Neil Young is many things: godfather of grunge; massively influential singer-songwriter; inimitable electric guitarist; world-class oddball. For every After the Gold Rush or Ragged Glory there's an album that makes even his most ardent admirers scratch their heads. A concept work about fuel-efficient cars? Check. Meandering improvised soundtracks? Coupla those. Kraftwerk-inspired new wave? Oh, definitely. On June 5, when Young's new Americana comes out, you can add lumbering distorto versions of traditional folk songs to the list, too. It's just the latest unpredictable left turn in a career full of them. So saddle up and steel yourself for the untamed wilderness of Neil Young's strangest albums.
Over the course of her nearly decade-long career as Grouper, Liz Harris has become a master of all things overcast. Her ambient compositions and waterlogged ballads are like fogged-up windows — bleary enough to indicate the bleakness inside, but only its vaguest outlines. There’s suggestion of something heartbreaking, but its true shape remains occluded, unobtainable,… More »