Review: Bibio – Sleep on the Wing

The closing and 10th track off Bibio’s Sleep on the Wing, “Watching Thus, The Heron Is All Pool”, is arguably the new record’s finest moment. Like some of the tracks on Ribbons, from 2019, the song wraps itself in the adornments of mid-20th century British folk – the acoustic guitar and accompanying strings do magical little flights…

Review: Clara Engel – “Hatching Under the Stars”

“To Keep the Ghost at Bay” opens Clara Engel’s new LP – their 28th release on Bandcamp, out digitally on 5 April – and it gives, no hyperbole, a masterclass in minimalist expansion. The song, like most the pieces on the excellent Hatching Under the Stars, is built around the spacy cycles of a spindly, repeating 4/4…

Review: Tender Mercy – “War Within”

Under the moniker Tender Mercy, musician Mark Kramer creates eerie and unnerving skeletons of songs out of little more than a few carefully plucked notes on guitar, some semi-whispered vocals and valleys upon tender valleys of reverb. He has a new record, title: War Within, out this month on Louisville label Obsolete Staircases and it…

REVIEW: Yes Selma – “Songs of Happiness”

When Chad Beattie, a 24-year-old from Baltimore, first told me about his bedroom project Yes Selma – a Dancer In The Dark nod – he referenced a lot of the Drag City musicians adored by those in the lo-fi singer-songwriter boom of the 1980s and 1990s. And, yes, listening to Yes Selma’s ambitious and ironically…

REVIEW: Wilt – “Hand Mirror”

Portland’s Taylor Malsey presents listeners with some warbled tunes and an inviting, warm blanket of melancholia on the excellent Wilt debut Hand Mirror, out now on Good Cheer Records. And, though it’s mostly a record for people who like their music with bumps and cracks in it, all in all, it’s pretty enveloping stuff. The…

BOOK REVIEW: Bill Callahan – “I Drive A Valence: The Collected Lyrics”

Singer-songwriter Bill Callahan might be known more for his early lo-fi aesthetic and morose Minimalist middle period than the pensive Leonard Cohen-isms of his lyrics, but it’s not for lack of trying. So goes the thesis of I Drive A Valence, a Drag City-published book that finds Callahan cherry-picking selections from his finest lyrics and…