Sun Kil Moon – Admiral Fell Promises (2010)

I have been listening to Mark Kozelek for the better part of 10 years, and he’s been producing music of an exceptional depth and quality for almost twice that time. I honestly believe that he sits high amongst the canon of truly great living songwriters. This is probably my most anticipated album of 2010. It is a record of nothing other than nylon string guitar and voice – a notable departure for someone as renowned for his Crazy Horse comparisons as his Nick Drake ones. It works, though, and even better than i’d hoped. Kozelek may never see the appreciation he is due – or at least not whilst he’s still alive, as these things always go – but he seems determined to keep making profoundly beautiful music all the same.

Please click here to sample this album

Natureboy – Natureboy (2009/2010)

I am SO bad at being a blogmaster. I swear, it takes months for me to remember to post things, and it’s usually because some lovely person bothers to comment. I’ll work on it, guys. We can work it out.

This is worth me telling you about, though. Sara Kermanshahi is an Iranian New Yorker, and she made and self-released this wonderful album under the name Natureboy, which is now seeing wider release through Own Records, one of the better labels presently operating (and home to Gregor Samsa, Firekites, Charge Group and S.) It’s a hazy and beautiful thing, a marvelous drifting folksy echo. It’s not so surprising to find out that her collaborators for this record are synth experimentalists Masterface – it treads a fine line at points, the same way For Emma, Forever Ago did (albeit in a more restrained way). I haven’t wanted to listen to much else lately. That never happens.

Please click here to sample this album

The Nashnal – Hive Islet (2010)

You’ll notice my intentionally poor spelling. Just hoping to provide this sample as long as possible without being reported. It’s not normally my style to post something so “enjoyable”, but hey, been waiting a while for this. So enjoy.

Please click here to sample this album

(original link lasted 5 hours. Should work now.)

P.S. Eliot – Introverted Romance In Our Troubled Minds (2009)

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If you’re a fan of 90′s-inspired literate punk girls spitting lyrics at you in a Southern accent, this will please you infinitely. If you aren’t, well, what the hell is wrong with you?

P.S. Eliot is like if Letters To Cleo went to some Tennessee college to study English Literature and used words like asinine or cerebral in their songs but rhymed them really well and described distress as ‘varnished’ and your prime as ‘looming’ and yet still came off as really fucking adorable.

Autistic Daughters – Uneasy Flowers (2008)

Contemporary Song Cycles #4

It’s 2 AM and the neighbours’ kid is screaming his lungs out. Here, I want you to listen to this. In some way, it is an album about someone called Rehana, but there’s no information on who or what this means. What we’re left with is a brilliant trio – New Zealand’s Dean Roberts on guitar and vocals, and Austrians Werner Dafeldecker and Martin Brandlmayr on double bass and drums/loops respectively – putting together 7 really challenging and utterly rewarding tracks of unrivaled beauty and complexity. Chris Abrahams from The Necks adds his usual brilliance on the piano for several tracks. These songs are slow burners and understated growers. It might take a couple of listens for you to realize that something really special is hidden in here. I hope you give it that chance.

Please click here to sample this album.

(yes, i’ve taken to posting again. If you leave comments, that will make us want to post even more, fickle though it may seem.)

Okay, okay…

We just had a talk. We’ll start posting again this week. If y’all had commented at the time, then maybe we would’ve kept it up – we’re grateful for the belated kind words though. In summary: this week, we return. Epic.

N

Grass Widow – s/t (2009)

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In an alternate reality,  Electrelane were actually a lo-fi, melodious, surf-rock three-piece and their name was Grass Widow.