Posts Tagged ‘House and Land’

Sally Anne Morgan

Anyone who has followed The Black Twig Pickers or House and Land over the past couple of years might be familiar with the prowess of Sally Anne Morgan, but on her solo LP for Thrill Jockey, she’s truly letting her own voice shine through in a record rooted in the traditions of Appalachian and English Folk. With her fiddle, banjo, and guitar at the ready, Morgan is a band in her own right, compiling in the studio the kind of loose, pub-slung singalongs that wouldn’t feel out of place on a rainy day in the English countryside nor on a porch in the wooded confines of deep set East Coast mountains. She’s a traditionalist, but not constrained by tradition. The songs could well enter the traditional canon, but they take flight in ways that are more progressive than they first let on. There’s a carful tenderness to her songs too — peeking through in verdant strains on wistful compositions like “Garden Song,” which tracks its melody like water seeping into soil and blooms unfolding into an late spring sunlight.

As Sally noted in her Hidden Gems piece for the site, she has a particular fascination with UK folk rock, stemming from the Fairport tradition that caught her ear in her 20s, and that comes through nicely with the help of Nathan Bowles (Black Twig Pickers, Pelt, Pigeons) who adds percussion to several tracks here, elevating them from loose sketches to something more stridently propulsive. Whether with a full band or by herself, though Morgan fills the room with a sound that’s almost impossible to ignore. Fiddle lines weave bittersweet curls through the air, banjos pluck out a ramble that’s as insistent as the nearest creek, and above the instruments Sally’s vocals peek around the bends with a heartbreaking delivery that’s somewhere between hope and lament, both are perfect for these days. This record is a companion piece to a hard year — a comfort, a companion, a consolation in the night.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Sally Anne Morgan – “Garden Song”

Another peek inside the beautiful new album Thread from Sally Anne Morgan (Black Twig Pickers, House and Land). Accompanying the verdant pluck of her “Garden Song,” Morgan has crafted an animated video from her own drawings and prints that captures the soft lilt of the song. Its been a brutal summer in so many ways, but “Garden Song” celebrates the moments when the heat’s beneath peak and the flowers seem to engulf every corner of view. I can’t grow for crap, plants shy away at my touch, but the song sure makes me wish I could. I’ll have to settle for some time in Morgan’s animated garden. Its not a bad compromise. The album is out September 11th on Thrill Jockey.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Sally Anne Morgan – “Thread Song”

Sweet serenity is given flight on the first peek into Sally Anne Morgan’s upcoming LP for Thrill Jockey. The House and Land member is solo, but not quite alone on this LP, assembling a backing band that includes Andrew Zinn, Nathan Bowles, and Joseph Dejarnette. As with her collaborative work in H&L, there’s a traditional folk focus, though “Thread Song” nips at more modern fare, feeling every bit at home with Daniel Bachman, Mountain Man, Black Twig Pickers, or Jake Xerxes Fussell. Morgan’s fiddle gives the track a bittersweet soul and it lilts on the breeze with a fragrant flutter. The rest of the album’s sure to be as winsome and affecting as this. It arrives August 21st on Thrill Jockey.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Sarah Louise, Sally Anne Morgan & Kryssi B – “Cherry Tree Carol”

Black Dirt has been kicking out some real gems from their NATCH series in the last year and it looks like 2020 is off to a similar start. Entry number 11 in the series is a collaboration between Sarah Louise and Sally Ann Morgen of House and Land and Kryssi Battalene of Headroom/Mountain Movers. The set finds a balance between styles, feeling neither as heavy as anything Battalene is typically involved in or as pastoral as Louise and Morgen’s duo or solo works. Some of the best moments of the set comes in the longform pieces that the trio puts together, weaving the folk with Kryssi’s gnarled guitar. “Cherry Tree Carol” is a particular highlight of dark, shadowy folk. In other news Black Dirt is looking to restructure the studio game, and working towards a patron-based system of keeping the doors open so they can do more great sessions like this and keep bands from having to hammer out their best works at hourly rates. One of the best studios running so give ‘em some love it you have the means.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

