Style: Psychedelic Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, Ritual Folk
Vibe: Ritualistic, Hallucinogenic, Hypnotic, Earthy, Primal, Psychedelic, Spiritual
Musical Attributes: Electro-Acoustic, Loops, Minimalistic, Sampling
Instrumentation: Manipulated Vocals, Flute, Synthesizer (Moog), Drum Samples, Vibraphone
Psychedelic electro-acoustics and earthy minimalism from long-running avant-folk group Spires that in the Sunset Rise. The multi-instrumentalist duo of Ka Baird and Taralie Peterson ritualistically loop and layer a hypnotic tapestry of pre-verbal vocalizations, upright bass, flute, saxophone, synth, and autoharp, running each instrument through trippy stereo delays, visually represented by the two minute-apart clocks next to each other on the album cover. While not as witchy or jarring as the their early releases, Psychic Oscillations finds the band as entrancing as ever.
Style: Psychedelic Folk, Chamber Folk, Singer/Songwriter
Vibe: Dreamy, Morning, Mellow, Nature, Hallucinogenic, Peaceful, Introspective, Psychedelic, Soothing
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Soft, Lush, Lyrical
Style: Jazz Fusion, Future Jazz, Post-Rock
Vibe: Forest, Knotty, Intricate, Nature, Impressionistic, Mysterious
Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Modal
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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: 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: Post-Rock, Experimental Rock
Vibe: Exploratory, Hypnotic, Meandering, Murky, Mysterious, Nature, Abstract, Aquatic, Driving, Droney, Psychedelic
Musical Attributes: Instrumental, Repetitive, Atmospheric, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Loops, Innovative, Dynamic
Style: Glitch-Folk, IDM
Vibe: Autumnal, Peaceful, Warm, Uplifting, Nature, Love
Musical Attributes: Electro-Acoustic, Sampling, Melodic, Repetitive
These communal sound rituals express a digital-era longing to reconnect to the Earth. The grooves here are circular and ceremonial, not rooted to any specific musical traditions but borrowing from many, including cosmic jazz, kosmische musik and undoubtedly inspired by Holden’s collaboration with legendary Gnawa musician Maleem Mahmoud Ghania. Drums and percussion ground the proceedings while muscular sequencer and fiery saxophone arpeggiations hypnotically intertwine. The sounds of fluttering recorder and modular synthesizer swirl through the air like offerings to the cosmos.
Recommended for fans of The Comet is Coming, Tonto’s Exploding Head Band, Maleem Mahmoud Ghania & Pharoah Sander’s Trance of Seven Colors, Natural Information Society, Colin Stetson
Originally released in 2005 on Locust
Drag City Reissue (2020)
Style: Chamber Folk
Vibe: Mellow, Morning, Melancholy, Rootsy, Ethereal
Released in 2013 on Thrill Jockey Format: LP Style: Psych-Folk Vibe: Pastoral, Warm, Cosmic, Nature, Psychedelic Musical Attributes: Instrumental, Droney Instrumentation: Electric … More
Style: Free Folk, Chamber Music, Progressive Folk
Vibe: Ritualistic, Hypnotic, Earthy, Tribal, Nature, Meditative, Medieval, Exploratory
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Improvisation, Instrumental, Minimalistic
Instrumentation: Oboe, Violin, Viola, Recorder, Percussion (Tabla, Drums, Chimes), Cello
My attempt at capturing some fresh spring vibes during this quarantine; hoping it conjures green pastures and rejuvenatory sensations without … More
Style: Experimental Rock, Art Rock
Influences: Electronic, Kosmische Musik, Glitch, Afro-Beat
Vibe: Surreal, Psychedelic, Messy, Hypnotic, Warm, Mysterious, Cryptic
Musical Attributes: Sampling, Percussive, Polyrhythmic, Studio-as-an-instrument, Dense, Looping
Released in 1968 on ESP-Disk Format: LP Style: Chamber Folk, Psych Folk Vibe: Peaceful, Mellow, Psychedelic Themes: War, Nature, Love … More
Released in 2017 on One Little Indian Format: LPx2
Released in 2012 on P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd. Format: LP, clear vinyl
Released in 2005 on Drag City Format: LP
Originally released in 2005 on Warp Records 2013 Reissue Format: LPx2
Washes of piano, harp, and other ephemeral sonic artifacts float through Ledesma’s peaceful, almost static atmospheres like a night breeze through the quiet woods.
