Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Reviews:: Folk Music for the End of the World

Yerbird is the little label that could. They are about to release J Tillman's new record, and as a nice amuse bouche, they have compiled a collection of amazing folk artists called Folk Music for the End of the World.

The record is a nice mix of big hitters and relatively unknown artists, but the talent is pretty consistent throughout. From the slow burning Alina Simone track - Gunshots - to the end of the world anthem by Hezekiah Jones - Mississippi Sea - this record is fantastic record that gets better with each listen. I've only had the record for a few hours, but I can't stop listening.

I'm not sure how the label managed to wrangle all of these artists, but almost every track stands out. Mississippi Sea uses Raphael's trademark vocal narrative, but the presence of a lovely steel guitar is a welcome addition to the band's normal work. Canadian songwriter Hayden adds a fantastic track, Message from London, which grows from a simple acoustic riff into a rollicking sing-along track. J Tillman's song - Barter Blues - is a chilling song as desolate as a late night drive on the highway leading out of town. As usual, Matthew Ryan delivers a breathtaking song (Gone for Good) that you can't help but listen to again and again.

But to be fair, with these artists, you expect greatness. For me it was the smaller acts like Oweihops (whose track Sad Little Drunks is an emotional tour de force that brings to mind Jeremy Chatelain of Cub Country), the Waits-y vibe of The Gunshy and former Jagjaguwar artist Sarah White that really won me over. It's the type of release that makes you want to scour myspace pages looking for great music. Nic Garcia's Torn Up in the Machine is an exhaustive track that draws you in from the first note. Too Much Too Quickly (Travel by Sea) is a polished number that brings to mind Richmond Fountaine's ability to craft a setting with only the simplest of musical backdrops.

The record is full of diverse tracks and well worth the 12 bucks the label is charging for it. If you love great folk, and believe in supporting small run music, kill two (yer)birds with one stone and pick up this comp. I'm posting two songs with label permission, and hopefully any other bloggers who stumble onto the release will resist the temptation of posting the big name artists. The label worked too hard to give this gold away.

MP3:: Sad Little Drunks - Oweihops
MP3:: Part of the Story - Sarah White

Posted at 4:49 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 8:07 PM, Anonymous mrindago did sayeth:

I've been listening to this album all week and I have to agree. I can't stop listening. Chris Bathgate's track, A Flash of Light Followed By, is my top pick off this incredible release. Also, I can't wait for the new J. Tillman album Yer Bird is set to release hopefully next week!


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