With the 6th installment of the original trilogy Shpongle shows they still got the mojo. Less generic samples and sounds, a more solid bass foundation and overal crazy fun production and some daring takes in genre mixes while staying true to the Shpongolese spirit. Darn fun!
Championing spirits of locus and wonder. Banjo plucks and dobro jitters, finger-pickin' and avian charms, with unions of harmonium and harmonica waltzing endless time with Faulkner's southern ghosts.
Wovenhand is often a darkened, spiritual act and The Thresingfloor spices things up with a modest flair of Eastern elements and a thick production that shrouds the record in a sense of mystique. Add memorable hooks and melodies to the mix and the total package is a more than enjoyable ride.
Their first step away from being a blues duo and slipping into greaser-rock territory. Quite a shock if you don't expect it, but all the tropes are there. We still hear sleazy blues guitars, but this time slided and amplified, a lo-fi weirdo track and of course a touchy-feely acoustic tearjearker.
A delightfully disturbing exercise in melodic mental-breakdowns and stream of consiousness. The RHCP guitarist freaks out over their commercial success by showing everyone that he is way to weird for that kind of thing. It sounds unhinged, loose and dangerous but actually makes so much sense.
The last release of sea-faring, folk-pop-bluesers Port O'Brien. Some of their best songwriting and by far cleanest production. The album has a concept and due consistency, and it really iterates on all the good stuff from earlier. Sadly though, no longer. At least they ended on a high note.
With a warm, fuzzy sound and eerie dissonance Maggie Bjorklund takes you on a estranging journey of warm country tunes and ice cold psychedelic folk. A mixture that comes across as very, very effective. Each track stands out, but the total picture is what makes this record. Embrace the freaky.
This dark goth/country/americana record from Nergal (Behemoth) is highly personal and comes from the soul. That's all well and good, but it doesn't make it very good nor memorable for the listener. This record is special because it's Nergal, not because it's good gothfolk. This is not his genre.
Spinvis takes another swing at making happy music, he's sure he'll get it one day. Today though, we get uplifting tunes as a celebration of everyday life and strive. Albums like these speak to the magic of the mundane, I like that.
Creativity worth praising. This record outgrows genres as a whole, but keeps roots in negro-spirituals and black metal. Mix it up with whatever you can think of, and you get an amazing must-hear-this-mix of music that is not as coherent as an album could be, but none the less damn impressive!
All your favorite Anathema anthems redone in extra emo melancholy acoustic covers. You'd think the songs would miss the heavy impact, but the focus just shifted from decibels to emotions. Stunning.
This is what got me in to folk/americana. Essentially a double album with the Doel EP included. Expect eerie lo-fi folk with a ever so eery edge of psychedelics at it's borders. Heartfelt music and lyrics, performed with passion and care.
Firewatch (the game) is all about interactive storytelling with dialogs, graphics, art and of course music. The music stands fine on it's own, but a few listens in it becomes apparent that the best way to listen this soundtrack is in the game.
'Tallest Man'-esque lo-fi singer/songwriter folk. Nice, but interchangeable in the whole.
Harbringer of lo-fi 'funeral folk', the creepiest atmospheres, the darkest corners of music. Phenomenal!
Proper seaman shanties in the minimalistic folk-roots lo-fi blues with a pure and authentic sound and feel. Songs bounce between jolly singalongs to more psychedelic mysterious ones. A lovely album to chant along with.
Ah the glorious collection of the most enchanting twisted dark folk act Tenhi. Songs come in all sorts, shapes and sizes, from crappy tape production to fully fledged studio material. Eitherway I need it all.
Continuing the path set by Mala, more away from the freakyness and more into the calm and warm tones of neofolk, with a tiny hint of psychedelics on it's edges. Fine background music to relax to.
Empyrium made the most depressive black metal without the black metal. All acoustic, dark and haunting tracks. Full of tales of woe, silent forests and snowy nights. Gives me goosebumps.
