Peyton Pinkerton spent the first two decades of his musical career as a longtime member of the respected indie rock group New Radiant Storm King and a guitarist for the Pernice Brothers. His first solo album, 2013’s Peyton Pinkerton, sounds a lot what one might expect from a recording made by someone with that pedigree. There’s plenty of the peppy tempos, intertwining guitar lines, and plaintive vocals from the New Radiant Storm King side of the equation, plus a firm grasp on writing hooky pop songs with a new wave urgency and tricky vocal harmonies from the Pernice Brothers side. That, plus Pinkerton’s nicely deep, deadpan vocals and stellar guitar work, would be enough to make this a very strong debut.
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Anybody who reveled in folk-psych sounds by artists like Tim Buckley, Tom Rapp and Pearls Before Swine, Nico, and anon, or even if you have not, Arborea gives you a modern day equivalent and extension, and a very satisfying listening experience. Their latest album,Fortress of the Sun, gives you an outstandingly spooky sampling of the cold-passion vocals of Shanti Curran and Buck Curran, plus the nicely weld string playing of both, electric and acoustic guitar, banjo, dulcimer and what have you, plus some backing rhythm as needed.
The songs are top drawer, reveling in the mists of a distant past or folk music of another planet. There are moments of deja vu familiarity–a remelodizing of the Cherry Tree Carol, a melody that reminds of Scarborough Fair, and a general aura of medieval hippie music.
It’s simply haunting in the best sort of way. Shanti has an Ophelia-like fragility that has timeless appeal and the acoustic and sometimes band arrangements heighten the mood perfectly.
1. Out of the Light
2. Rambler’s Plea
3. Dustpan Line
5. Facebook Waltz
6. I Don’t Know
7. He’s Gone
9. Devil’s Mountain
10. Ballad of a Whiskey Bootleg
11. Miss You So
12. Bluegrass Love Slave
Hot Club of Cowtown patented their style early in their career, and if they haven’t found a lot of variation within their blend of hot dance music and western swing, they have nevertheless found a lot of depth within this unique fusion. Rendezvous in Rhythm, the group’s 2013 album and eighth overall, is the flipside […]
Jeff Tweedy might carry the name recognition, but the rest of his band-on-the-side carries the mail on the fourth release from this Midwest all-star group. Though the Wilco leader teams with the Jayhawks’ Gary Louris on a pair of nimble pop songs–the elegantly strummed “Listen Joe” and Kinks cover “Strangers”–it’s Louris who’s clearly at the […]