A swirling amalgamation of Syd Barrett psychedelia, contemporary UK indie and the pop instincts of Brian Wilson, I recall having to inquire as to the definition of “sui generis” when reading a feature on the Welsh group Super Furry Animals in the mid-90s. A descriptor which holds true today.
Beginning in 2005, with the all-Welsh language Yr Atal Genhedlaeth, SFA’s Gruff Rhys has been releasing a steady stream of solo output since. Spanning myriad means of modality, language and approach, Friday sees the release of the artist’s seventh lp, Pang!. For this installment of the Lagniappe Sessions, Rhys tucks into Jenny Sorrenti, the ever-potent Kevin Ayers and the incredibly underrated Boston group, Cardinal.
California singer-songwriter Mikal Cronin returns with his third Lagniappe Session. If by design, coincidence or otherwise, Cronin’s temporarily adopted home of Idyllwild, CA (nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles), seems to have bled into the relaxed atmosphere of the following covers. Put a glass to the wall and listen in, as Cronin transmutes a late 90s pop-radio staple, paints a Replacements tune in Moog and brass, and salutes the late, great Blaze Foley.
For more than two decades, Ben Chasny’s Six Organs of Admittance has taken on many forms, from full-band blowouts to spectral acoustic balladry, from esoteric approaches to free-form explorations. Wherever he goes, he’s always worth following. For his debut Lagniappe Session, Ben has re-imagined three Melvins songs, paying righteous tribute to the long-running Washington state rockers.
Erin Rae writes and performs folk music. Folk music highlighted by supremely elegant singing and rich lyrical imagery. Her songs are not the immediate sort; rather they slowly envelop the listener like a dense mountain fog on a humid Tennessee morning. Her work is nothing if not sturdy; classic stories and melodies that will be around long after the big machine has washed away, when we’re all back to just playing music for one another.
Cy Dune serves as the stage name of Seth Olinsky of defunct freak-punk-niks Akron/Family. While the music of his former group resides somewhere at the intersections of noise, new age, free jazz and rock ’n’ roll, Cy Dune is rooted in the raw power of guitar and drums — where proto-punk beats blast, and early rock ’n’ roll dance over layered drum riffs. It’s like Teen Wolf fronting The Starlighters – it is hairy but it’s the future! More from Seth – we mean Cy, below …
The songwriting vehicle of Erin Birgy, Mega Bog bathes in the multiplicity of the human condition via an ever-eccentric blend of oblique pop experimentalism. Anchored by Birgy’s ethereal yet fixed vocals, sonically, the project leans as deftly into Badalamenti-esque jazz-scapes as it does biting, angular art-rock.
For their Lagniappe Session, covers of Yukihiro Takahashi, Lady June & Kate Bush.
Since 2011, Bloomington-based auteur Mike Adams has set about crafting a discography of sterling pop hits. His latest, There Is No Feeling Better, released earlier this year by Joyful Noise Recordings, finds him channeling familiar touchstones—the Beach Boys, the Roches, Burt Bacharach, and other sepia-toned classics—into a set of songs that address the dread and anxiety of 2019. Adams’ blend of existentialism and sunny melodies is novel enough on its own, but he couples it with a warmheartedness that makes each song feel essential.
Jurado’s latest, In The Shape of a Storm, finds him once again pulling elements out of the nostalgia slipstream. Though less science fiction and supernaturally informed than the records he made with the late, great Richard Swift, it’s no less evocative. Its songs often play out like half-remembered episodes of a forgotten sitcom, transmitted through the static and picked up by ever sensitive antennae.
For his first-ever Lagniappe Session, Damien selected a number of classic theme songs. What he uncovers in them he explains here, in his own words.
The end of July sees the release of left-field jazz ensemble The Quiet Temple’s self-titled debut. A collaborative effort, the group’s primary members are Rich Machin (Soulsavers) and multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood; further augmented by Spiritualized’s Thighpaulsandra and Doggen Foster, with Stereolab saxophonist Ray Dickaty. An expansive, free and very out affair, for this installment of the Lagniappe Sessions, the ensemble stretch out on the godhead of Coltrane’s “Africa”, Band of Gypsys’ fer-de-lance “Machine Gun”, and riff on The Grodeck Whipperjenny.
Brazil’s Boogarins recently released their third album, Sombrou Dúvida, a set which finds the group refining their Tropicália influenced, mutant psych-rock into a concentrated, glowing sheen. For this installment of the Lagniappe Sessions, the group lay their influences bare with covers from My Bloody Valentine, the Velvets, and the Kinks.
For this installment of the Lagniappe Sessions, legendary Paisley Underground band the Dream Syndicate tear into songs by Pere Ubu, John Cale, and the Stylistics.
For this installment of the Lagniappe Sessions Sinkane renders a bit from Abbey Road — as if it were an elastic footpath outside a cottage in Negril. Oh yeah, and then there’s the dub version. But first, this super humid take on Peter Gabriel’s 1986 commercial breakthrough, “Sledgehammer.”
It’s been six years since we’ve heard from Julian Lynch. In the interim, he’s taken on guitar duties for Real Estate (those deep, early decade Underwater Peoples roots intact) and relocated to Wisconsin. At the top of this year Lynch re-emerged in solo fashion with Rat’s Spit, a new collection of gauzy bedroom pop and sprawling lo-fi psych. For his first ever Lagniappe Session, Lynch applies his craft to two FM radio dream-pop staples from the early 90’s: Sarah McLachlan’s “Possession” and Madonna’s “Rain.” The artist, in his own words, below.
Lagniappe (la·gniappe) noun ˈlan-ˌyap,’ – 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus. Since 2012, Trummors have released three psychedelic, yet breezy, albums of dusty country […]
Cut from the same dank and swampy cloth as JJ Cale and Bobby Charles, Scott Hirsch has paid his dues over the past two decades; both solo and with The Court & Spark / Hiss Golden Messenger. Last year’s Lost Time Behind the Moon found Hirsch mining languid, back porch Americana coupled with humid country-funk. Or: JJ Cale on cough syrup.
This installment of the Lagniappe Sessions finds Hirsch at his Ojai, CA studio, Echo Magic West, laying down three wildly emotional covers by the likes of Dire Straits, Commander Cody and Dylan – all of which will leave you wondering if the term “Slawrock” should be more widely adopted…