It's hard for me to write about this album, because I tend to experience this record as a spiritual endeavor. It sound is so alive, it's evolving while you hear it. This is a window into another world. A world subtle melodies and woe.
Get sleazy and get stoned, cuz it's time for a Dead Meadow record. While songs tend to be less memorable in writing than Old Growth, the sound these guys produce is so iconic to their style, that more of the same is always better. Kick back and let the light shine thru.
Seeing Skuggsjá (Wardruna & Enslaved) perform live was a real privilege, since it wasn't really supposed to be more then a one time thing. The record that wasn't supposed to be made is here now and it's a proper reflection of the project. Deep folk and roaring folk-black metal.
Forndom does what Wardruna does; make a historical connection to the Viking-spirituals back in the day. The difference, however, is that Forndom takes a slow pacing and deep, calm sounds to tell the tale, where Wardruna tends to explode into epic showdowns.
The Finnish folk project with potential, were forgotten for 8 years. Till now, and I'm sad to say, it's lost it's shine. The sole instrumentation sounds forced and missing the atmosphere of the earlier records. Sad, because I really, really wanted this to be amazing..
This is just a very nice exercise in dual-hang-playing, live recorded and dressed with ambient noises to make a relaxing and easy flowing chill record. The hang is a magical instrument, and this album is one where they come out like just that.
There's also a lot to be said about Myrkur, and again I don't give a shit. I just find this a poorly written and recorded album. The dreamy folk does right by me, but the black metal parts seem forced, unnatural and gimmicky. She tries, but doesn't really succeed.
King Gizzard does what it does and the Lizard Wizard pulls some magic out of a hat. An acoustic release features the classic Gizzard songwriting and catchy lyrics, but set in a rural 'playing with the family' kinda sound. It's an odd duck, but very fun to see.
Wannes did it again, a wayward blues-pop-americana-folk record with a fragile sound and heavy heart. He sounds true, bare and personal.
The new Panopticon focuses less on the folk and more on the thick, heavy barrages of riffing and deep gurgles of gruntwork. This doesn't mean the album is any less atmospheric. If anything, it's ever more intense this way.
A smooth and mellow record, oozing hope and desire. Extra tragic in the light of the frontman's suicide, but it feels like the celebration of the thinking man's mind. And I respect that.
A 'fun' little tongue-in-cheek EP with the most creepy happy Christmas songs about dying, death and despair. Your imminent demise has never sounded so warm and cheerful. Happy holidays, we're born to die!
On a more serious note, but still strangely uplifting comes this other EP with darkened folk, remnant of the melancholy heard on Agalloch's masterpiece 'The White'.
Two tracks of the 'new' Banhart, confirming a more poppy-sound in mellow production. Fortunately, it still manages to keep the Cripple Crow vibe alive, especially in the wonderful Loring Baker.
The Tallest Man On Earth has a band, and while it adds some much needed variety to his singer-songwriter blues, it also takes away from the personal and soul of the earlier records. Maybe this is another one trick pony gone their course.
Rudd teaming up with a African reggae act? Couldn't be more psyched! But alas, the result is dry, lacks inspiration and tends to disappear as a nondescript tree in the monotonous forest of reggae. It lacks an image.
A unique mixture of world music, Japanese traditionals, progrock, ambient and jazz, from the 70s! It is truly a remarkable experience of music from the East, sadly Kitajima later fell into the cheesy eastern-new-age cliches. But at least this work is still out there, and it still resounds.
Heard this as a soundtrack and it worked for me. On record though, it's a little too much 'look at me I can do MGMT too!'. It has it's moments, but I tend to lose interest quickly.
Panopticon sets the bar for expanding black metal horizons with this Kentucky-blues hybrid. Highly melodic, intense and utterly creative songwriting. The only downside is the bit muddled production, but that also shines the light on the clearer acoustic parts, so all is well!