30/30 blues folk revisited review rock

bob dylan – blonde on blonde (1966)

Clarice Lispector’s 1973 work ‘Agua Viva’ is written in the syllabic flow of a perfect novel, but expressed through streaming narratives and hellishly opaque metaphor. An outline. I think Bob Dylan had the same idea on ‘Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands’ – to write passively with lyrical latitude and have faith that between alien […]

21/30 art pop folk

gaye su akyol – anadolu ejderi 

On her maximalist fourth album, Gaye Su Akyol again makes expressive use of the burnt tremor in her voice, this time singing directly to Istanbul. Through its baroque psych-rock, the record blazes through its themes without deference to taste and/or accessibility. This is certainly Akyol’s most anti-pop album to date, as she takes the scenic […]

30/30 folk revisited review singer-songwriter

elliott smith – either/or (1997)

Elliott Smith packed more melody into a double-tracked whisper than would be expected in a Glee cover of Mariah Carey. He can also say ‘fuck’ with more power than any outlandish, testosterone-steaming ‘rockstar’. Either/Or is like the shadow of a pop hit—Brian Wilson might have written it if he spent the 1960s leaning musically into […]

24/30 folk jazz

the wau wau collectif – mariage

The Wau Wau Colectif found each other when Karl Jonas Winqvist was stranded in Toubab Dialaw, an hour down the coast from Dakar. He encountered local musicians in a spirited artistic community and, when he returned to Sweden, traded Whatsapp notes until a debut was born. Mariage is their second record, pieced together without hiding […]

26/30 folk hip-hop

quadeca – i didn’t mean to haunt you

Quadeca is a YouTube rapper who made his name through clickbaity disstracks at fellow streamers. That should tell you everything you need to know about the quality of this record, but “I Didn’t Mean to Haunt You” defies all expectations. The grandiose, genre-spanning concept-album is written from Quadeca’s own purgatory, where a lifetime’s worth of […]

28/30 folk revisited review singer-songwriter

linda perhacs – parallelograms (1970)

It’s tempting to draw on some familiar names to help convey this record, but I’ll resist. That might validate the fact that Parallelograms went practically unheard until its 2003 reissue. It is a unique album, from a unique composer. The wistfulness is in tune with a woodland Aesop fable, but Perhacs’ folk isn’t a sun-glazed frolic […]

26/30 folk revisited review rock

geoffrey oryema – exile (1990)

The cover of Exile poses two possible scenarios: the person is being thrown, or they are raising their head as an expression of openness. The status of ‘exile’ holds the same dualism—free, in theory only, to go anywhere but your home. The record is a story of youthful longing, and we imagine the protagonist walking […]

23/30 folk singer-songwriter

benjamin clementine – and i have been

Familiarising his eccentric spirit, Benjamin Clementine has produced a big-hearted record that swoops down to greet the listener. It is still unpredictable, but the force conducting ‘And I Have Been’ is benevolent—more like a guide than some epistemically distant energy. Clementine has a deep, timeless presence in his work. Here, he seems to connect history […]

26/30 album of the week folk singer-songwriter

natalia lafourcade – de todas las flores

It will surprise no one that Natalia Lafourcade has made a beautiful album. It might surprise some that she has made this beautiful album. De Todas Las Flores is more muffled in essence than her previous records. It has a quiet, life-affirming warmth that cuddles the narrative maturation through love and love lost, taking into […]