A heavy dose of California chill beaming out from New Hampshire, John Andrews and his “band” The Yawns return with Cookbook, their follow-up to 2017’s Bad Posture, and an airy collection of laid-back country rock, gentle AM ballads, and breezy cantina instrumentals with more than a dose of Guaraldi-imbued jazz.
The latest from DIY lifer Zach Philips is a dizzying and resplendent work of lysergic cool-jazz, deconstructed art-pop, and library exotica. Billed as Exit From the Ultra-World by Perfect Angels, the record was pieced together on tape in Brussels with transmitted vocals from French singer Olia Eichenbaum, and additional contributions from psych-pop pioneer Chris Cohen, jazz saxophonist Shoko Igrashi, and a cast of like-minded multi-instrumentalists from around the globe.
Peruvian yacht-rock gold, circa 1977. The Alessi Brothers cover is a DIY bedroom relic, coasting off the sunset of a downbeat synth groove with an eerie harmony tunnel like some bizarro Beach Boys outtake.
The previous Black Monument Ensemble long-player, Where Future Unfolds, was an absolute knockout. NOW might be even better. Led by the multi-talented Damon Locks, the Chicago collective includes such amazing players as Angel Bat Dawid, Ben LaMar Gay and Dana Hall, all coming together to create something totally unique — an uncanny blend of dreamy reveries and harsh realities.
RIP Bunny Wailer. RIP U-Roy. Via satellite, transmitting from northeast Los Angeles — the Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7pm California time, Wednesdays.
34.1090° N, 118.2334° W
It’s November 3rd. As such, here’s a little something to assist in your embrace of “hygge” – if that’s possible – this season: Tape 3/4 — the latest entry in Felbm’s ongoing “tapes” series. At 14 tracks, the Utrecht based artist continues down the path set out in 2018, woodshedding material via 4-track. A homespun instrumental affair brimming with low key jazzscapes, here’s a taste…a rendering somewhat reminiscent of an alternate universe, lo-fi, Vince Guaraldi.
In 2016, David Lerner of Trummors began an email correspondence with songwriter Allan Wachs. What follows is a reconstruction of a conversation they had earlier this summer, paired with selections from their long back-and-forth. Trummors’ latest, Dropout City, is available now wherever you get out-there tunes.
Recorded at tail end of last year, at a half dozen tracks, Bent Arcana scans krautrock, minimalist jazz, prog and fusion. Positioned as “the first interstellar transmission from five days of electrified & improvised sessions recorded at Stu-Stu-Studio,” the album is the inceptive chapter in a series of ad-hoc sessions to come. Stream the album in its entirety, at AD.
Conor Oberst has never shied away from the apocalyptic, but on the new Bright Eyes album Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was he sings about the end of the world like an eye witness reporter. “I think we all, to some degree, are dreaming the same dreams and we’re fighting the same internal battles in our minds and hearts.”
Via satellite, transmitting from northeast Los Angeles — the Aquarium Drunkard Show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35. 7pm California time, Wednesdays.
Tonight: During the first hour, a preview of The Lagniappe Sessions, Vol. II out August 29 via Record Store day.
23-year-old Wyatt Waddell wrote, performed and recorded “FIGHT!” in 24 hours after witnessing the protests sparked by the brutal killing of George Floyd. That urgency presents itself both lyrically; “There’s already so much pain / And there ain’t nothin else we can do / But to fight,“ and musically; sparse church rhythms keep a fierce pace as the Chicago native’s gritty tenor transforms into a sea of otherworldly voices. Wonderful funk breakdowns help release (or it increase?) the tension, while Waddell’s vocals climb higher and grow more exasperated with each passing verse. By the end of the track, he’s levitating above the masses that he’s instructing. This is a distinctively inspiring voice that we would all be wise to follow.
There are voices. And then there are Voices. With “Wondrous Love,” Shirley Collins reminds us she’s in the latter category, bringing fresh humanity this early 1800s Sacred Harp hymn (with roots stretching back even further to the British isles).
Guest contributor David Obuchowski shares the story of Runnin Bare and Lil White Dove, an independent printing house that serviced CB radio enthusiasts. A story of connection, tragedy, and the complicated legacy of skewed Americana.
Brigid Mae Power returns with her third long player, Head Above the Water, on June 5th. The first taste from the record—the lush “On a City Night”—is an organ and pedal steel-soaked country shuffle. Plaintively furtive in its imagery, the tune plays like a deceptive still life; its characters in a state of suspended animation while the world blurs in motion.
Ernest Hood’s 1975 proto-ambient masterpiece Neighborhoods is a reminder of what happens when quiet makes space to really listen. Combining idyllic field recordings and washes of synth and zither, the album illustrates the relationship between the specific and the universal.