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Bonny Light Horseman

Rolling Golden Holy

    Bonny Light Horseman’s self-titled debut was a folk masterclass, reimagining centuries-old standards with effortless grace and wonder. Those Grammy-nominated, listtopping recordings not only suggested renewed possibilities for aging songbooks but also marked the arrival of a trio fully capable of reorienting the wider folk landscape. Still, if it felt at all like the work of some short-lived supergroup or a one-off diversion (it never was), Rolling Golden Holy rebuffs the notion with preternatural beauty and charm, and imagination. These songs, all originals, follow the paths of the traditional tunes the band cherishes to new frontiers, the sounds and situations of history given the gravity and shape of now. This is a band working at the edge of modern folk.

    After the release of their debut, Anaïs Mitchell, Josh Kaufman, and Eric D. Johnson began discussing their next steps, loosely planning on writing and recording stints. Those sessions were delayed for all the unpredictable but nowfamiliar reasons until the Spring of 2021, when the trio reconvened with their families in tow in upstate New York. Their chemistry remained intact. Johnson’s wife Annie had listened to him work with dozens of collaborators over the decades, but, listening in from one room over, she noted he’d never seemed so at ease and productive as he was with Kaufman and Mitchell in Woodstock. They were perfecting “California,” a timely and incorruptible classic about moving on in search of something else, something more. These sessions were a series of “yes, and” encounters, each one encouraging the others to take an idea and run with it further to the new safety net they’ve built together, for one another.

    These songs continually suggest and embody an unspoken continuum between traditional and modern folk. Mitchell finds self-sustaining adoration in steamy backseats, nighttime visions, and seasonal storms during “Summer Dream,” crisscrossing generational symbols to tie past, present, and future into a Gordian knot of devotion. Johnson reaches back to 19th-century wartime on “Someone to Weep for Me” to empathize with someone else descended from “a long line of nobodies,” just trying to live long enough to feel like he’s mattered to anyone at all, a notion that knows neither age nor border. Johnson and Mitchell trade lines on “Exile,” their luminous response to another of humanity’s eternal conundrums—how to revel in relationships that we know will one day leave us lonely. Love and loss, death and fear: the songs may be different, but the emotional sources remain.

    The band thrives in rendering fresh wisdom and insight from old models, whether scraps of ancient songs or the spark of entwined voices. Theirs is a space created for sharing, learning, singing, and playing as one. Rolling Golden Holy is the band’s testament to partnership and trust at a moment when we crave such connections so much. They fully appreciate what they have found in one another. On Rolling Golden Holy, we get to live inside that magic, too.

    TRACK LISTING

    1/ Exile (3:34)
    2/ Comrade Sweetheart (3:33)
    3/ California (3:16)
    4/ Summer Dream (5:21)
    5/ Gone By Fall (2:49)
    6/ Sweetbread (3:41)
    7/ Someone To Weep For Me (3:21)
    8/ Fleur De Lis (4:24)
    9/ Once On Another Day (3:24) – VINYL ONLY
    10/ Fair Annie (3:01)
    11/ Cold Rain And Snow (2:48)

    Joe Rainey

    Niineta

      Joe Rainey is a Pow Wow singer. On his debut album, ‘Niineta’, he demonstrates his command of the Pow Wow style, descending from Indigenous singing that’s been heard across the waters of what is now called Minnesota for centuries. Depending on the song, his voice can celebrate or console, welcome or intimidate, wake you up or lull your babies to sleep. Each note conveys a clear message, no matter the inflection: We’re still here. We were here before you were, and we never left.

      Rainey grew up a Red Lake Ojibwe in Minneapolis, a city with one of the largest, proudest Native populations in the country. He was raised on the South side near Franklin Avenue, the post-Reorganization Act urban nexus of local Native American life. Rainey came of age in the heart of this community (also the birthplace of AIM), but always felt like he was living in a liminal space with the Reservation five hours North. At an early age Rainey started recording groups, and practiced dancing and singing. As a teenager he started his first drum group, and soon his voice grew strong enough to sing in Midnite Express, a new drum group featuring members of the legendary group The Boyz. They were professionals, city Indians travelling all over, repping their reservations and their neighbourhoods - competing for cash and cred, always striving to capture that ‘Pow Wow feeling’ of togetherness. Rainey was just as much of a fan as he was a participant, recording others then studying the tapes, cataloguing the different styles.

      On ‘Niineta’, Rainey finds himself in between cultures again, collaborating with producer Andrew Broder, who brought his turntablist sensibility to the project. The two of them met backstage at Justin Vernon’s hometown Eaux Claires music festival before crossing paths more through the 37d03d collective, and both contributed to the last Bon Iver album before partnering up. “At first I didn’t know what I could add,” Broder says. “I came to understand everything is rooted in the drum - even the songs on our record that have no drum.” Each song started with Broder’s beats, the two of them experimenting with various sounds and tempos before orchestrating and recontextualizing the ancient sounds in strange, new in-between places, also pulling from Rainey’s vast sample folder of Pow Wow recordings, layering in slices of his life.

      ‘Niineta’ is a short version of the Ojibwe term meaning ‘just me’, and Rainey is using the term only in the sense that he’s taking sole responsibility for the music. He is protective of Pow Wow culture - once outlawed by the US government and maintained in secret - while trying to figure out where he fits and how he can be creative with it. “These are my creations, but they’re Pow Wow songs, and our language is sacred,” he says. Rainey suggests conceptualizing the album as him working the door at a Pow Wow after party. “If I’m answering that door, I want to say, hey, yeah, come on in. But there’s fucking tons of us in here. It ain’t just me.”

      TRACK LISTING

      Jammer From The Slammer
      B.e. Son
      Easy On The Cide
      Bezhigo
      No Chants
      Can Key
      Jr. Flip
      Turned Engine
      Ch. 1222
      Phil’s Offering

      James McAlister

      Scissortail

        LA-based producer, composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist James McAlister is a rare creator, and highly sought after collaborator. Perhaps best known for his work with Sufjan Stevens, McAlister has also appeared on record with Lorde amongst many others, and is a regular contributor to Aaron Dessner’s projects, including the latest albums from Taylor Swift, folklore and evermore. His regular work with film music includes The Two Popes, The Big Sick, and Ron Simonsen’s recent films. In 2018 he joined Stevens, Casey Foubert, St. Vincent and Moses Sumney for the Oscar performance for music from Call Me By Your Name, where he played piano and a bottle of cupcake sprinkles. With nearly countless projects to his name, it was in 2017 that his collaboration with Stevens, Nico Muhly, and Bryce Dessner entitled Planetarium was released by 4AD.

        Around the same time McAlister started a deep dive into a personal sonic realm that has manifested as an ambient project under his own name. 2018 saw the release of Three Breaths, the first offering from this exploration. 2021 will see the second installment, an album called Scissortail which vividly puts McAlister’s evolving master craft on display. It is a collection of moving, meditative, immediately satisfying and quietly stunning work. It is the sound of an artist letting go entirely of pre-conceptions or expectations, instead mining the depths of that very real and abstract place of sound, texture, color and feeling. Some songs arrive almost intuitively, while others feel mechanically made, fed through the framework of synthesizers and the patchwork of recording gear. And with that comes a compelling duality to the work; a machine grace informing the on-going but subconscious dialogue between energy and material, sensitivity and asceticism.

        TRACK LISTING

        A
        1. Portrait (5:39)
        2. Slow Wave (5:14)
        3. Cycle 3 (6:16)

        B
        4. Crowns (5:29)
        5. G0 (5:33)
        6. Cycle 5 (5:04)

        Carm

        Carm

          The music of CARM features horns in roles typically reserved for drums, guitars, and voices, while also escaping the genre categorizations reserved for music featuring an instrumentalist as bandleader. It is not jazz or classical music, nor is it a soundtrack. This is contemporary popular music that features a sound normally used as a background color and texture as the unabashed lead voice. According to CARM, aka CJ Camerieri, “It started with the question: ‘What kind of record would my trumpet-playing heroes from the past make today?’ I believe they would want to work with the best producers, beat makers, song-writers, and singers to create new, truly culturally relevant music, and that’s what I sought to do with this project.” Produced in Minneapolis by Ryan Olson (Polica, Lizzo) and featuring collaborations with Sufjan Stevens, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Yo La Tengo, Shara Nova, Mouse on Mars, Francis and the Lights and many others. It is a completely unique sound that additionally serves as a survey of the collaborations that have come to define the artist’s career thus far.

          Says Vernon, "I truly believe there isn’t a more accomplished brass player in the entire world of music. And this is way more than a 'horn' record. It’s a discovery of new heights with what is possible in creating music.” The album begins with an orchestral brass choir of french horns, which quickly gives way to a piano sample from Francis, as Stevens and Lupin combine voices over a lush bed of horns to sing “Song of Trouble.” The album bookends with the same piano sample used as a springboard to an iconic lyric by Vernon in the album closer “Land.” Between these two generation-defining artists we have upward sweeping melodies and fanfares reminiscent of Ennio Morricone. The acutely original sound of Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo in “Already Gone” give way to the virtuoso sound of Nova’s voice. A more experimental path emerges before the strings from yMusic bring us back to the piano sample that started the record. Instead of recycling well-trodden sounds, CARM offers a respite for those seeking an original voice.

          TRACK LISTING

          A/

          1. Song Of Trouble (feat. Sufjan Stevens)
          2. Soft Night
          3. Nowhere
          4. Already Gone (feat. Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan)
          5. After Hours

          B/

          6. Invisible Walls
          7. Tapp (feat. Shara Nova)
          8. Slantwise
          9. Scarcely Out (feat. Mouse On Mars)
          10. Land (feat. Justin Vernon)

          Mina Tindle

          Sister

            The third full-length from Mina Tindle, SISTER is an album populated by mythic creatures of all kinds: lions on parade, lovers turned to cannibals, kings and Sirens and women with wings. Like any great fabulist, she threads her storytelling with a fragile wisdom, revealing essential truths about all the danger and wildness within the human heart. With each moment elevated by her spellbinding vocal work — a gift she’s shown in recording and touring as a singer for The National — SISTER ultimately makes for a transportive listen, at turns impossibly dreamlike and profoundly illuminating.

            Mina Tindle is the project of Parisian singer/songwriter and multiinstrumentalist Pauline De Lassus. Mostly made in New York City with producer Thomas Bartlett (Yoko Ono, Florence + the Machine), the album’s elegant detail balances the odd magic of the songs with a fierce emotional realism. “Give a Little Love,” written and produced by Sufjan Stevens, channels intense longing, its soulful melancholy magnified by Stevens’s warm background vocals. On “Belle Pénitence,” she shares a tender love letter to her husband (The National’s Bryce Dessner), twisting the mood of lovely surrender with some fantastically brutal hunting imagery rendered in her native tongue. And on “Lions,” with its shimmering grooves, De Lassus offers up a bit of soft-hearted encouragement in the face of self-doubt: “If the roads are made for a parade/Go march with the lions.” She adds, “You need to keep going, even if sometimes you feel like you’re just pretending to be brave. It’s all about the march.”

            After the gloriously sprawling “Triptyque”— partly written with Dessner — SISTER closes out with a stark rendition of “Is Anything Wrong” by Lhasa De Sela, the late artist whom De Lassus names among her most enduring influences. Mina Tindle’s version originally featured as part of a tribute to the late singer that she conceived and organized in 2019 with another of her longtime heroes Canadian singer Leslie Feist. They would later perform the tribute at London’s Barbican and the Cork Opera House.

            De Lassus later appeared as a featured soloist on The National’s 2019 album I Am Easy to Find and toured extensively with the band. During the last few years as she was writing and recording SISTER, De Lassus has also been an integral part of the PEOPLE Festivals at the historic Berlin Funkhaus in 2016 and 2018, where she worked with a vast range of musicians and artists in the community.

            SISTER achieves a potent complexity, arriving as her most imaginative selection of songs to date while wholly embracing the sometimespainful truth-telling she’s long treasured in her most beloved artists. “All the people I love the most have this beautiful way of singing their truth, and I hope these songs give that same kind of honesty.”

            TRACK LISTING

            1/ Jessa
            2/ Lions
            3/ Give A Little Love (feat. Sufjan Stevens)
            4/ Indian Summer
            5/ Louis / QMB622001005
            6/ Belle Pénitence
            7/ Fire & Sun
            8/ Triptyque
            9/ Is Anything Wrong

            Naeem

            Startisha

              Startisha introduces Naeem as a restlessly creative artist with an impressionistic, genre-bending album. As a complete work, Startisha exemplifies artistic daring and emotional intelligence while exploring new ideas and sounds, and philosophically excavating the artist’s histories. Startisha may be loaded with impressive collaborations and left-field sounds, but don't get it twisted—this music comes straight from Naeem's heart, representing the journey he's taken to get to this point as well as what lies in the future for him.

              Baltimore-hailing Naeem Juwan has spent much of the last decade stretching his creative legs in a variety of ways: he's hit the road with artists ranging from the Avalanches and Bon Iver to Big Red Machine and Mouse on Mars, took part in a 37d03d residency in Berlin, and was selected as the music resident in 2019 for New York's Pioneer Works space. Through it all, he's been building the songs that make up Startisha, a record a half-decade in the making that featured Juwan pulling from creative circles all across the U.S. to craft a truly unique document of sound.

              After studio sessions in Philadelphia and New York, Juwan decamped to Minneapolis and holed up in Justin Vernon's home studio, where Startisha continued to come together with contributions from Vernon, Ryan Olson (Gayngs, Polica), Swamp Dogg, Velvet Negroni, Francis and the Lights, and regular collaborators Amanda Blank and Micah James. The guest spots came together "very organically. I originally didn't want any features at all. Over time, meeting people and sharing the record with them, things just kind of happened."

              For Juwan, the challenge inherent in Startisha was to “write songs from a personal place, and to write love songs – both things I’ve never done before.” The album kicks off with a gorgeous cover of the Silver Apples classic "You and I," reinterpreted for today's fraught times. He describes “Stone Harbor” as “a simple love song to my boyfriend, written in and name after the shore town he and his family spend their summers, Stone Harbor, NJ.” On “Simulation,” the album’s first proper single, Juwan offers a kind of treatise of creative resistance on art and culture. “I had been reading a few books, such as Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art, and they helped me solidify feelings I’ve had all of my life about surviving a society of institutions that presents fictions as fact, and often use these fictions to diminish my worth, or to convince me to join their gangs. So I wrote this song to remind myself, and hopefully everyone that hears it, that nothing is real, and our greatest defense in this life is our own creativity, and finding great faith in whatever sigils and icons we choose to guide us.”

              TRACK LISTING

              A
              01/ You And I
              02/ Simulation (feat. Swamp Dogg, Justin Vernon)
              03/ Let Us Rave (feat. Velvet Negroni)
              04/ Woo Woo Woo (feat. Amanda Blank, Micah James)
              05/ Us
              B
              06/ Stone Harbor
              07/ Right Here
              08/ Startisha
              09/ Tiger Song

              Eve Owen

              Don't Let The Ink Dry

                The debut album from British singer/songwriter Eve Owen, Don’t Let the Ink Dry, is a work of raw sensitivity and uncontained imagination, brought to life over the course of three transformative years. During that time, the 20-year-old artist spent her summer holidays writing and recording in New York with The National’s Aaron Dessner, immersing herself in a creative exploration that provided welcome refuge from her sometimes-troubled school life. As she discovered an entirely new sense of freedom and belonging, Owen devised a sonic language all her own: frenetic yet delicate, mercurial yet nuanced enough to capture the most ephemeral of feelings. Produced by Dessner at Long Pond Studio (a converted old farmhouse deep in the Hudson Valley), Don’t Let the Ink Dry finds Owen embracing her affinity for folk music while pursuing the endless possibilities in electronic experimentation.

                “I’ve often felt a bit uncomfortable in myself, and I love how that came out in the music,” says Owen. “I don’t really care for songs that flow just right or have a perfect cadence—I’d rather there be some sort of unnerving element to them. I think Aaron and I are both attracted to weirdness in music, and we instinctively went after that without really even talking about it.” For his part, Dessner reflects on the first day of their collaboration: “Eve came up to visit the studio for a day a few years ago when she was 16. I thought we would record one song but we ended up working on several in just one day. By the next morning she had written a few more songs based on her experience the previous day. This prolific songwriting continued throughout our work together. Every morning there would be new songs, written sometimes overnight. I’ve been lucky to work with some incredibly talented artists and it was clear to me immediately that Eve was deeply gifted, expressing herself with such force and sincerity on essentially her first proper recording day at Long Pond. I was spellbound.”

                TRACK LISTING

                1/ Tudor
                2/ Lover Not Today
                3/ Mother
                4/ After The Love
                5/ For Redemption
                6/ Bluebird
                7/ She Says
                8/ I Used To Dream In Color
                9/ So Still For You
                10/ Blue Moon
                11/ 29 Daisy Sweetheart
                12/ A Lone Swan


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