Episode 139 floats through indie, folk, ambient, and lo-fi in search of warmth. Listen well.
Disconnect now from whatever holds you down
Everything is everything, and you are Superconnected
1) “Downtown” - Majical Cloudz
Sustained tones shine from behind blowing electronics, as a visual is immediately conjured - you, walking alone between tall buildings under an overcast morning, the streets deserted save for leftover bits of whatever that gust and whip about. Somehow, Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto produce a brilliant sense of comfort from the solitude and sense of longing. Majical Cloudz released their final studio album Are You Alone? in 2015 via Matador.
2) “Sun Room” - J. Irvin Dally
Sunlight filters down through everything on “Sun Room” - the leafy guitars, the needle bed percussion, and Dally’s neck-craning vocals. As the second half of the song reveals, dark deeds are still done in the light. The song is available as a subscriber exclusive via Dally’s bandcamp.
3) “In The Morning, Before Work” - Owen
Perhaps the best introduction to Mike Kinsella’s prolific solo project. The guitars are intricate and rich, as Kinsella undoes your defenses with lyrics that create surges of nostalgia, uncovering as many fond memories as longing ones. It’s the detail in Kinsella’s work as Owen that sucks the air out from around you. You immediately understand that there is a very upfront, personal nature to “In The Morning, Before Work”, but the details are still ubiquitous in a way, with references to crooked teeth and grilled cheese, New Order and Morrissey. All of these passing memories are wrapped in an admission of love - “I thought I’d be singing a different tune by now / but the song about you keeps coming out.” Dive into Owen’s extensive collection of music, and (the EP) specifically for “In The Morning, Before Work”.
4) “Wolves” - Phosphorescent
By the last campfire on Earth, Matthew Houck strums a uke and all is understood in its mystic finality. “Wolves” is part of 2007’s Pride, released by Dead Oceans.
5) “K.” - Cigarettes After Sex
Casual relationships are bound to succumb to our inherent humanity. We are, and are not, built to love. It’s that idiotic parry and joust that makes something awful of something so momentarily perfect. Still, it is blissful in the moment. On “K.”, Greg Gonzalez'es voice rolls over watery guitars and rippling percussion like a low morning fog, distilling the transition from breezy to ardent into a beautiful collection of simple details. Cigarettes After Sex released their self-titled debut this summer via Partisan Records.
6) “Illusions” - a=f/m
- contributed by Ryan (Echo and Reverb radio)
Distant drums roll across grey fields from hundreds of miles away, as Rolf Laureijs and Belia Winnewisser rain their hazy divination down around you. They challenge an infinite horizon and beckon you to join. Get “Illusions” here.
7) “It’s OK With Me” - Manchester Orchestra
When it’s just Andy Hull and a guitar, not much else exists. The delicate moments find the tiny nooks and pockets where your deepest fears, regrets, and desires are stashed. If he decides to let his voice swell, all structures around you crumble. Listen to Andy Hull with excellent headphones if at all possible. Fourteen Years of Excellence is an EP that accompanied 2009’s Mean Everything To Nothing.
8) “No Why” - Kevin Devine (WAWWAB version)
From a re-imagining of Devine’s latest album, this version of “No Why” comes as a transmission from negative space, the slightly shifted reality just beside the album where his questions and observations echo long after the song is over. We Are Who We’ve Always Been is available via Procrastine! Music Traitors.
9) “Gospel” - The National
A less refined, and perhaps more poignant example of the way Matt Berningers arcane lyrics can cause you to become unstuck from the ground. This song feels like the end of everything, and it’s beautiful. “Gospel” is the closer from The National’s 2007 album Boxer, available via 4AD.
10) “Streamside” - The Album Leaf
At last there’s nothing left to say. Exhale forever In A Safe Place.
11) “Sodom, South Georgia” - Iron & Wine
Masterful simile paired with ringing strums, and Sam Beam’s timeless folk whisper smoke off the end of a hand-rolled cigarette, leaving a dusky buzz in its wake. Our Endless Numbered Days is a must have vinyl. Get it via Sub Pop.
- 8:00Majical CloudzAre You Alone?Downtown
- 8:03J. Irvin DallySun Room
- 8:06Owen(the ep)In The Morning, Before Work
- 8:12Cigarettes After SexCigarettes After SexK.
- 8:18Manchester OrchestraFourteen Years of ExcellenceIt's OK With Me
- 8:21The NationalBoxerGospel
- 8:24The Album LeafIn A Safe PlaceStreamside
- 8:27Iron & WineOur Endless Numbered DaysSodom, South Georgia