A sublime meditation on mortality and memory, ghosts and grief, Angels of Death casts a series of spells against forgetting and finality, in the form of mystic-minimalist country-soul torch songs about writing, time travel, and spectral visitations. Castle wrote and recorded this breathtaking follow-up to the acclaimed Pink City (2014) in a 19th century church near the shores of Lake Erie, where her family also lived and experienced a constellation of losses that inhabit these bruised musings.
"Castle reaches a pitch of mystical transport so gorgeously ethereal she seems about to drift off into lands that don’t appear on any map." - Greil Marcus, The Believer
"Castle's music is not so much of the earth as floating above it, untethered to the natural order of time and space. Her songs live in that gray area where observation mutates into rumination, and where the physical world dissolves into psychic terrain." - Pitchfork
"Ravishing, soulful ... stands comparison with the best of Judee Sill and Joanna Newsom." - Uncut
Memories - places, vacancies, allusions - are fundamental characters in Mary Lattimore's evocative craft. The Los Angeles-based harpist recorded her breakout 2016 album, At The Dam, during stops along a road trip across America, letting the serene landscapes of Joshua Tree and Marfa, Texas color her compositions. In 2018, from a restorative station - a redwood barn, nestled in the hills above San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge - emanates Hundreds of Days, her second full-length LP with Ghostly International. The record sojourns between silences and speech, between microcosmic daily scenes and macrocosmic universal understandings, between being alien in promising new places and feeling torn from old native havens. It's an expansive new chapter in Lattimore's story, and an expression of mystified gratitude. A study in how ordinary components helix together to create an extraordinary world.
Now, Now have emerged from a transformative and transitional few years since their last shows played in support of Threads. As they wrapped up nearly three years of writing, recording, and then touring in support of Threads, KC and Brad were mentally and emotionally worn out. "We couldn't find a way to rechadrge ourselves creatively," recalls KC, and that lead to a feedback loop of writer's block and self-doubt. And so they took a step back, focusing their energy on songwriting and producing outside of Now, Now, or with different artistic mediums like Brad's work in visual art for bands including Sylvan Esso, The National, Minus the Bear and War On Drugs. The break allowed them space to work on figuring out the bigger picture of who they were as artists and musicians, rather than staying trapped in tunnel vision, focused on a next album.When all was said and done, Now, Now's new songs have come out all the better on account of that soul searching experience. Having lived through the fits and starts together, Brad and KC describe their working relationship as more in sync than they've ever been before. "Our new songs happened so naturally after we stopped overthinking and started going with our instincts," says KC. "We learned a lot about each other. More than anything we have learned to trust in ourselves.""America’s Next Great Band" - The FADER
An ethereal and meditative soundtrack album from pianist and composer Rachel Grimes (Rachel's, King's Daughters & Sons), The Doctor from India features piano, violin, harp, saxophone, and strings interspersed with ambient sound design. Created for a new documentary film by Jeremy Frindel, this score provides a thematically unified sound scape to support the inspiring story of Dr. Vasant Lad, a holistic health pioneer whose approach centers around the ancient practice of Ayurveda.
I was under a lot of stress because I was trying to make an anti-folk record and I was having trouble doing it. I wanted to make something deep-fried and more me-sounding. I didn't want to be jammy acoustic guy anymore. I just wanted to make something weird and far-out that came from the heart finally. I was always trying to make something like this I guess, trying to catch up with my imagination. And I think I succeeded in that way - it's got some weird instrumentation on there, and some surreal far-out words.
I'm lucky enough to have some people who are playing on it who had a big part in shaping the songs and writing with me. Cooper Crain, the guy who engineered it, and played all the synthesizers. And when the flute guy, Nate Lepine came in, that was really something that made it special. The producer was this guy LeRoy Bach. I love LeRoy, he's a really talented guy. He did the last record too.
And it's more Chicago-y sounding. Chicago sounds like a train constantly coming towards you but never arriving. That's the sound I hear, all the time, ringing in my ears.
Guitarless Guitar Music, the self-imposed description chosen by New Zealand's Wax Chattels. The trio doesn't have a guitar player, but their overwhelming sound and energy create an atmosphere akin to a traditional power trio - though their music is anything but. They create hypnotic, frenetic music that's rhythmically complex and sinister. There's heavily treated keyboards, unrestrained bass lines and punishing drums. And, it's loud.
The band met while studying Jazz Performance at the University of Auckland and, after living abroad, completing Law School and/or performing in a myriad of other projects, they started Wax Chattels, working up material for a year prior to recording. "We tracked the songs as a live band to capture the energy of the live show, restricting ourselves to instruments which we play live and keeping production to a minimum."
Live, they are not to be missed. It was after a particularly insane performance that both Captured Tracks and Flying Nun signed them on the spot. The opening of the one-chord tour de force "Concrete" begins in a downright jarring place, ending in a Krautrock-via-Suicide crescendo. Recalling the other side of Kiwi underground rock history - one that's less sunny, less jangly - this new act demands your attention.