Prolific songwriter Pickering Pick has just released a new album and follow-up to last year’s Prayer Flag titled (Tropic). And, with an Audubon-influenced insect lithograph reminiscent of those large, antique nature books used to showcase a species’ raw perfection, (Tropic) is a perfect example of folk music. An Englishman turned Californian, Pickering Pick’s music is everything you would expect from a songwriter who has made this kind of transition — warm, serene, poetic, and organic. Like his previous albums, listening to (Tropic) is a spiritual experience. It’s not spiritual in a religious sense, but it does affect and stir the spirit. His gentle performance and restraint allows you to meditate and focus on what is important — the eloquent lyrics, exquisite fingerpicking, and beautiful vocals — while becoming one with the songs. Pickering Pick is a rare talent who has the ability to create gorgeous, minimal music that makes you long for his longings and dream his dreams completely absorbing you into his words and world.
Coming out of the Fog continues Arbouretum’s journey as their most focused and best-recorded album to date. Dave Heumann’s vocals soar atop his guitar solos and Corey Allender’s crunchy bass lines. Arbouretum have reigned in some of their maximalist tendencies, with every song coming in under 7 minutes. Heumann, Allender, Brian Carey (drums), and Matthew Pierce (keyboard, synthesizer, percussion), continue to mine the same breadth of styles made familiar on The Gathering and Song of the Pearl, notably the languid ballads, fuzzed-out burners, and heavier songs that have defined the group’s unique doom laden folk-rock sound.Throughout Coming Out of the Fog, Heumann’s vocals take on a meditative quality, melodies unraveling effortlessly over Carey’s steady grooves. Syncopated rhythms come to the fore on “The Promise,” building tension, and leading to a climax of synth swells and chromatic guitar lines. Elsewhere, on “Oceans Don’t Sing,” guest musician Dave Hadley’s plaintive pedal-steel guitar lays a bed for some of Heumann’s most impassioned singing set to tape. Spending time on pre-production allowed for a more detailed approach to recording. Carey’s drums were tuned specifically for almost every track on the album, and tape was used to achieve the warmth only found in analog.
mp3 320 kbps | 95 MB | UL
Dileepan Ganesan: Vocals, Guitar
Fletcher Maumus: Vocals, Lead Guitar
Michael McGivaren: Backing Vocals
Nick Miller: Drums, Backing Vocals
Matt Stupp: Bass, Backing Vocals
mp3 160 kbps | 47 MB | UL
1. From Camden Town To Bleecker Street
3. Poet Drown In Lakes
4. Five Pints And A Wink From Gwendolyn
5. Take Tomorrow
6. On The Nickel
7. At My Weakest
8. Song Of Calamity
9. Grand Hotel
mp3 320 kbps | 120 MB | UL
Mike Scheidt is certainly one well-known amongst fans of doom metal as the frontman for one of the sub-genre’s most talented and underrated acts, YOB. And on the hardcore scene in the mid-Williamette Valley area of his native Oregon, he’s maintained a prominent role playing with an assortment of local acts since he was a kid.Yet in spite of all his entrenchment within the din of such aggressive forms of music, the heavy pres- ence of hippie culture in the Eugene region where Scheidt grew up, with Ken Kesey’s Oregon County Fair down the road and Rainbow Family gatherings taking place right near his home, no doubt left an alternate effect on his creative mind as well. And being exposed to the vicinity of pacifistic pools of communal bliss with their placid jam circles and baked campfire singalongs definitely seems to have rubbed off in some kind of creative capacity when you listen to Scheidt’s solo debut for Thrill Jockey, Stay Awake. Taking guitar lessons from Zoot Horn Rollo of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band and learning how to fingerpick along to his favorite Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt records while working at the neighborhood guitar shop didn’t seem to hurt either, it seems. And all of these attributes can be heard in the strength of Scheidt’s placid, mesmerizing songwriting on Awake, especially on such choice material as “When Time Forgets Time” and the 12-minute John Fahey-meets-Nick Drake quietude of closing track “Breathe”.
Most Sacred Bones releases state the year the album was recorded on the cover, but in the case of Amen Dunes’ Through Donkey Jaw, the “recorded in 2011” is especially significant. Not only are these the first Amen Dunes songs recorded with a full-fledged band, they’re also the first proper recordings that Damon McMahon has made since he holed up in a Catskills cottage in 2006, laying down songs in private that eventually became Dunes’ debut album, DIA. Later, while living in Bejing, he made music only sporadically, issuing a handful of mostly acoustic tracks that were released as the Murder Dull Mind EP. Where DIA was a barely contained sprawl of ideas that ranged from full-on acid folk freakouts to eight-miles-high folk-pop and Murder Dull Mind was heavy on the folk and light on the freak, Through Donkey Jaw tempers these extremes and revels in Amen Dunes’ newfound expansiveness. The album opens with two of its most impressive tracks: The witchy “Baba Yaga” feels like the perfect blend of McMahon’s previous output, cloaked in reverb as it builds from subtle drones into violin squalls, while “Lower Mind”’s deeply trippy journey from delicate plucking to dark, towering rhythms and keyboards shows just how mercurial the full-band Amen Dunes can be. Elsewhere, McMahon turns in some of his most accessible songs yet: “Christopher,” with its hazy riffs and singsong melody, sounds like a more polished DIA track; “Good Bad Dreams” is so fey that it evokes Marc Bolan’s hippy-dippy days; and “Sunday” and “Bedroom Drum”’s floating folk hint at McMahon’s more intimate side. Yet for every song that suggests Amen Dunes have gone pop, there’s another that’s far darker and weirder than anything McMahon has previously committed to tape. The watery tones of “1985” give way to “Not a Slave”’s blobby keyboards, claustrophobic backing vocals, and drum assaults, while “Jill,” with its hard-edged electronics and nightmarish feel, hints at why Sacred Bones released this album. Through Donkey Jaw’s bonus tracks save the weirdest for last, culminating with “Gem Head”’s guitar maelstroms and the ten-minute sound collage “Tomorrow Never Knows” (not a Beatles cover, but it shares the same transporting feel, times a thousand). Darker and in some ways more difficult than what came before it, Through Donkey Jaw shores up Amen Dunes’ strengths and pushes forward at the same time.
mp3 128 kbps | 54 MB | UL
One of the original founding members of the multi-million selling rock band TOTO, Lukather will showcase his innate feel for rock and jazz guitar music, along with his impeccable song writing talents. Transition showcases extraordinary guitar playing performed across some of the most heartfelt songs of Steve’s career.
mp3 320 kbps | 109 MB | UL
Jon Lord,Deep Purple keyboardist, began work on his solo album during his time in Whitesnake in the early ’80s. Before I Forget was the result, an album that is half instrumental and half rock songs. Like many a metal musician, Lord tried to bridge the gap between classical and rock with questionable success. Still, this is definitely an interesting mix that may lack cohesion, but may appeal to Deep Purple fans who wanted to see the group evolve in this direction anyway.