If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop
Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?

—Van Morrison, Astral Weeks
February 14, 2017 by @cloudhead

Tumblers from the Vault (2016), is a compilation of the work of experimental/electronic jazz band Syrinx. The songs were recorded in the early 1970s during a two year period, and one can definitely hear similarities with some of Pink Floyd's work from that era, especially in their use of synthesizers to create atmosphere.

The self-titled opening track will give you an idea of their originality, their blend of styles and genres and brilliant arrangements which mix real instruments with synths in such a way to form a beautiful cacophony; one that could be seen to have influenced the sound of contemporary bands such as Animal Collective.

October 23rd 2015 by @cloudhead

If Sergio Leone was still alive (god bless him), I would suggest he hire Kim to record the soundtrack for his next pelĂ­cula. It would also have to take place somewhere in the East and involve samurais instead of cowboys. I'd go see that. Now (2012), by Kim Jung Mi is just fucking brilliant, and if you want a taste of what Once Upon a Time in the West could sound like if it happened in the East, listen to Spring or Beautiful Rivers and Mountains.

August 10th 2015 by @cloudhead

The Durutti Column's 1979 post-punk The Return of The Durutti Column is full of retro-chill vibes. It might be the heavy use of vibrato on the electric guitar, I'm not sure, but the aptly named Sketch For A Summer makes me think of vintage polaroids of palm trees, beaches and bikinis and frankly, makes me feel somewhat nostalgic.

The album is contemplative in nature, like a more modern John Fahey perhaps. Worth a listen if you find yourself in a summery limbo.

June 4th, 2015 by @cloudhead

You're In It Now (2011), by Pure X has that kind of old school laid back vibe you'd typically find in a Jesus And Mary Chain album.

There's enough reverb there to feed a whole family, but it works: the sound is gritty and mixes in rock and roll and surf rock influences with lots of style and a kind of laissez-faire that relaxes the crocks out of me. Check out Back Where I Began or Don't Wanna Live, Don't Wanna Die.

May 12th, 2015 by @cloudhead

Life. Death. You found, the Mother, the Moon, you live in darkness, in love, the seasons, eternal change, wonder, all the yesterdays, you fall, make promises, look towards the great sky, you regret, grasp, you see time, it flows through you, your body, takes you away.

May 2nd, 2015 by @cloudhead

Angel Olsen's Strange Cacti (2011) has something intimate and mysterious to it. It's like walking into a strange bar in the basement of an old run down building, drawn by a distant melody, you're on your own, a woman is on stage singing to this empty space you find yourself in, there is a bright light shining on her black gown, there is dust in the air, and the music resonates, it fills the room with a thick dream-like atmosphere which you quickly find yourself fully submerged in.

April 22nd, 2015 by @cloudhead

Singles (2014) by Future Islands is exhilarating in the same way being caught in a summer storm in a wide open field can be.

If there was a kind of nostalgia that would be inspiring and not ask you to wallow in your past but instead look to your future, this would be it.

It's about change and moving on, and running and great open spaces.
Seasons, the opening track is the best example of this, and a soundtrack to life.

April 18th, 2015 by @cloudhead

Keaton Henson's Dear (2010) is one of the most intimate experiences I've had with music recently. It sounds at times like a more humble Bright Eyes, without any of the bells & whistles. The fingerstyle guitar in Charon reminds of Elliott Smith's Angeles, but the album is a lot less produced.

What makes Dear special is Henson's bare and beautiful fragile voice, it's the fact that every song on the album is well written, heartfelt and honest.

April 9th, 2015 by @cloudhead

Mariee Sioux's Faces in the Rocks (2007) is a subtly beautiful psychedelic folk album in the same vein as Alela Diane's The Pirate's Gospel and Joanna Newsom's recent work, but with a warmer, more soothing energy.

I particularly like the sound of the Native American flute and its warble, played by a woman who goes by the name Gentle Thunder.

The album is quite magical, and will take you deep into forests full of wild reindeer and hidden creeks. It might require a few listens before you learn to fully appreciate its beauty.

April 5th, 2015 by @cloudhead

Josh T. Pearson's Last Of The Country Gentlemen (2011) is still pretty great, if not heartbreaking. And I'm a little sad he hasn't released anything since.

"I went grey overnight... It was one of the most painful times of my life. I can't listen to it. I haven't listened to it since we've finished it."

The album is incredibly lyrical and doesn't get caught up in traditional structure, it listens more like a tone poem. The centerpiece on this record is Sweetheart I Ain't Your Christ, but do listen to the whole thing through.

April 4th, 2015 by @cloudhead

So the thing is, Aguirre, the Wrath of God is one of the best movies ever made, and this is partly due to Popol Vuh's mind-boggling soundtrack which haunts me to this day.

The film opens with a shot of a cliff in the Peruvian rainforest, and Popol Vuh's Aguirre I L'Acrima di Rei, which evokes a kind of awe I cannot describe.

Have a listen, see what you feel.

April 3rd, 2015 ☆ ☆ by @cloudhead

Before Today (2010), by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti is BANGING, it is the definition of cool. Listen to Beverly Kills or Round And Round for a taste of it.

This record has such soul and groove it's impossible to do anything but spin and spin when it's on. It's the kind of record you wish could be a more than just a record, it's a way of life.

Before Today feels like walking down suburban America in the early '80s and running into a bunch of kids fixing a DeLorean in their garage. It is retro in the best possible way, at times reminding me of early Clash and at other times classics such as Black Or White or Billie Jean.

April 2nd, 2015 by @cloudhead

Jean Ritchie, also known as "The Mother of Folk" has recorded a few gems in her time which I'd like to highlight; these four tracks are a treat, and somewhat reminiscent of Joan Baez's best work.

  1. The L and N Don't Stop Here Anymore
  2. With Kitty I'll Go
  3. One I Love
  4. Let The Sun Shine Down On Me

Unfortunately, she hasn't recorded much else in the same vein.

March 31th, 2015 by @cloudhead

Tobias Jesso Jr. is a damn good songwriter, that's for sure. Taking a lot from the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and Lennon's solo work (and I mean a lot), Goon (2015) is a little marvel of classic songwriting, and sounds far more mature and polished than the typical debut.

In Can't Stop Thinking About You, I almost expect to hear Lennon start singing "Here comes the Sun King...", but am greeted with something more along the lines of Something, and all of the songs on the album are like that, they sound familiar, despite being original. Go listen to it right now.