Archives for posts with tag: Kranky Records

Wisdom for Debris, Eluvium

Ghost Trees is a blog with (apparently) 2 posts per year. Prolificacy has always been the specialty here.

I’ll cut the crap. Last year on my blog I wrote about lists. I still do not like them.

I was asked to contribute to Decoder Magazine’s end-of-year features again this year (Last year I wrote an ode to Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse and Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia. You can find the feature here: “More Yellow Birds and Lunch Box Blues“), which I did. And when my feature is posted, it will be clear that I again skirted the actual topic of commenting on a list for 2014. So here I go and post a list on my blog anyway. I don’t know. There is a sixteen-year-old in me still following through on some kind of silly tradition that I started.

Rank Artist Album Label
1 Swans To Be Kind Young God Records
2 Grouper Ruins Kranky
3 Eluvium Wisdom For Debris (self)
4 The War on Drugs Lost in the Dream Secretly Canadian
5 Have a Nice Life The Unnatural World Enemies List Home Recordings
6 Fennesz Bécs Touch
7 Dads I’ll Be The Tornado 6131 Records
8 Owls Two Polyvinyl
9 Maxwell August Croy and Sean McCann I Students of Decay
10 Horseback Piedmont Apocrypha Three Lobed Recordings
11 Fire! Orchestra Enter! Rune Grammofon
12 Adult Jazz Gist Is Spare Thought
13 Thee Silver Mount Zion Hang On To Each Other Constellation Records
14 Orcas Yearling Morr Music
15 Inventions Inventions Temporary Residence
16 Rivulets I Remember Everything Jellyfant Records
17 Christopher Willits Opening Ghostly International
18 Wolves of the Throne Room Celestite Artemesia Records
19 Alex Cobb Marigold and Cable Shelter Press
20 Sun Kil Moon Benji Caldo Verde

That Swans record is a monster. For other people who have read my blog before, you might see some familiar faces like Owls, Horsback, Fire! Orchestra, Rivulets, Grouper, etc.

The year was an interesting one in listening to music for me. I got hooked on a lot more older stuff, and did a good deal of traveling with the day job and on vacation. This meant fewer times with a computer or plugged in, limiting my music carrying capacity to a few old apple products and somewhere in the range of twelve GB. Great new musical seductions – that War on Drugs one surprised me!

I’ll look forward to doing more writing for Decoder Magazine in 2015. And the other news for me is that I’m leaving Berlin to move back to San Francisco, so my music access points will change again, and I’m sure my list(?) next year will be quite different.



The first quarter of 2012 is beginning to wrap up, so I decided I would write up a bit about my favorite releases that have surprised me so far this year. As is the case every year, a large part of the beginning of the year is spent discovering parts of the previous year’s music that I missed upon initial release. For me specifically, this includes the Miasmah Records release Bunny, by Simon Scott, the Fonal Records album Nääksää nää mun kyyneleet by Tuuskanuuskat, and Illuha’s Shizuku, from 12k. Truly beautiful music that I can highly recommend. Taking a look at more recent releases, I would love to send praise to the following albums.

From the Mouth of the Sun – Woven Tide – Experimedia – 2012

Experimedia gave us the tremendously beautiful Lawrence English release in 2011. So I was fortunate and excited to find this treasure (From the Mouth of the Sun) in the mail during our weekly music listening night at KZSU. The release is a collaboration between Dag Rosenqvist and Aaron Martin and it combines everything I love about experimentation and ambient music. Many of the avant and ambient outlets have praised it, but I would like to reiterate why it is so affecting. Glacial instrumental music can lack a human connection, but From the Mouth of the Sun absolutely forges one. It connects in a way that vocal music can, in those rare instances when the lyrics are tasteful and are the only way to express a certain feeling. From the Mouth of the Sun can unnerve me the same way that Godspeed You! Black Emperor does; it can wash all over me the way Talk Talk does; it can share an aching sentiment better than Mark Kozelek. I whipped together a review (for internal radio DJs) that you can read here.

Plante – Harvest – Fedora Corpse Recordings – 2012

As my dear friend, DJ awyeh writes in his review, “Fedora Corpse strikes gold again!” This beautiful clear piece of vinyl is a guitar drone record by Andrew Plante out of Kansas City. The theme is spaced-out sustain and celestial hovering. Just a great thing to put on when you’re nodding off, or are bleary-eyed in some relaxed state. Fedora Corpse is a wonderful label. Too bad Comoros and Rat Catching couldn’t make it to the KZSU 2012 Day of Noise!

Windy & Carl – We Will Always Be – Kranky Records – 2012

I have pretty much always been a Kranky Records groupie. A Winged Victory For the Sullen was easily one of my favorites from last year. Their first release from this year is another fine entry into the impenetrable catalog. Windy & Carl doesn’t move into new territory with this one; it’s not the kind of interesting collaboration that they had with Heavy Winged a few years back. No, We Will Always Be simply pushes my buttons the way my favorite albums do. The overwhelming melodic drones, layers, feedback, vocal loops — it all warms me in an exciting, loving way. The feeling is a physical one and it reminds me why I listen to music. It would be an incredible experience to hear this in a live setting — not only taking in the blissful waves, but also feeling the physical reverberations. And I have another useless review to augment the praise.

Stay tuned for my new radio show time for April – June. Until then, listen to a lot of great music (hopefully some of it on KZSU)!



It’s time for my end-of-year list of musical goodies that touched my ears. What a wonderful year of listening! If you are struggling to find out more information about a specific release, let me know and I can possibly direct you in the correct direction. But for the most part, google is everyone’s friend.

1 Josh T. Pearson Last of the Country Gentlemen Mute Records
2 Grouper A I A : Alien Observer / Dream Loss Mississippi Records
3 Lumerians Transmalinnia Knitting Factory Records
4 Rivulets We’re Fucked Important Records
5 I Am Oak Oasem Snowstar Records
6 Haunted House Blue Ghost Blues Northern Spy Records
7 A Winged Victory for the Sullen A Winged Victory for the Sullen Kranky Records
8 Demian Johnston & Mink Stole Trailed and Kept Debacle Records
9 Starving Weirdos Rolled in the Mist of Never Ceasing Currents Without a Rest Forever Onward Bo’Weavil Recordings
10 Tim Hecker Ravedeath, 1972 Kranky Records
11 Blue Angels Isidora Digitalis
12 Oren Ambarchi/Robbie Avenaim Dream Request Bo’Weavil Recordings
13 Sean McCann The Capital Aguirre Records
14 Colin Stetson New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges Constellation Records
15 Deaf Center Owl Splinters Type Records
16 Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier L’Enfant Sauvage Aguirre Records
17 Implodes Black Earth Kranky Records
18 Warm Ghost Uncut Diamond EP Partisan Records
19 Borden, Ferraro, Godin, Halo & Lopatin FRKWYS Vol. 7: Borden, Ferraro, Godin, Halo & Lopatin Rvng Intl
20 Daughters of the Sun Ghost With Chains Not Not Fun
21 Sundrips Just a Glimpse Debacle Records
22 Gnod InGnodWeTrust Rocket Recordings
23 Tidal / Motion Sickness of Time Travel Tidal / Motion Sickness of Time Travel Tranquility Tapes
24 Voder Deth Squad 1 Stunned Records
25 Thee Oh Sees Carrion Crawler / The Dream In The Red Records