Browsing Category Bits & Pieces

Boduf Songs – “Gimme Vortex”

It feels like Boduf Songs has been haunting the periphery of Raven since the site began. After the doubleshot of Mat Sweet’s Kranky debut and the great Lion Devours The Sun the artist has continued to hang in the pillowy dark recesses of folk for years. Now, following up on 2015’s Stench of Exist he announces his latest moment of quiet anguish, Abyss Versions, an album that recalls those first two landmark albums in its ashen delivery. The first cut to clear the speakers is “Gimme Vortex,” a creeping folk song that sucks the oxygen out of the room like a siphon. Sweet creates a slow-motion whirlpool of haunted despair and it’s just as affecting as he’s ever been, with a slight curl of electronic interference and the echoed ghosts of jazz brushing by the ears over its run. The album is out October 4th via Orindal Records.

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Young Guv – “Try Not To Hang On So Hard”

No slouch year for Ben Cook, it seems. Just weeks after the release of his last record for Run For Cover, Guv I, he announces the release of its fraternal twin Guv II. The first taste of G2 seems to have sprouted from the same well of ‘90s power pop that dominates its brother in arms album from earlier in the year. “Try Not To Hang On So Hard” is just as infected with strums and thick choruses as anything on G1, and despite an origin tale rooted in acid-tripping in his childhood home, there’s no psych ripples here, just thick hooks and sunshine choruses. I’m not gonna belabor someone for leaning on the Fanclub too heavy, especially when the end result finds itself perfectly lodged in my brain for days. The new LP is out on October 25th.



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Anton Newcombe on PIL – Second Edition

The Hidden Gems feature continues to bring out some of the best recommendations, and this time another legend walks through the pages of the piece. Ahead of the debut LP from L’epée, his new collaboration with The Limiñanas and French songwriter Emmaunelle Seigner of Ultra Orange, Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe throws a recommendation into the ring for Gems. It should be no surprise that Newcombe’s got a shelf-full of punk and psych classics to cull from and he gives puts a solid stamp on the US edition of Public Image Ltd.’s Metal Box given the less pricey package and name Second Edition over here. Its taken as a given now that the album is a post-punk canon staple, easily accessible for punk youths looking to expand their soundscapes these days, but keep in mind that Newcombe stumbled into the record on original release in 1980, when word of mouth, record counter recommendations were the best inroads and import prices made purchases more selective. Find out how this one came into Newcombe’s orbit below.

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SUSS – “Ursa Major”

After a stellar single earlier in the year, Brooklyn’s SUSS return with another take on a cosmic rinse to their ambient country sprawl. “Ursa Major” rises over the horizon in purple and blue hues, creeping with the cool density of low-lying mountain fog and practically yawning its way through a sauntered pace. The band hits many of the same notes from their “Chisholm Trail” single, especially evoking the flip, “Aurora.” The sawing of strings meets the opalescent slide of guitar and the whole thing melts into the rocks as the daybreaks through its cracks. The band’s new LP, High Line is out from Northern Spy November 8th and if my eyes don’t deceive me there’s another nice Darryl Norsen cover wrapped around it as well. Keep yer ears out for this one.



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Comet Gain – “Mid 8Ts”

I’m always gonna be a sucker for Comet Gain. The UK janglers have long been holding up the legacy of C86 and jangle-pop with a biting wit and a constant sense of evolution on the sounds that built a sizeable indie enclave in the UK. The band last left us with the pillow-soft sensibilities of 2014’s Paperback Ghosts. It’s clear that they’ve had a bit of hardening up since then. The songs on Fireraiser Forever! are distinctly angrier in spots, but that doesn’t mean they can’t leave a little room for a swooning stomp on nostalgia as well. While the band’s admittedly ‘60s derived outlook might not seem like its primed to poke holes in the past, the new single begs otherwise. “Mid 8Ts” takes a few jabs at the rosy glow that’s placed on the past, giving themselves a bit of the lash as well for placing that kind of soft-focus fascination on the ’60 when they went through the ‘80s. As they say, “Your heart plays tricks on you, forgets the shit on your Beatle boots.” But in the end, they come around to the notion that “My punk rock damage is done. I’m here and its where I belong.”

The new LP is out on Tapete on October 11th. Gonna want to write that down.