House and Land

Sarah Louise, fresh from the opalescent vision of her solo LP earlier in the year, is back in league with her folk foil Sally Anne Morgan for a new album under the House and Land banner. As with their last album, the duo makes a sizeable impression with a palette of sparse folk on Across The Field. They exhume traditional folk songs from another time, but much like fellow traveler Jake Xerxes Fussell, their delivery doesn’t feel antiquated. There’s a timelessness inherit in their work, blending their more experimental sensibilities with the weathered and worn material to soothe the heartache of the modern music listener. They’re running Elizabeth Cotton through a Loren Connors filter – finding the starkest kernel of folk and blues and baking it in the sun.

The album leans directly into sorrow, choosing songs that are steeped in a sadness that resonates across eras. Morgan’s fiddle is strident, holding court without showing a shred of lost love, but the pair’s voices can’t help but hang with a delicate dourness. The weight of years pulls heavy on these songs and House and Land etch them straight into the skin, turning the soul to scrimshaw and laying out the burden of decades in intricate detail. The songs on Across The Field seep into every pore on first listen, but they don’t suffocate. They may be achingly sad, but they never seem to wallow. Instead, as the album comes to a close the listener is purged, washed clean of longing and lowness – each rinsed away in the stream of strings and song that the pair have poured out through the album. Their sophomore release proves the pair are brilliant interpreters of song, and you’d do well to get acquainted with them.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Sarah Louise

Though Sarah Louise has let loose her vocals with her pastoral duo House and Land, her upcoming LP for Thrill Jockey marks a shift away from her typically instrumental trappings under her solo guise. On Deeper Woods her voice is prominent and transfixing, pushing her nimble passages out of the Appalachian blues that she’s been drawing from and into a darker, and as the title might suggest, deeper territory. In addition to her transcendent vocals, Deeper Woods pushes further into the psych-folk trenches than either her previous efforts, burning a bit of cinder and sage at the edges of her songwriting and pulling from the wells of Susan Christie and Six Organs in equal measures.

But to call this simply a folk album is to dismiss the work that Louise is doing here. On “The Field That Touches My House and Yours” she weaves those yearning vocals over a bed of synths and restrained piano, eschewing guitars entirely and pushing her headlong into the realms of somber ‘70s songwriters burdened with a heavy heart and a shadowed soul. She draws out some of the fullest realizations of her shipwrecked croon yet, radiating woe and bolstering songs with sighs of violin, nudges of bass and raindrop keys that all set this album adrift into a sea of sadness.

Up to this point Sarah Louise has been no lightweight, but with Deeper Woods she announces her intent to capture every ear in the room, to snuff any trace of conversation with her gravitational pull. This is a watershed moment for Louise and she’s left us with an album hits like a downpour – heavy, cool, beautiful and beguiling. This feels like just the beginning for Louise but its refreshing to linger in her creation.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Sarah Louise

So, this comes in pretty recent on the ol’ reissue calendar. The record was issued as a small run cassette in 2015 on Scissor Tail and didn’t snag enough attention at the time. The label is now giving the record a more expansive issue as an LP three years later. Perhaps this comes on the tail of Louise’s duo House and Land receiving a bit more acclaim with their record on Thrill Jockey, perhaps not. In either case we’re all luckier to have this one in a more solid format. Sarah Louise is a consummate purveyor of fingerpicked guitar. As might befit her inclusion in VDSQ’s acoustic series and, well, her surfacing on Scissor Tail in general.

Field Guide diverges from House and Land’s somber, wooded folk for more of a traditional take on the 12-string approach. Louise more than proves her chops here, tackling runs that bring to mind Basho, Jansch, Kotke and even a bit of Peter Walker. She’s not all flash and technique though, there’s plenty of beauty sparkling melody present in her rambles. The record, as the cover might suggest, brings to mind natural wonders, evoking streams and the endless spread of rolling hills. It’s a great intro to a contemporary string slinger that, if she’s not already, should be on your list to keep tabs on. Scissor Tail was right to give this one another go ‘round and a wider audience.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments