I’m a sucker for a well thought out reissue label and upstart L.A. label Forager is starting off strong. The label has put together a collection of psychedelic folk and softly rippled AOR that wraps up some much needed private press obscurites. Like a kindred spirit to the Mikey Young curated Sad About The Times, the collection finds its niche in smooth settings. The cuts here are culled from 45s barely saw light, but contained a certain sparkle all the same. Spread across private labels like Sound Sync, MRC, Redcap, Arson, and That Same Old Label, these are the kind of singles that one would be lucky to dig up among the bins, though just as often tossed aside by those without the right kind of ears.
Few here made it to an album, but its hard to deny the yearning croon of Jeff Lagin, the softly melted edges of Snuffy, or the brooding shadows of Denny Fast. Opener “Spend Another Day” from Autum Dust embraces a huge orchestral country tilt — slide guitars sneaking under the soaring strings and bittersweet gold of David Chalmers, also notably of psychedelic communal outfit The Farm Band. They might mark the highest profile entry in the bunch, but its a good entry point to tumble down melancholy tributaries of ‘70s lonesome souls reaching out in limited runs like diary entries etched at 45 revolutions per minute. Wrapped up in some excellently psychedelic art by Aussie designer Callum Rooney, this should stand high on your list of essential 2021 comps. I’m eager to see where Forager go from here. It’s a damn strong start to be sure.
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