Meadowsilver (self titled)

meadowsilver

A younger me would probably have reacted with disbelief at the thought that folky music would end up comprising so many very favourite releases as my life went on, although hopefully said younger self would have had the sense to imagine the gradual opening of the mind, both musical and otherwise (well, the one usually insists on the other following it).

So Meadowsilver join with Espers, Horse Cult, Laughing Eye Weeping Eye, Haress, The Iditarod, etc in making really good folk inspired hypnosis. I like being in a trance.

It may be that they or some of them used to be The Hare and The Moon, not an artist I was previously familiar with so I’ll probably hunt and listen at some point.

2019 was also the year I rediscovered a love of fiction; a well told story is just as trance inducing as the best in hypnotic music, albeit in a very different way. I dislike having to have favourites, so this is just something that is really bloody good and I’ve never read anything better, ever, and I’ve read a lot of Bloody Good Things in my time – The Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is 900 pages and frankly it isn’t long enough. Actually, it probably is because it’s so well written and so well judged in its execution, but I could have just kept on reading and reading.

And who’d have thunk it [/sarc]? Plants have feelings too. Actually, this isn’t news; there was a book in the 1970s called The Secret Life of Plants which was all about this kind of thing, but nobody in the mainstream took them seriously. What is actually notable about the link is exactly what publication I’ve linked to, materialism’s Weekly Gospel. I think we’re in the midst of paradigm shifts, people, and I bet our cultural cosmology in a century will be unrecognisable from what it is today.

Forndom – Dauðra Dura

forndomScandinavia, especially Sweden, seems to have an uncommonly large influence on the world of music. Much of what I have been exposed to could perhaps be ‘explained’ as the Swedes taking a form from elsewhere in the Western world, doing their thang with it and giving it back with a cheeky Swedish grin. It can be easy to forget they have their own traditions, but then I suppose it can be easy to forget that anywhere has its own traditions if the surface of the ultra-shallow Western Monoculture is to be believed.

A monoculture which tries to pretend death doesn’t exist. Which is an even bigger reason we need true artists around. Such as Forndom

Known to his mum as L. Sward, Forndom is a multi-instrumentalist, artist and photographer making music in the Norse ballad tradition set to a dark ambient atmosphere. There’s also quite a few tags around ‘death metal’ but you won’t find any detuned or distorted guitars here, just acoustic ones. And drones. And chants. And violins.

It is a very meditative listen, a sombre sound, and it is in no hurry to go anywhere. When you enter The Doors of the Dead, you’re on their time.

The Wharves

Dear The Wharves,

I’m really, really struggling to write this post. Maybe I should just suffice it to say that I really, really like the ‘At Bay’ album. It reminds me in ways of the awesome Sleater-Kinney, maybe a bit less mono-riffic but a bit more catchy. Apparently your earlier stuff is heavier? Me go check out. Update: not noticeably heavier, but I still like it.

Gringo Records‘ description is frankly different to what I’d put. Also I have seen the words ‘psych-pop’ and ‘folk-rock’ used. I don’t like those as descriptors, either. Others have mentioned The Breeders – on that, I cannot comment, because I only ever heard that Cannonball song. Dancing about architecture, indeed. I mean, how would you describe yourselves? Ah yes, ‘alternative mid-fi.’ You know, I think I like that the best. It could work as a whole genre description – functionally meaningless and yet, when you hear the music, you can’t say it’s wrong.

However, I am flat out jealous of ‘Faultline’ which is one of the dirtiest riffs I’ve heard in a long time, and has resided in my head all week. And I am also chock full of admiration for the vocal approach you take. The harmonies are very often outrageous, but in no way unnatural. And I don’t normally like songs that interrupt a perfectly good groove in order to chuck in a new chord or two. Your songs do that, and I still like them. You clearly have something going on.

I’m off to find some architecture to dance to.

Yours  etc,

Flipdog

p.s. I don’t normally write letters to people I’ve never met before, particularly not in the digital public. This goes to show how desperate my lack of imagination was in writing this post! But the fact is, I had to do it anyway. So I did it.