Recommended: New albums by Elkhorn, Mary Lattimore and Prana Crafter

“Lionfish” by Elkhorn (Eiderdown Records)

Recommended: New albums by Elkhorn, Mary Lattimore and Prana Crafter

Fervent readers of this blog will already be familiar with Elkhorn, the duo of Drew Gardner on electric guitar and Jesse Sheppard and their beautiful release “The Black River” gelling all forms of American guitar music into something wondrously excitingly new and yet heartwarmingly familiar. They are back with a new release called “Lionfish” on Eiderdown Records, an EP that features two very long tracks, not surprisingly named “Lion” and “Fish”. By all means, read the full story of the making of the record. In short: Drew was diving, met a gorgeous lionfish, touched it, got stung, enjoyed the venom. Jesse manufactured the venom into powder with which the duo experimented as an inspiration for the record. Is it true? I honestly don’t know. I do know, that both tracks on the EP hijack you into a long journey that will not bore you, too many exciting things are at the wayside and welcome rests and getaways included.

Prana Crafter: “Enter The Stream” (Sunrise Ocean Bender / Cardinal Fuzz)

Recommended: New albums by Elkhorn, Mary Lattimore and Prana Crafter

Which brings us to the very man who recommended Elkhorn to me in the first place. He goes by the name of Will Sol or musically: Prana Crafter. In the past few years I have been enjoying Prana Crafter’s cathartic mildly psychedelic music from the heart of the Washington woods immensely and am always looking forward to new releases. But this new one is very special indeed. Prana Crafter for the first time made an album that is not just a collection of tracks but is a story in itself, a mystical, unwinding, eye-opening, totally enjoyable one called “Enter The Stream”. I swear you hear that stream and the clear waters. I picture Prana Crafter in the house (for a change, as like me, he draws a lot of energy and life from nature around him), the walls being translucent and nature and music can just float in and these inspirations flow out of him again in the shape of music…for want of a better description: -)

Just like a stream the moods and instrumentation, the whole songs flow and float and take you with Prana Crafter. Something else is new, too, Prana Crafter sings! And that is a wonderful addition to the music which you can check out here:

Mary Lattimore: “Hundreds Of Days” (Ghostly International)

Recommended: New albums by Elkhorn, Mary Lattimore and Prana Crafter

You would assume that owning a harp as an instrument makes your music pretty specific, stuck to a certain genre and yourself pretty isolated (never mind dragging that instrument about). Not so for Mary Lattimore, she has of course played with so many artists now and on her own, that most of you will be well-acquainted with the singular rejuvenating style, with her openness to other music and with the appreciation of both fellow musicians and the listeners. She dared though, so she won! A restless traveller, a lovely person to meet and a musician who crafted a new album called “Hundreds Of Days”. And just like Prana Crafter, there is something very new about Mary Lattimore’s new album: She sings! And she plays other instruments! Both goes very well with trusted and beautiful “Harpie” and Harpie’s sidekick, the loop gadget. This is an intoxicating, floating, feather-light album, warm-hearted album that already gave me days of listening delight and hopefully will be a source for your enjoyment this summer too.

Enjoy your summer with these very special musical moments!

Laucan and more

Summertime = no releases time? Ha, not really. Of course I will let you participate generously in the wealth of music to pick from and hope you will find something you will like or even love. First up:

Laucan

It was only in March that London musician Laucan (Laurence Alpin) released his first EP “Up Tomorrow”. Hey presto, here is his first album via Sunday Best: “Frames Per Second”. A dreamy, magical album with loads to discover (the strings sections are just beautiful). A debut album that will certainly in my collection last me a lifetime. Musically, Laucan is supported by Andrew Phillips – lyrically it is partly about the control of our own thoughts, releasing our outlooks from the prison we created for them.

Kerosene Stars

From there to something a bit more upbeat: Kerosene Stars from Chicago are Scott Schaafsma, Andy Seagram, Todd Honeyville, Jim Adair and Tom Sorich.  They are not afraid to play a catchy melody and they do it oh so well! Their latest releases are the EPs “Burn The Evidence” and “a million little trees” and out just now “The Lost EP”. Timeless, well-made gems!

Laucan and more

James Elkington

Staying in Chicago, for years now the home of James Elkington. You could not have missed James Elkington playing somewhere, surely? And you could not have missed his solo release? Just in case. Let me keep it short (a difficult feat in the case of information about Jim Elk). Steve Gunn calls him the best guitar player around and an incredibly humble person. Who would argue with Steve? Anyhow, that combination of skill and humbleness might just explain why James Elkington has only now released his first solo album after years of supporting other artists and bands (the list is endless: Jeff Tweedy, Richard Thompson, Steve Gunn, Brokeback, Eleventh Dream Day, Joan Shelley, Tara Jane O’Neil, Michael Chapman…). Initially he was frontman of a band called The Zincs but felt no need to be at the front or on the songwriting side for a long time. Thankfully he changed his mind and here we have his technically (he also plays drums, bass, piano…) wonderful and atmospherically wondrous album “Wintres Woma” (Paradise Of Bachelors)

