Here are 10 releases that I enjoyed a lot this year (No ranking order)
Desmoines – Like Freshly Mown Grass
The most gentle and bittersweet singer-songwrite/folk record for everybody who knows that Nick Drake is kind of a genius, but only listen to one song of him and doesn’t bother to discover more, because there is a record by someone like Simone Romei (Desmoines).
The Fossil Lickers – The Fossil Lickers
A bunch of young oldtimers from TX pulling and scratching strings and it sounds like the music their grandparents were listening to. Old-Time stringband and bluegrass jams. It’s fun and they are super prolific in putting stuff out.
The Modern Folk – Modern Folk 666
Ranging from fingerstyle solo acoustic guitar to electro bedroom folk jams, The Modern Folk managed to create a fun and diverse album that sounds like Kanye West farted into John Fahey’s guitar.
Neckbeard Deathcamp – White Nationalism is for Basement Dwelling Losers
More a statement than aural excitement. Don’t know enough about the nuances of Black Metal. Wall of sound.
V.A. – Thousand Incarnations of the Rose American Primitive Guitar & Banjo 1963-1974
This cd, compiled by Glenn Jones, is a great primer into American Primitive, Solo Acoustic Guitar music. It also accompanied the festival with the same name, that took place this spring in John Fahey’s birth town Takoma Park, MD. The festival was a great get together of the older guard of guitarists who are presented on the CD and the young spirits who preserve that legacy and take it forward.
Jacco Gardner – Somnium
I know Jacco Gardner’s music from his first The Skywalkers release. From there he managed to release 2 great psych pop records that got quite some recognition. His new album takes another approach and his more an analogue, synth bubblebath than technicolor acid trips. Instrumental retro science fiction soundtrack to space out.
Gwenifer Raymond – You Were Never Much of A Dancer
Gwenifer Raymond’s take on american primitive, solo acoustic guitar is more the traditional Takoma School way. If you know about the nuances in this music, you will appreciate this record.
Chris Rainier – ZOZOBRA
I was taken by surprise that Chris Rainier sings on this album. His previous work was mainly avantgarde compositions a prepared weissenborn slide guitar and ambient soundscapes on. But Zozobra is more like an unplugged session of Sonic Youth, playing Harry Partch.
Maurizio Abate – Standing Waters
Another solo acoustic guitar album from Italy. Abate’s approach to this music is usually quite harsh and experimental, Standing Water is more melodic and cinematic.
Daniel Bachman – The Morning Star
Daniel Bachman on the other side went back to the roots and released an album with noisy drones and field recordings. Every now and then his signature guitar playing shines through, but overall this album is a rough and organic soundscape/field recording.
Andy McLeod – Mug Hummies
Andy McLeod from Fredericksburg, VA is mastering the acoustic guitar just as well as the other two guys from the same town – Jack Rose and Daniel Bachman. Mug Hummies is a mixed bag of old-timey rags, psych folk and american primitive solo acoustic guitar.