AD Format: LP
Released in 2018 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP
Released in 2009 on Drag City Records Format: LP
Originally released on K records in 2003 Recorded between 2001-2002 2013 Reissue on PW Elverum & Sun Format: LP
Released in 1999 on Drag City Records Format: LP
Released in 2008 on Kranky Records Recorded Spring/Summer 2007 Format: LPx2, includes Another Bedroom EP on D-side
Released in 1970 on Straight Records Format: LP
Released in 1998 on Matador Records Reissue Format: LP
Compared to the immediate songwriting and lush textures of Helplessness Blues, the progressive folk-rock opus Crack Up feels like an impenetrable wilderness on first listen with its dense, tangled arrangements and complex compositions.
Originally released in 2005 on P.W. Elverum & Sun 2015 Pressing, re-mixed and re-designed Format: LP, white vinyl
Released in 1971 on Elektra Records Format: LPx2
Released in 1970 on Harvest Records 2014 Pressing Format: LP
Released in 2007 on Eclipse Records Format: LP Includes 12″x24″ insert
Released in 2011 on Blackest Rainbow Format: LPx2, 180g Ltd. to 750 copies
Released in 2002 on Holy Mountain Format: LP
After 20+ years of using his introspective songwriting as a playground for psychedelic lo-fi experimentation, underdog hero Emil Amos hands the production reins to John Angello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) for his most polished album yet, capturing the best aspects of 70’s rock classics without ever feeling cliché. The hi-fi analogue production brings a newfound clarity and depth that allows Amos’ songwriting and instrumental performances to bloom; the choruses are anthemic, the atmospheres are darkly psychedelic, and his lyrics are just as philosophical and contemplative as ever.
Released in 1969 on Elektra Records Format: LP
No Other is a masterpiece of Cosmic Americana from Gene Clark (Ex-Byrds). Here his amazing songwriting is complemented by lush instrumentation, psychedelic production, and grandiose choir arrangements.
Released in 2015 on Drag City Composed using Ben Chasny’s Hexadic System
Originally released in 1974 2018 Earth Records Pressing Digitally Remastered Format: LP
Released in 2015 on Partisan Records Recorded 2003-2005
Recommended for those who know that “psychedelic” is not a sound, but a spirit of creativity and exploration within the mind. Those who know Deradoorian for her work with Dirty Projectors will appreciate the complex arrangements and production, albeit in a much more mysterious context. Fans of Bjork, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Flaming Lips, Portishead, or Can will also find a lot to love.
Subgenres: Slowcore, Country, Folk
Vibe: Depressive, Intimate, Lonely, Sad, Introspective, Raw, Loner
Musical Attributes: Lo-fi, Sparse, Raw, Simple
Released in 1974 on Virgin Records Original U.S. Pressing, Promo Copy
Originally released in 2002 on Secretly Canadian 2014 deluxe reissue Format: LPx2 (full album on first LP and demos on … More
Originally released in 1989 on Fiction Records 2010 pressing, Digitally Remastered by Robert Smith Format: LPx2
Originally released in 1980 on Vengeance Records 2007 Secretly Canadian Reissue Format: LP Review Bobb Trimble’s 1980 debut (originally released … More
Released in 2013 on Drag City Records Format: LP Overview In an interview around the release of Dream River, Bill Callahan … More
Album Information: Released in 1996 on Matador Records
Taking a detour from his usual loner-droner psych folk style, Ben Chasney enlists former Comets on Fire bandmates to jam some heavy rock burners with a a cosmic amount of electric guitar shredding, evoking Neil Young & Crazy Horse blasting off on a rocket. The new electric energy brought to this album is balanced out by an equal amount of the fingerpicking prog-folk and meditative acoustic ballads that have been developing in his music since the 90’s. While I will always love his more melancholy, nocturnal records that sound like he’s lost in a forest somewhere, I welcome the fiery energy of Ascent.
Album Information: Released in 2011 on Partisan Records Produced by Emil Amos Jeff Stuart Saltzman recorded tracks B1, B3, B5 … More
Album Information: Released on Palace Records in 1999
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.
On his Warp Records debut, the eccentric rapper crafts an album of shadowy hip-hop that expresses a unique creative vision. His bipolar, extremely personal lyrics fluctuate from paranoid agoraphobia and self-deprecating reflection to uninhibited hedonism and braggadocios swagger, sometimes in the course of a couple lines. Highly recommended for fans of Busdriver, Aesop Rock and other psychedelic hip-hop artists
An introspective, instrumental journey of pastoral fingerstyle guitar, occasionally joined by piano, synth and horn arrangements
Album Information: Released in 1977 by RCA Records. Recorded September-October in 1976 in Hérouville, France and West Berlin, Germany This pressing … More
“Sometimes it’s hard doing anything”. Somehow Jason Molina knows how to perfectly express what depression feels like without ever succumbing to hopelessness. His music has been a friend and a voice of encouragement when I need it most, reminding me to persist and not beat myself up when I feel unproductive or lazy or unmotivated. “The real truth about it is no one gets it right. The real truth about it is we’re all supposed to try”
I highly recommend this album to any nocturnal recluses looking for a shadowy singer-songwriter to listen to during their next existential crisis. Emil’s experimental blend of hi- and lo-fi recording methods and tasteful use of psychedelic atmospheres allow his strong songwriting to take precedent, while simultaneously offering plenty of new textures to discover with each subsequent listen. Diverse range of influences include Indian classical, psychedelic rock, drone, folk, dub…the list goes on.