VA – Child of Nature


Among the rampant flock of reissue labels it’s often hard to carve out a proper niche. Simply rifling through the forgotten debris of the past can only go so far. Unearthing a truly forgotten gem or rescuing a classic that folks have been clamoring for can take one far, but there’s a ways to go before becoming a kind of cultural hub on the level of Numero, Anthology, or Finders Keepers. L.A.’s Forager Records has been making a strong showing in that regard, though. The label, like Numero, has been making its stake with compilations that dig deep into genre. The label’s first release, the essential Belong To The Wind Compilation, explored rare 45s of the ‘70s. With an ear towards a confluence of psych-folk, soft rock, and cosmic country, the collection curated a mood of quiet melancholy that reverberated through the works of its stable of private press loners and session heads gone solo.

In the interim since that release, the label has explored similar territory with subtle twists, diving further into the country contingent on Sky Dust Drifter and into headier jazz on Vacation From My Mind, but its this year’s Child of Nature that comes closest to that original collection’s strange alchemy. Like Belong To The Wind, the compilation leans into feeling rather than historical context. For me, this kind of compilation can go two ways. The first is an almost academic approach to covering a time, label, or musical enclave. Nice to have from a completist standpoint, these releases can also sometimes feel like singles shelved in a library — documentation rather than curation. The second type leans into that curation aspect, creating a compilation that’s more mood than method. Antithetical to the algorithm, it’s a human hand on the wheel steering deep into the heart of sound. Forager has proven masters of this type of compilation and Child of Nature is one of their best yet in this regard. It’s a compilation of grey-skied desperation nestled in pastoral charms and as essential as anything in their catalog.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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