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Prana Crafter Reissues MindStreamBlessing with Two Bonus Cuts

Last year Washington State psych-folk aficionado Will Sol entered best of lists here both at the halfway and year-end mark with two different albums under his Prana Crafter handle. Sol’s lush, earthen psych picked at traditions from Popul Vuh, Träd, Gräs & Stenar, Amon Düül II, blending nimble picking with the meditative thrum of drone. Bodhi Cheetah’s Choice was a welcome surprise full of burrowed forest psych, that was just edged out in the final run by the cinematic swirl of Enter The Stream. The latter album also marked the artist’s first foray out of the tape and CD-r formats for a vinyl run that served as a fitting canvas for Sol’s humid, haunted fare. However, Sol had quite a few gems in his catalog prior to his breakout year. 2017’s MindStreamBlessing was just such a gem, issued in a short run on the always entrancing Eiderdown Records. Now the label, in a joint release with Cardinal Fuzz, is issuing the album on LP with reformatted artwork and two bonus cuts.

The new material sits expertly alongside the originals, with “FingersFlowThroughOlkSkokRiver” lapping at the banks of the Psylocibin pond once more. Sol admits that he was immersed heavily in Sandy Bull at the time of its recording and as such he asserts that it “left its energetic imprint on that piece.” The song shares Bull’s penchant for rippling, circular playing, pushing against the circadian buzz of drone below. The new issue will be available in March from both labels in both black and limited green/pink colorways. Check out both of the bonus track below.

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Ty Segall & Freedom Band- Live Album

Anyone who’s been in the audience for Ty and co. know that its well worth the price of admission and the live entry to Castle Face’s series proved just that. Now the road-worn Freedom Band is getting a live document as well, recorded over the course of their latest tour for Freedom’s Goblin. The record was laid to tape by Steve Albini himself, which knocks this up from the usual soundboard dumpout fare. Producing a good live record is a hard target, and for every Live at Budokon there’s a throwaway cash grab on the burner for a mid-’70s major. This, however, does not appear to be a stop-gap, but a true dedication to the live record as perfect curio. The album takes a good swipe at some of Ty’s core catalog (though not necessarily the most obvious choices) and sprinkles in one of my personal favorite covers for an amp wrestle as well. At only eight tracks, though, this is a tight turnout for a band that just offered up a nineteen track studio burner. Check out the band’s take on Twins-era standout “Love Fuzz” and get prepped for the rest to hit on March 29th.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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The Fortuna Pop! All-Stars – “You Can Hide Your Love Forever”

It was with a heavy heart that the world said goodbye to Fortuna Pop!, one of the UK’s most ardent gardeners of modern jangle-pop. However, in a bit of good news wrapped inside the bad, the label has one last treat for the faithful. Fulfilling the last obligation on their singles series, they’ve slipped out a farewell card from their roster. Members of Allo Darlin, Spook School, Comet Gain, Joanna Gruesome, Martha, The Ladybug Transistor and Pete Astor (among others) come together like the tweest version of Live Aid the world has ever seen and run through a celebratory cover of Comet Gain’s “You Can Hide Your Love Forever.” While the original 2001 single is a melancholy bit of bliss from a band that was always overdue, the Fortuna Pop! All-Stars version revamps it into a swooning wall of indie pop splendor. It’s a nice period on the works of a label that was a labor of love and a wellspring of taste.

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New Centre of the Universe, Vol 3

While compilations are sometimes spotty at best and label samplers often just cull up material that’s already worked its way through previous pressings and releases, Aussie label Anti-Fade has had a serious run with their New Centre of the Universe series. The first couple found their way to small press cassettes and rounded up unique tracks from King Gizzard, UV Race, Dick Diver, Chook Race, Living Eyes, Hierophants, Ausmuteants, Super Wild Horses and more. Their newest comp expands its scope and makes the move from spools to wax, topping out the LP at seventeen tracks worth of some AF staples, solidified jangle-pop stalwarts and newcomers with great promise.

Packed in the grooves is new fodder from good ol’ Anti-Fade faves like Parsnip, Alex Macfarlane and Vintage Crop, along with new material from South Hemi dusters like Terry, The Stroppies, School Damage, and Exek. But the release is not content to simply lean on the old, familiar names. “Sky High” from Traffik Island is a jangled gem. Geelong’s Gonzo bring the caustic crust and hometown vibes to the label. Billdozer brings some thick riffs and fire fuzz. It’s as accurate a barometer of burgeoning sounds from across the continent as your likely to hear in one place this year. Anti-Fade has long been a favorite label around here and this collection only proves that they’re still kicking through the right dust to find the new sounds.




Support the artists. Buy it HERE.

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Slumberland SL30 Singles Series

It should come as no surprise that Slumberland is a favorite label around here, so the news that they’re prepping a 30th anniversary singles series comes with a lot of excitement. The singles will be shipped between now and December 2019, around the actual anniversary of the label. The first couple start strong out of the gate, with an offering from David West’s Rat Columns and ’90s indie-poppers The Suncharms. The rest of the series is no slouch either, focusing on atypical Slumberland artists with a goal of showcasing non-roster material that fans might be missing out on. The lineup includes Dolly Dream (featuring Meg Remy from U.S. Girl), Baltimore’s Wildhoney, Pale Lights and Lake Ruth from NYC, Failed Flowers (Anna Burch and Fred Thomas), David Callahan (of The Wolfhound) and RSTB fave and Fruits & Flowers alum Odd Hope.

