Here’s the second half of our roundup of records that we’ve been digging this spring. If you missed part one, click here to give it a look.
Joys Union Group – Boredom Euphoria
Released on Trouble in Mind Records, Boredom Euphoria is a sunny blend of cosmic ambient music and astral jazz that will leave you feeling totally blissed out for hours.
Hailing from Austin, TX, Joys Union Group employs calm flute and sax curlicues that drift over beds of synths and laidback guitars, which together create deeply chill and psychedelic soundscapes.
Tracks like the Vince Guaraldi-on shrooms-like “Laughter in the Sky” are essentially warm spring afternoons in audio-form. This album was born to soundtrack a pleasant day spent under the shade of a big tree or on a mellow joyride.
Click here to grab this album for yourself on vinyl or cassette today and try it for yourself.
Meadowsilver – II
After releasing a string of killer singles, British psych-folk supergroup Meadowsilver have finally released their long-awaited sophomore album, and it was well worth the wait.
Featuring bewitching vocals (courtesy of Pefkin’s Gayle Brogan), ringing acid guitar work and a dreamlike web of synthesizers, Meadowsilver’s latest effort is a kaleidoscopic brew of new and old sounds of wyrd Britain.
Tracks like “Owlight” conjure up images of both modern raves and ancient mushroom-fueled pagan rituals. There are many psychedelic folk groups that tried to marry England’s past and current outsider cultures, yet none have done so as perfectly than Meadowsilver.
If you wished that Espers would have songs that you could dance to or if you ever wished for an EDM Steeleye Span remix, then Meadowsilver’s for you. Check out II right here now.
Avarus – Salon des Amateurs
On June 1, Jeffrey Alexander will reissue the immensely heady Salon des Amateurs live album by one of his many projects, the (mostly) Finnish experimental collective known as Avarus.
Across two side-long kosmische freak-outs, Alexander and crew lock into wonky interstellar grooves and steer their amorphous ship into abstract funk and tribal prog-punk zones.
Armed with a heavy array of synthesizers, guitars and even a stray balloon horn (?), Avarus put on a show that would have especially delighted Gong’s Pothead Pixies. This astral assault today not only still sounds ahead of its time, it sounds like it belongs in an entirely different dimension.
If you’ve burned through all of Sunburned Hand of The Man’s vast archive of audio acid frenzies, then try Avarus on for size. Click here to get your tape today.
CoConuts – II
Released last week on No Quarter, CoConuts’ follow up to their 2010 noise debut record is a masterclass in doomy dirges.
Made up of Tim Evans, Jordan Redaelli and Daniel Mitha, this Brooklyn-based trio utilizes reverb-slathered vocals, cyclones of howling overdriven guitars and slow tribal beats to produce a deeply unnerving atmosphere that rattles you to the core.
Between the ghostly vocal work on tracks like “Disgusted,” and the buzzsaw-like guitar tones and feedback that groan and shriek throughout just about every track, CoConuts made their sophomore album sound like nothing less than an oozing, primordial sonic nightmare. Each track haunts you with an intimidatingly dark and menacing presence to the point that it’s hard not to be shaken every time you listen to them.
If you like the sludgiest work of the Melvins but also harsh shoegaze bands, then this is a record for you. Click here to get your copy on vinyl today.
Powersnap – Disappointment
Powersnap, one of our favorite Brooklyn bands ever, made a triumphant return with the moving and hard-driving Disappointment EP.
Across four ripping punk garage tunes, Romi Hanoch (lead vocals, guitar and kazoo), Noga Davidson (Bass, backing vocals) and Mario Gutierrez (drums, background vocals) address everything from mental health to the patriarchy with a raw ferocity that comes straight from the heart.
Hanoch’s gutsy shouts and searing guitar work always appear to be the emotional core for each track, which then the rest of the band builds and elaborates upon with their glistening harmonies and pounding rhythms.
This is especially evident on the anthemic “A Man’s Word.” This track is charged with a scorchingly rebellious energy that’ll leave anyone who’s been let down by a dismissive male feeling inspired enough to wreck shit up. (As they should)
Give it a try for yourself here.
Rosa Beach Mason & Sean Conrad – Wake
We’ll close out this roundup with a very peaceful and soothing album, the gracefully mesmeric Wake, by Rosa Beach Mason and Sean Conrad.
Each track here started its life as an improvisation, before being stacked with multiple layers of wordless vocal overdubs until it grew into an ambient soundscape that pulsated with life. For a debut release, this is indeed a very strong effort.
Acoustic fingerpicking, dulcimers and electric guitars fed through chilly effects blend beautifully here with synthesizers and Mason’s celestial vocalizations, like something off of a lost Windy & Carl and Colleen collaboration.
Lovers of all kinds of astral folk and ambient music need to have this record in their collection. Click here to get a copy on digital or cassette today.