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Vetiver – “To Who Knows Where”

It’s never a bad day when Andy Cabic’s on the speakers. The veteran indie-folk icon has been flying the Vetiver flag for a good many years and he’s still distilling sound into the pure feeling of fall breeze over the mountains, sun setting just over the horizon. With first taste of the band’s Up On High Cabic butters his folk in more than a bit of amber-hued country and it suits him well. The song’s an ode to taking the road unplanned and its unfettered saunter pairs well with his tale of sloughing off the yoke of too much forethought. As we all collectively ease into the latter half of he week and the last light of summer begins to fade, let Vetiver drift along beside you, wherever the road might lead.



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Pat ‘PG Six’ Gubler on Shide & Acorn – Under The Tree

I couldn’t be more excited that there’s a new Wet Tuna record on the horizon. The duo of Matt ‘MV’ Valentine and Pat ‘PG Six’ Gubler capture a particularly potent brand of psychedelic sweat and the new album’s a total killer as you’ll all soon see. As Matt’s already done a Gems piece for the site, the new release gives an opportunity to get Pat in on the action as well. A Psych vet for the better part of the last two decades, Gubler’s graced time in seminal psych-folk group Tower Recordings and is currently holding down slots in RSTB faves Garcia Peoples and Weeping Bong Band in addition to his time in Tuna. Seems only apt, then, that he should pick a lost folk gem from the short-lived Shide & Acorn (also briefly known as Foehammer or Peppermint Snuff of Wight along the way). Find out how their sole album, Under The Tree, came into Pat’s life below.

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Red River Dialect – “My Friend”

Theres a shadow of Fairport on the new LP from Red River Dialect — knotted folk that seeps into harder forms and latches onto experimental moorings. It’s the most prominent shadow over Abundance Welcoming Ghosts, but on “My Friend” the specter of John Martyn seems to loom larger for just a moment. David Morris channels the furrowed lines and nimble grooves of the veteran UK folk icon, specifically finding his footing in the mode of Martyn’s seminal Solid Air. Like that record, the song saddles celebratory ripples with the burnt cedar smell of regret. Morris is aided in no small part by slide guitar from Tara Jane O’Neil, who is a welcome addition to the band for this track. Prior to the album Morris had sequestered himself away for nine-months of meditation, and the results build stories upon stories above last year’s Broken Stay Open Sky. This is Morris at his most focused, etching his tale in the rock and painting it across the walls with the pigment of earth and wood. He’s at his most pastoral, but also his most potent on this one.



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My Body ‘Tis of Thee Comp – Centripetal Force Records

Nashville psych outpost Centripetal Force has a new benefit compilation out this month, with funds going to support NARAL Pro-Choice America in the wake of abortion legislation in Alabama, Ohio, and Missouri. Aside from the good cause, it’s got a pretty killer lineup of psych warriors in tow. The compilation features tracks from RSTB faves Vive La Void, Dire Wolves, Big Blood, Marisa Anderson, and Village of Spaces alongside several other greats. The comp is available digitally and on cassette. Check out the hypnotic “Desert Sky” from Sanae Yamada’s Vive La Void and a killer live cut, “Lion’s Mouth” from Dire Wolves below.



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Wooden Wand – The Thump Sessions

Well I suppose the sad news first. James Toth is putting up the possibility that these may be the final Wooden Wand recordings. I suppose everything comes to an end and over fifteen years we’ve all gotten a good fill of great music from Toth’s alter ego. Though its hard to think of a guiding light of the site going dim. This year’s hard enough. The good news is that these final recordings were made with Jarvis Taveniere at Thump Studios and feature a backing band that included Jeremy Earl, Kyle Forester, and John Andrews of Woods, and singer Katie Von Schleicher. So, in a way this is Woods(en) Wand and that’s, quite honestly something I fully support.

The four songs on offer are sweeping and lush, probably on par with James’ work during the Ecstatic Peace to Ryko transition – tender melodies that streak the windows in just the right ways. There’s a reworking of his song “Don’t Let Love Make A Liar Out of You,” that first appeared on the one-off Carlos The Second, a song he recorded with Langhorne Slim originally. Here he’s alone here, but no less bittersweet. The set is essential for any longtime fans of WW and up now on his Bandcamp. Stop by and say a heartfelt goodbye to an old friend.



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