Hiss Golden Messenger / Michael Chapman – Parallelogram

Style: Singer/Songwriter
HGM Side: Americana, Warm, Contemplative, Sunny, Rural, Passionate, Spiritual, Introspective
Chapman Side: Chamber Folk, Melancholy, Morning, Mellow, Autumnal, Reflective, Storytelling

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

Bardo Pond – Adrop / Circuit VIII

Style: Free Psych, Space Rock, Shoegaze, Jam Band

Vibe: Primordial, Murky, Transcendent, Epic, Exploratory, Mysterious, Nocturnal, Hypnotic, Meandering, Cathartic, Spiritual, Psychedelic, Washy, Nocturnal, Stoned

Musical Qualities: Droney, Noisy, Suite, Dynamic, Climactic, Collective Improvisation, Riffs, Atmospheric, Repetitive

Tinariwen – Amadjar

Style: Tishoumaren, Desert Blues

Vibe: Desert, Hypnotic, Journeying, Spiritual, Flowing, Psychedelic, Mellow, Communal, Uplifting

Musical Qualities: Slow, Group Vocals, Repetitive, Percussive, Rhythmic

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

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

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

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

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”.

Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I

Style: Drone Rock, Post-Rock

Vibe: Meditative, Desert, Hypnotic, Soothing, Spiritual, Western, Lethargic, Determined, Psychedelic

Musical Qualities: Slow, Riffs, Repetition, Improvisation, Minimalistic, Instrumental

Jakob Battick – Rabbit’s Moon

Style: Dream Country, Slow-Drip Americana, Gothic Country, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Sedated, Nocturnal, Contemplative, Dreamy, Haunting, Pastoral, Soothing

Musical Qualities: Slow, Sparse, Acoustic, Lyrical

Tortoise – The Taut and the Tame (The Luke Vibert Mix) / Find the One (Wait, Abstraction No. 3)

Style: Ambient Dub, Post-Rock, Experimental Electronic

Vibe: Hypnotic, Spacey, Mellow, Abstract, Nocturnal

Musical Qualities: Remix, Atmospheric, Rhythmic, Instrumental, Sampling, Loops

Spires that in the Sunset Rise – Ancient Patience Wills It Again Part II

Style: Free Folk, Ecstatic Minimalism

Vibe: Ritualistic, Forest, Nocturnal, Haunting, Hallucinatory, Cautious, Exploratory

Musical Qualities: Loops, Repetitive, Dissonance, Drones, Slow, Electro-Acoustic

Instrumentation: Experimental Vocals, Harmonium, Flute, Spiked Fiddle, Banjo, Acoustic & Electric Guitars

Jerry David Decicca – Understanding Land

Style: Americana, Singer/Songwriter, Folk

Vibe: Peaceful, Rustic, Deadpan, Mellow, Lethargic, Nature, Warm, Morning

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Slow, Vocal Harmonies, Lush, Simple

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Lap Steel & Pedal Steel Guitars, Strings, Upright Bass, Vibraphone, Tabla, Bongos

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

Burial + Four Tet + Thom Yorke – Her Revolution / His Rope

Style: Trip-Hop, Ambient Pop, Electronic

Vibe: Nocturnal, Moody, Melancholy, Ethereal, Detached, Lonely, Cold, Heartfelt, Depressive

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Atmospheric, Slow, Mellow

The Congos – Heart of the Congos

Style: Roots Reggae, Dub

Vibe: Spiritual, Warm, Apocalyptic, Hypnotic, Groovy, Summer, Tropical, Religious, Passionate, Psychedelic, Peaceful, Soothing, Laid Back, Aquatic

Musical Qualities: Studio-as-an-Instrument, Rhythmic, Melodic, Lo-fi, Slow

Bonnie Prince Billy – Ask Forgiveness

Bonnie covers Björk, Mickey Newbury, Danzig, R. Kelly and others with help from Espers’ Meg Baird & Greg Weeks

Style: Folk, Slowcore, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Introspective, Morning, Melancholy, Existential, Bittersweet

Musical Qualities: Covers, Vocal Harmonies, Sparse, Soft, Acoustic

Loren Connors – Beautiful Dreamer (for Steve Dalachinksy)

Style: Dark Ambient, Free Improvisation, Ambient Blues

Vibe: Murky, Meditative, Washy, Haunting, Suspenseful, Mysterious, Ethereal

Musical Attributes: Solo Electric Guitar Improvisation, Sparse, Atmospheric, Slow, Lo-fi

Esmerine – If Only a Sweet Surrender to the Nights to Come Be True

Style: Chamber Rock, Post-Rock

Vibe: Mournful, Lethargic, Contemplative, Exploratory, Melancholy, Moody

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Atmospheric, Chamber, Instrumental, Slow, Murky

Instrumentation: Cello, Mallet Percussion, Drums, Violin, Harmonium, Upright Bass

Natalie Rose Lebrecht – Mandarava Rose

Style: Ambient Pop, Free Folk, New Age

Vibe: Cosmic, Dreamy, Earthy, Ethereal, Lethargic, Meditative, Mystical, Passionate, Ritualistic, Soothing, Spiritual

Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Droney, Slow

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

Mogwai – Mr. Beast

Style: Post-Rock, Shoegaze, Slowcore

Vibe: Cinematic, Moody, Contemplative, Focused, Fuzzy, Melancholy, Sombre, Cathartic

Musical Attributes: Dynamic, Melodic, Noisy, Repetitive, Slow, Atmospheric, Polyphonic

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

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

Dirty Three – Horse Stories

The third album from the Melbourne (Au) violin/guitar/drum trio consists of loose, drifting instrumentals that conjure images of vast, open plains. Though the music here is often melancholic and lethargic, it is occasionally swept up with bursts of passionate energy and possessed by cathartic longing (especially the pleading and utterly beautiful violin solo on “Warren’s Lament”). All three instrumentalists have very individual styles that complement and dialogue with each other in refreshingly unique ways.

Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore – Ghost Forests

An ethereal and somewhat haunting dream-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, Cocteau Twins “Victorialand”, Laraaji, and 60’s British & Scottish Folk music

Tangerine Dream – Zeit

This is what I imagine a black hole might sound like. “Zeit” translates to “Time”, yet time feels completely suspended here, filled instead with vast negative space in which burbling VCS 3 synthesizers, suspenseful organs, and a droning quartet of cellos float in and out. These four sidelong pieces erase all traces of rock or any kind of beat from Tangerine Dream’s sound, leaving ominous space-ambient music in its purest form.