Kendl Winter – The Mechanics of Hovering Flight (2012)

With her fifth solo collection (and second for indie legends K Records), Pacific-Northwesterner Kendl Winter brings her bluegrass-touched indie folk to a new plateau in terms of songwriting and production. Expanding on 2010’s beautiful Apple Core, Winter’s songs on The Mechanics of Hovering Flight swing a wide emotional pendulum, her slightly raspy voice soaring between uplifting banjo-picking romps and wine-soaked old-timey country melancholia. On the later, Winter’s voice dips into a Southern dip-thong, as on the waltz-time of “Faded”, where she croons bright-eyed-but-sorrowful lines about driving through Utah and a detached helplessness in watching love fade away. Elsewhere there are hints of social and environmental consciousness. These undercurrents prop up breezy album opener “Summertime”, juxtaposing an airy arrangement of stand-up bass and sleepy drums with understated lyrics about sustainability and picking up the pieces. Backed up by a plethora of Northwest musicians, Winter’s songs crackle with the added flair of Austin Cooper’s jittery percussion, synth and string players. There’s also the K Records tradition the inclusion of a large group chorus adding a communal air to the triumphant refrain of “All The Birds”. While Winter’s first few home-recorded albums never suffered from the typical jagged edges DIY indie recordings often can, there was always an insular quality to their sound, even in her collaborations with other musicians. The Mechanics of Hovering Flight marks her first stray from self-recording, and Calvin Johnson’s production opens up the album with a roominess and attention to small details that was absent in earlier works. This open-air sound is a great fit for the songs. With one foot in a deeply traditional neo-bluegrass sound not unlike Gillian’s Welch’s and the other in a darkly dreamy indie identity unafraid to explore and experiment, Mechanics shows Winter hitting her stride and finding a way to marry the two halves of her sound gracefully and organically.

mp3 320 kbps | 116 MB | UJ | TB

VA – Rough Trade Shops – Country 1 (2003)

Disc 1

01. Giant Sand – Wearing The Robes Of Bible Black (4:57)
02. The Replacements – Take Me Down To The Hospital (3:46)
03. Violent Femmes – Country Death Song (5:02)
04. Lincoln ’65 – Jellyfish (3:36)
05. Wannabe Texans – I Cut Myself (3:04)
06. Meat Puppets – Lost (3:26)
07. The Geraldine Fibbers – Fancy (4:35)
08. The Broken Family Band – The Devil In The Details (4:14)
09. American Music Club – Gary’s Song (2:57)
10. Boiled In Lead – Tapedecks All Over Hell (1:41)
11. Rainer – Life Is Fine (3:55)
12. The Handsome Family – When The Helicopter Comes (2:29)
13. Calexico – The Crooked Rose And The Briar (3:37)
14. Freakwater – South Of Cincinnatti (4:27)
15. Richard Buckner – Lil Wallet Picture (4:33)
16. Lucinda Williams – The Night’s Too Long (4:14)
17. The Gun Club – Ghost On The Highway (2:46)
18. Songs: Ohia – Come Back To Your Man (5:53)
19. Dream Syndicate – Blind Willie McTell (5:28)

Disc 2

01. Golden Smog – Until You Came Along (4:56)
02. The Rocking Birds – Drifting (2:29)
03. X – Riding With Mary (3:11)
04. True West – Ain’t No Hangman (2:45)
05. Chickasaw Mudd Puppies – Nigh Time (Ain’t Got No Eyes) (1:55)
06. Uncle Tupelo – Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down (1:53)
07. The Mekons – Lost Highway (3:00)
08. Whiskeytown – Houses On The Hill (2:39)
09. Steve Earle & The Dukes – Billy Austin (6:14)
10. Tarnation – Lonely Lights (2:30)
11. The Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers – Give My Heart To You (2:58)
12. Jim White – The Girl From Brownsville Texas (6:23)
13. Camper Van Beethoven – Good Guys And Bad Guys (3:54)
14. Ella Guru – Strugglin’ Horse In Hollywood (4:22)
15. Green On Red – Hair Of The Dog (2:28)
16. 28th Day – This Train (2:34)
17. Dave Alvin – Border Radio (3:48)
18. Lullaby For The Working Class – Spreading The Evening With Crows (3:10)
19. The Gourds – Gin And Juice (6:22)
20. Souled American – Feel Better (3:31)
21. Bozulich, Carla With Willie Nelson – Can I Sleep In Your Arms? (4:22)

mp3 320 kbps | 344 MB | TB | UJ