 

 

Laucan and more
James Elkington by Timothy Harris

Moon Goose

Cherryshoes from Hay on Wye have us enthralled with their music. Wonderful news so that Cherryshoes now have a sister project: Moon Goose. Wait for it, I cannot keep their own description from you: “Moon goose has crawled out of the primal swamp and taken a good look around. The resulting bird has flapped madly around a barn with a load of guitars strapped to one wing and a synthesizer on the other, while it flies repeatedly into some drums. Made out of bits of comet and whalebone, the music that people are already calling ‘epic’ and ‘unlistenable’ throws a jagged beam of light in the growing darkness, to reveal some people using a barn as a giant amplifier. Duchamp put a toilet in an art gallery. Moon goose put music in a bag and shook it around until it was in bits, poured the bits out, and set fire to them. It’s the sound of a dragon colliding with an asteroid. If you enjoy things like gneiss, rare cheese, and strange ideas followed through to an illogical conclusion, you’ll love Moon goose.”

Laucan and more

There you have it – and you know what? That description fits and the music is absolutely hypnotising! Their debut EP Space Probe Shut Down is on its way. Here’s the first single: The mysterious coffins of Arthur’s Seat.

Prana Crafter

I leave you today with intriguing music from the Washington woods: Prana Crafter. His latest album “MindStreamBlessing” is the musical impersonation of the title. For my favourite track from it – Agatha’s gate – there is now a video available. Indulge here:

Vibrissae, Audiodeluxe, Prana Crafter – listen now!

As you will notice, this blog features interviews with the well-known artists of the music scene (well-known to you, dear reader, if your musical interest lead you to this page) as, shall we say, a by-product of my radio shows. Initially this blog was meant to work the other way round though: New bands, mostly unsigned, that featured in my radio shows, were to be given more deserved exposure here. Which brings us to the wonderful (in no particular order) Vibrissae, Audiodeluxe, Prana Crafter – listen now!

Vibrissae

Vibrissae, Audiodeluxe, Prana Crafter - listen now!

Vibrissae are – if you want to put a label on their music – a shoegaze electronic crossover trio and hail from Portland, Oregon, one of the great music cities in the U.S.

However: Vocalist Imber Lingard is originally from Australia, Emma Bell comes from Malaysia and only Aaron Bell is from the U.S. Music unites them and we listeners benefit greatly from the result.

Vibrissae (don’t look it up – I did it for you already….it means “whiskers”) released their debut album “Somewhere Away” on Italian (there’s another continent in the equation) label Vipchoyo Sound Factory.

Vibrissae’s songs convince with a beautiful, hypnotising build-up. Check it out here:

Audiodeluxe

Back to Europe with the delightful Audiodeluxe from Glasgow, Scotland. Audiodeluxe have been (also successfully) creating and releasing music since the late 90s. Growing up, starting families etc. and generally lives changing, Sammy McHugh (on vocals) and Dez Bone (all other sounds) decided to go for a wider audience via media they like (aw, chucks, “blush”).

Audiodeluxe call their music melancholic indie, so they are in the right spot here on this blog. So far they have released three EPs, number three just recently. The EPs are called just that: EP1, EP2 and EP3.

Audiodeluxe master a whole variety of sounds such as shoegazey songs, electronica and indiepop as well as trip-hop and it all gels superbly. All three EPs deserve your attentive ear and will give you fabulous frameworks for every conceivable mood you’d find yourself in without ever losing the unique sound.

Find them here. For soundbites from their current EP3, here you go:

I’d also like to show this gorgeous video to their intoxicating “Treasure”:

Prana Crafter

Vibrissae, Audiodeluxe, Prana Crafter - listen now!

I have been enjoying the music of guitar and songwriting genius Will Sol from Washington, U.S. for a while now and there is no more excuse to withhold the songs from you, me lovely blog readers! Those acquainted with my radio shows will already know Prana Crafter, Will Sol’s musician’s moniker.

In Prana Crafter’s own words his music is: Mystic Psych, Psychedelic Folk, Inner Space Rock, from the Woodlands of Washington.

Yep, and that’s exactly what it is. Music to rock to, music to dream to, music to lose yourself in. Prana Crafter manages to include seemingly contradictory feelings in his music and make them harmonise and thus mirrors the different sides in every human being, in everything really. Musically that is reflected by playing folksy songs alongside real rockers, both in the psych realm.

His works include: Rupture of Planes (a gentler folk-tinged album), Opal Crown Transmission (dreamy psych-rock at its best on this EP) and his two latest works Creek Born Mind and Old Growth Fortress.

All Prana Crafter’s music is available here. I would like you to lend an ear to his latest offering “Old Growth Fortress”.