At $100 shipped and shelved the package is a great deal from one of the leading lights in janglepop and indie pop for the past three decades. Check out the label for the details: HERE.

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The Skygreen Leopards Archival Compilation

More great news filters out of the Skygreen Leopards camp today. After the release this month of archival Ivytree material for Recital Records, news comes today that former Skygreen home Soft Abuse will round up some early material from the band’s CD-r days. Culling from I Dreamt She Rode On A Pink Gazelle & Other Dreams, The Story Of The Green Lamb & The Jerusalem Priestess Of Leaves, and One Thousand Bird Ceremony, the new LP gives an overview of the band’s pre-Jagjaguwar days of live to tape captures and 3-minute folk-pop that beamed like the California sun. If, like most, you missed out on a lot of this material, then the release comes as an indispensable primer. Plus, this is the first time any of these recordings have found their way to vinyl. Just in time to usher in summer. The record is out June 22nd, right before they hop on a few dates with Frog Eyes on the West Coast.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE

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Light In The Attic: Japan Archival Series

Light In The Attic are absolute masters at digging up the past and their latest series fills an essential hole in the cataloging of Japanese music. They’re beginning the series with three compilations – Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973; Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1975-1985; and Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990. Presumably they’ll spread to some singular artist focused releases from there as they tease a release from “one of the most respected and influential artists in Japan.”

The first release on the docket is Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 and it catalogs the post-war folk wellspring that became known as angura among students and fans at the time. The folk movement prized an authenticity over recreating Western sounds and as a result this lays the groundwork for many of the modern folk and psych-folk artists from the country we’ve come to love. The first installment is out in October and available on limited “Weeping Sakura” colored wax. Check out a cut from Kazuhiko Kato below.

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Wooden Wand – “Mexican Coke” + Carlos The Second

Good news today out of the Wooden Wand camp, there’s a new album on the way from Three-Lobed, Clipper Ship. The album arrives in May and is preceded by the gorgeous new single “Mexican Coke,” a sighed country ode to having to supplement income with side hustles. The album marks a shift away from Toth’s last few, stripping back to more of the sing-songwriter countenance that permeated his lone album for Rykodisc under his given name. The album boasts an impressive supporting cast of players ranging from Wilco’s Glenn Kotche to session stars like Darin Gray, Ryan Norris, Jim Becker, Luke Schneider, Zak Riles and Jim Elkington. All the players have contributed to accomplished visions of folk and country over the past few years and they bring that drive and finesse to Clipper Ship. Its been a touch since Toth had a Wooden Wand album out and it feels good to have one on the way for sure.


The announcement makes the news doubly good today because while we were all wrapped up in the tail end tail spin of 2017, James and a few friends slipped an album out under the name Carlos The Second. It features some nuanced instrumentals from Ryan Norris (who also appears on the new album) and sets Toth’s honeyed croon agaist some starker than usual settings, and even a smattering of beat driven tracks. Its new territory for sure, but fits well into a catalog that never shies away from collaboration. As an added bonus, Langhorne Slim swings by for a flat-out wonderful country rocker that has both singers at their best. Check out “Hall Of Mirrors” below:

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Mozes and the Firstborn – Marianne EP

Dutch punks Mozes and the Firstborn laid an excellently simmering album of ’90s tilted power pop on us last year and preceded it with the fizzing Power Ranger EP. They add another bookend to the album with the subsequent Marrianne EP out this week. The title track is another dose of hook-heavy ennui, something the band have seemed to perfect within the last year, but its not the only track holding its own on the release. The EP sports four new tracks with no overlap on the album, and they all seem like they’re more than b-side hand-offs. The EP drops a nice coda onto their stellar 2016 and its posted at a wallet friendly price to boot. It was a crowded field for sure last year, and I feel like that may have left the band’s album somewhat overlooked. Its not too late to head back and get acquainted.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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Hills – “Flöjtjola Med Tema Från Solen”

Swedish psych stormers Hills have been kicking up dust clouds of fuzz and fray since ’06 and in their tenure they’ve issued three great, if slightly undersung, albums for Intergalactic Tactics, Transubstans and Rocket Recordings. Their debut for Intergalactic Tactics is now getting a well-deserved reissue through Skylantern / Cardinal Fuzz this year and alongside the redone original LP, the labels have worked up a bonus that ropes in five unearthed bonus cuts packed on an LP with artwork by Skylantern’s Nik Rayne. The first bonus cut to see light is “Flöjtjola Med Tema Från Solen,” a scorched instrumental that vomits lava and ash to hypnotic effect. The band has often been a psych collector’s secret, not quite enjoying the plaudits of their fellow countrymen Dungen and Goat, but they’re equally worth the praise. If you’ve missed out on the debut LP in its first run, or simply got there when it was CD only (like me) then this is a good time to revisit and pick up a few bonus blasts while you’re at it.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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