Style: Drone, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock, Tape Music
Vibe/Moods: Murky, Exploratory, Hallucinogenic, Mysterious, Nature, Abstract
Musical Attributes: Drones, Loops, Dissonant, Atonal, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Repetitive
Released in 1971 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Released in 2019 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP Limited pink vinyl
Released in 1973 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Released in 1979 on Charisma Records Recorded February 1978 Format: LP
Released in 2018 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP
Originally Released in 2004 on FatCat Records 2011 Reissue on My Animal Home Format: LPx2
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 1968 on Elektra Records 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
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.
The Order of Things takes you on a strange journey, starting off with a long ambient song built around field recordings, light acoustic guitar and some weird drones in the background. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of experimental post-rock, drone, or music that doesn’t like to be easily categorized.
Style: Avant-Folk, Free Folk, Psych Folk
Vibe: Forest, Witchy, Nocturnal, Ritualistic, Earthy, Raw, Nature
Musical Attributes: Dissonant, Droney, Lo-Fi
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”.
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Released in 1971 on United Artists Records Original US Pressing Format: LPx2
Released in 2007 on Eclipse Records Format: LP Includes 12″x24″ insert
Released in 2009 on Graveface Records Format: LPx2, Stoughton Foil Sleeve Includes 24″x24″ poster RSD 2010 Pressing
Released in 2002 on Holy Mountain Format: LP
A far cry from the sparse folk usually recorded by Will Oldham, “Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties” finds his intimate voice and warbly acoustic guitar enveloped by the cosmic drones, blooming synths, airy flutes, and hypnotic tape loops of Chicago new age trio, Bitchin Bajas. The lyrics are essentially fortune cookie mantras and, while there’s a chance they’re tongue-in-cheek, it’s difficult not to smile and feel a brightening of the spirit when hearing uplifting phrases like “Your hard work is about to pay off, keep on keepin’ on” or “you and your whole family are well” get repeated over and over. This collaboration is a soothing, heartwarming listen and a refreshing change-of-pace from Oldham’s tendency towards melancholy and solemn lyrical content.
An ethereal and somewhat haunting ambient-folk collaboration between guitarist/singer Meg Baird (Espers, Heron Oblivion), and harpist Mary Lattimore, who’s recorded with Fursaxa, Steve Gunn, and others in addition to her hypnotic solo work.
Highly Recommended for fans of Natural Snow Buildings, Laraaji, and 60’s British & Scottish Folk music
Dynamic and uplifting house music characterized by filtered drums and enveloping synth textures. With its driving arpeggiations, danceable 4-on-the-floor grooves, hypnotic build-ups, and soothing ambient tracks, Singularity is extremely well-paced, and it’s most beautiful moments full of sublime wonder.
An Angel Fell is a call to action for protecting and healing our planet, using folklore, group vocals, uplifting themes, deep grooves, and expressive improvisations to deliver the message. While not as wild and loose as the dense free jazz the Pyramids made back in the 70s, this record is an organic and vibrant fusion of spiritual jazz, dub, and Afrobeat that will give fans of musical geniuses such as Sun Ra, King Tubby, Fela Kuti, and Pharoah Sanders plenty to vibe to.
Released in 2011 on Sub Pop Records Produced by Phil Ek and Fleet Foxes Format: LPx2 Includes large foldout poster
A psychedelic synth odyssey created with only an expanded Series III Moog by Robert Margouleff and synth-guru Malcolm Cecil (who programmer synths on legendary albums by Stevie Wonder and Gil-Scott Heron in addition to his ambient solo work). The intricately layered results here feel like a synthetic wilderness, with a wide variety of colors and textures that sound warm, organic, and natural despite their electronic origins.
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.
Originally released in 2005 on Tomlab Temporary Residence Reissue (2011) Format: LP
Album Information: Released in 2007 on Constellation Records
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.
Album Information: Released in 1967 on Takoma Records This album was originally released on 100 copies in 1959, but was … More
Album Information: Released in 2009 on Dead Oceans Format: LPx2, 45rpm Catalogue: DOC012 Description: These guys are my favorite American … More
An introspective, instrumental journey of pastoral fingerstyle guitar, occasionally joined by piano, synth and horn arrangements
For fans of eclectic psych rock, communal freakfolk celebrations, and references to Kurt Vonnegut and Pharoah Sanders
Album Information: Released in 1967 on Takoma Records Original album recorded and released in 1964, but was re-recorded in 1967 … More
Primitivist acoustic guitar instrumentals in the form of droney ragas, jovial ragtime, and pastoral fingerpicking