is a very eclectic folk singer who originally called Brandon, Manitoba, Canada home, though he now resides in Groningen, Netherlands. He sent me a note asking me to listen to his sketches, and I’m quite pleased that I took him up on his offer.
This isn’t a proper album per se, but home recordings he did, as these are home recordings, but in the spirit of hearing demos by artists like Nick Drake, Peter Hammill (I’m very partial to Van Der Graaf Generator) or even Warren Zevon (Graham covers Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner), it’s great hearing raw, unaffected singing and playing. No tricks, no studio gadgetry, just a chap with his guitar. I’m curious to see how he sounds in studio. His sketches lead me to think that the material will sound quite good.
Benjamin Finney’s work has been reviewed on our blog in the past, as he’s really a fine guitarist, but it finally dawned on me whose work seems to influence and inform his playing. John Fahey. No doubt about it. He has the American primitive sound mastered so well that he’s able to mold it however he wishes. Fahey was utterly brilliant at that. Expect Benjamin to have that same legacy one of these days.
Sam Beam hit his peak with this album. From the heartrendingly beautiful The Trapeze Swinger to his folksy cover of New Order’s Love Vigilantes, the album is a warm, relaxing listen perfect for my cold Beijing day.
Damon & Naomi have done a kindness by offering their back catalog on Bandcamp for free, essentially (though it’s good practice to spend a buck here and there as a token of thanks).
In this disc, the duo team with Masaki Batoh’s legendary troupe, Ghost, though their presence is not nearly as noticeable as one would hope. Still, the stars of the show make a gentle, ambling piece of slowcore.
Percival Elliott isn’t the name of a musician, but a friendship. Two musicians, Olly Hite and Samuel Carter-Brazier, paired to make a deeply touching indie-folk sound which reminds me of the best of artists like Jeff Buckley (may his memory be eternal). If you’re curious about following their exploits, consider “liking” their Facebook or Twitter feeds.
Johanna Warren is a folk singer from Portland, Oregon, who caught my ear. There’s a very sweet tone to her voice that I’m not used to hearing from other American folkies. This is my first encounter with her work, and I’d say I’m looking forward to hearing more from her.