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Willie Watson
"Folk Singer Vol. 1"
Acony

The jacket design of Willie Watson's "Folk Singer Vol. 1" is pure 1963 camp: he's got a pipe, and the presentation is sparse to look like a Lomax field recording from the period.

Published in Reviews

Comet Gain
"Paperback Ghosts"
Fortuna POP!

Forgoing the garage stomp of past efforts "Howl of the Lonely Crowd" and "Réalistes," Comet Gain embraces introspective folk and indie pop on its seventh LP, "Paperback Ghosts."

Published in Reviews

White Lung
"Deep Fantasy"
Domino

Vancouver quartet White Lung keeps a frenzied tempo for the entirety of "Deep Fantasy," maintaining raw intensity before reaching an abrupt halt.

Published in Reviews

Lana Del Rey
"Ultraviolence"
Interscope

Nine hundred some days since vultures began circling after that ill-fated "Saturday Night Live," Lana Del Rey has returned as a dark, defiant diva, a phoenix breaking free with unbridled "Ultraviolence."

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The Duhks
"Beyond the Blue"
Compass Records

When the Duhks first came on the scene in 2001 they were, right off the mark, as challenging as they were entertaining, and as infectious as they were affecting.

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Parquet Courts
"Sunbathing Animal"
Mom + Pop

Parquet Courts rose to prominence in 2013 on the strength of their excellent second LP, "Light Up Gold," garnering critical acclaim and Pavement comparisons ad nauseam. On their follow up, "Sunbathing Animal," Parquet Courts deliver an underwhelming album that fails to match the energy of its predecessor.

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Ed Schrader's Music Beat
"Party Jail"
Infinity Cat

With "Party Jail," Baltimore duo Ed Schrader's Music Beat delivers a joyously simplistic yet intelligently crafted collection of hooky punk rock.

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Nickel Creek
"A Dotted Line"
Nonesuch

After seven years apart, Nickel Creek is back with “A Dotted Line.” As in the early part of their career together, Chris Thile, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins are doing things that no one else is doing while serving an audience that is interested in picking up the Nickel Creek story where it left off.

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Frank Glazer
"Music of a Bygone Era"

Bridge

Back before the advent of recorded sound, when a home music system was the piano in the parlor, the odds were good that said piano would be accompanied by one or more bound volumes of short pieces intended for amateur performance. They might contain anything from bagatelles by Beethoven or humoresques by Dvorak to occasional pieces by lesser composers to arrangements of popular songs.

Published in Reviews

I Draw Slow
"White Wave Chapel"
Pinecastle Records

There is an interesting moment in a recent interview with Dave Holden, guitarist of the Irish band I Draw Slow, when he notes that in America their music is described as Irish, and in Ireland, it's American. The problem might simply be in knowing too much; the band may be from Ireland, but this is American music, drawing from the folk traditions of Appalachia.

Published in Reviews
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