Allah-las – Lahs [Mexican Summer]
Admittedly, this one has more of a “summer vibe.” But what is a Phoenix Fall but a North East Summer. Lahs is a cool breeze on a hot day. It is the yogic, outward breath, releasing the dread of 115 degree days. It’s beachy vibes with a little spaced out psychedelia for us desert folk.
Cate Le Bon / Bradford Cox – Myths 004 [Mexican Summer]
No toes were stepped on in the making of this album. Myths 004 is a part of a collaborative series that takes place every year at the Marfa Myths Festival in Texas. While the coming together of these two immensely individualistic creators might have happened as an “assignment,” from the first note, it seems it was always meant to happen. While you could make the case that Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox share a lot of similarities, those similarities seem to have been thrown out the window for this project. I’m hard pressed to describe the music. Anyone familiar with either of these artists may understand this difficulty. I can say it’s weird and complex but incredibly satisfying to listen to. I can also say that I hope this isn’t their last project together.
Itasca – Spring [Paradise of Bachelors]
The legend behind this album is that it was recorded in a century-old adobe house in New Mexico. It pulls inspiration from high desert and rock formations of the four corners region. The music is sparse and beautiful, like the landscape. Kayla Cohen has been releasing albums for nearly 10 years, now. This longevity has afforded Cohen the benefit of many well respected collaborators, which had a light hand in the making of this album. Many of whom are members of other Paradise of Bachelors bands. This label is one of the few with a clear mission and a very focused catalog, making it easy to explore and discover new bands with a similar aesthetic.
Lankum – the Livelong Day [Rough Trade]
This is a dark, common ground between Irish folk/murder ballads and cinematic ambient music. The instrumentation is old; made of wood and animals, producing sound with wind and bowed strings, but the sound is strangely modern, resembling industrial and electronic music, at times. The songs sound a million years old, but pull at your emotions like your favorite modern songwriters. Truly hearing all this album has to offer just might be my Fall project.
The Good Ones – Rwanda, you should be loved [Anti-]
I’m a big fan of a lot of music that comes out of Africa. As much as I might study up on the geography and history of the artists creating music from many corners of the continent, I can’t help but feel a bit like a tourist. I don’t speak the language. I can only imagine the countries producing these artists, like some bad movie trying to recreate an experience it knows nothing about. But, when I listen to the Rwandan group, The Good Ones, there is a true emotional connection. The music is simple, often just an acoustic guitar and one to three voices. The songs are slow and the melodies are sweet. I still don’t speak the language. But, somehow the backdrop of geography seems to disappear, leaving only the voices, melodies and little noises made by guitars and strange percussion. If you study the history of this group, you’ll find a story full of tragedy, hardship and strong love. You could find that same story just listening to the music.