Before we find ourselves in the new year, I just wanted to shout out a few other releases that I received in my inbox or mailbox that I’ve been loving lately.
Future/Modern – Chroma EP
Freshly released on El Gran E Records, Future/Modern’s Chroma EP is an enthralling marriage between stoic post-rock and surfy instrumental prog that keeps you feeling charged and absolutely driven.
Similar in sound and style to the recent work of New Jersey’s Camino Sound, this record has both a laidback coolness and a dreamy psychedelic sort of quality to it. This is especially evident on the spacey epic that is “314 Oh 8 (Kaopectate).”
A transportive and contemplative listen from start to finish, this album is a must-have for anyone who appreciates the work of Duster, Slowdive and The Ventures. Check it out.
Erica Dawn Lyle – Greatest Hits
Despite the title and the “track selection” featured on the cover, this cassette is author, artist, filmmaker and Bikini Kill guitarist, Erica Dawn Lyle, improvising solo on her fuzz-laden axe.
If you thought Ryley Walker’s recent solo guitar escapades were gnarly and fucked up, then you need to jam Lyle’s freeform firestorm. Ripe with clawed riffs, shrieking fragmented melodies and enough twisted feedback to enrage an entire Florida retirement home, Greatest Hits is perhaps the most daring and explosive solo guitar release of 2022.
If you want to hear what it would be like if Boris was hired to compose the score to Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, then you need to get this little tape for yourself. Click here to get yours now.
VA – The Golem
You might remember that I covered Reboot Rescored’s reimagined soundtrack to the 1920’s German Expressionism horror classic, The Golem: How He Came Into The World, during the autumn of 2021. If that sounded like something you’d want to listen to independently on a dark quiet night at home, then you’re in luck, because the organization has recently released the score on vinyl and digital.
Reboot Rescored is a non-profit that works to expand upon the Jewish identity, and they chose The Golem as a piece of work to analyze, celebrate and revive as it provides a unique window to the Jewish perspective in Pre-WW2 Europe.
The music on the album is composed by the likes of Meg Baird and members of The Dead C, The Flaming Lips and Boredoms, and it’s a shadowy dronescape that is as haunting as it is dreamlike. With mystical bells, gossamer guitar zones and garbled BBC Radiophonic Workshop-like synth experimentations, you’ll find this double LP serves as a perfect accompaniment to the hyper-surreal folktale that is The Golem. Click here to check it out.
Joseph Decosimo – While You Were Slumbering
If Magic Tuber Stringband’s earthy and mind-expanding approach to bluegrass and old time music leaves you feeling both at peace and inspired, then Joseph Decosimo’s While You Were Slumbering may just be your new favorite record of the year.
Decosimo, of whom you may know from his work with the likes of Hiss Golden Messenger and Jake Xerxes Fussell, is joined by old time music legend and former Harmony Sister, Alice Gerrard, on vocals in addition to a tight team of banjoists, pump organ players and fiddlers. Together, they fashioned a reserved but evocative brew of mountain tunes, including classics like “Shady Grove” and “Man of Constant Sorrow.”
These tracks are so lived in and pure, you can practically smell the farm dust and wood smoke in the air when you play this album. I really can’t recommend it enough. Click here to get your copy.
Shovel Dance Collective – The Water is the Shovel of the Shore
England’s Shovel Dance Collective, an inventive and revolutionary group of artists and folk musicians, have sculpted together here an expansive and openhearted sound collage paean to the people who’ve made their lives by the River Thames.
The experimental group is known for approaching British folk music from an anti-colonial angle, often giving a voice to those who’d been previously ignored within the genre, including the LGBTQ, black and feminist communities. Here, they create immense soundscapes out of folk tunes from and about those who worked the river, including a fisherman’s song for attracting seals, and intermix them with the sonic environments of those workers. From recordings of water pumps to shorebirds and the lapping of waves against particular bridges to even the blessing of the Thames by the clergy of London’s Southwark Cathedral and St Magnus the Martyr, you not only get a taste of the lives of the river workers, but you start to feel the character of the very river itself.
If you’ve been a fan of Daniel Bachman’s recent environmental sound collages, then you’ll immediately understand and deeply appreciate this record. Check it out here.
Lucas Santtana ft. Flore Benguigui – “The Fool on The Hill”
We end this roundup with Lucas Santtana’s smooth as silk bossa nova interpretation of the Beatles classic, “The Fool on The Hill.”
Taken from the Brazilian jazz-funk artist’s upcoming record on No Format!, O Paraíso, which will be available on January 13, 2023, Santtana’s version of Paul McCartney’s mystical 1967 ballad is kissed with summer sunshine and ocean breezes. The track is as light and airy as possible thanks to sweet nylon fingerstyle guitar, a backing of mellow flutes and brass and of course guest singer Flore Benguigui’s sensually breathy vocals.
If you need to feel some warmth this winter, just give this bright Beatles reimagining a spin.