Jackie McDowell

Jackie McDowell’s been around a stretch, either under her own name or as Inez Lightfoot, but her latest is a psychedelic sweat lodge that pores deep into psych folk territory and refreshes my interest like it was the first time. There’s something in the timbre of McKenzie’s voice that reminds me of Kilynn Lunsford from Little Claw, especially on “Thirteen Mothers Rose,” but rather than clashing with the amp frizzle fry she’s swathed in the echoed psychedelics of harmonium, dulcimer and banjo. The album definitely has a late night cracking into morning vibe, rich with incantations and skittering percussion that’s shuffled spatially around the album’s field of focus. McKenzie leads the spell sessions with a dark rapture and its pretty hard to divert attention from her mournful and haunting howl; but just as amiably, the tidepool of psychedelic folk puddling beneath her captures the imagination, bringing the heydays of Badgerlore, Charlambides, Tower Recordings and Fursaxa flooding back.

I believe I’ve said it already this year, but its good to get back to a solid run of psych folk, as the well seems to be getting, not dry, but certainly low as of late. McKenzie is a welcome reminder that there are still those souls haunting the forests, channeling the the moss flecked flats of the American wilderness and fog odes that roll in among the trees. This is one of those albums that feels like it flickers only by candle or firelight and it makes me anxious for the sun to set so that the proper respects can be paid as the first track clicks to start.


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