A couple record recommendations for the gloom and the grey:
Mount Eerie (with Julie Doiron and Fred Squire), Lost Wisdom. A record built upon a wire connected between two voices and two hearts, it hangs on a gorgeous simple open precipice for 25 minutes. Inviting, soft melodies between two voices that can sing so simply and tenderly you wouldn’t notice the electric guitars and lack of real percussion. The songs simply are Phil Elverum’s melodies, Julie puts the extra meat on the bone. On a dark day, this is the light. Cannot recommend enough. Ever.
Midlake, The Trials of Van Occupanther. Songs built around very dynamic, textured sounds – lots of guitars and bass – you get the feeling that these guys have played together for a long time. Lyrically, the phrasing is really interesting. They string more syllables into each line than I thought was possible, yet it never sounds crowded or rushed. The music is warm and dark, like you’re walking through the forest on a day like today but you’re walking quickly because you’re afraid that you’re not alone. Everyone dropped the Fleetwood Mac reference with this band, but I never picked up on that. Listen to “Bandits” and the guitar tone will put you in a nice little state, I guarantee it. It’s very tender music.
John Fahey, The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party & Other Excursions. The man himself said it was “a histrionic, disorganised outpouring of blather” but I think he was wrong. A guitar record to get one hundred percent lost in. This will eat you alive. The 19 minute title track plays with musical themes in a way that not much else does. Fahey dives deep and comes up for air – when he does, the melodies astound and the guitar excites. He gets a little psych-y, too. This is a record to lose yourself in today.