This sounds not so much Iron as Ginseng and not so much Wine as it does Sleepy Time Tea. It's laden with freak-folk cliches (weird song titles, under-acted vocals, old tyme packaging, could an Arthur covershot be in the future? etc.) but get over it, so is nearly everything else in this genre... I'm sayin' its worth yr dime anyway (instead of buying that Iron and Wine/Calexico thing, p'haps). I just listened to it as I ushered in the morning with my coffee and cigarette (down to one ciggie a day now, two on the weekends, hah, I'm even storing my beloved English Ovals in the cigar humidifier to keep 'em fresh).
Rather than try to get the gist of it from the MP3s linked to below, the record/CD really deserves to be heard as a whole as it starts out very quietly with "Puke a Pitch Black Rainbow to the Sun" (yes, I know but that's the title) and follows up with "Claimant Reclaimed" (with a indescribable jarring percussion/feedback sound that eeps out in the middle of the chorus - talk about yer hooks), the field-recording damaged "Lost in Forests" and my favorite song-title "Ape Thanks Lamb" and finally ends with his most powerful song on this collection "Vapour Steals the Glow"... (9 songs in all). As his label notes, this is "deceptively low-key" and if you listen to it as intended (no distractions, no TV, although midieval art books are allowed) it seems to trigger an emotional state that will take your breath away before the cigarettes do.
I'd recommend it for those neo-folk fans that like their stuff quiet and a little less commercial than the current kings of that scene (Sam Beam, uh, Kings of Convenience, etc.) - more like M. Ward, I guess, even down to the shared first initial of the name (M. Sweet) but less all over the place and more, if that's possible, minimalist in his approach. Sweet's influences draw from the same well as KoC - turtle-neck Simon and Garfunkel pop-folk but he brings in the Banhart/Animal Collective/Six Organs joy for the undiscovereds of the 60's/70's pschedelic scene. More to the point, if you liked the Red Hash reissue this past summer you might like this as it shares some of the same sense of quiet foreboding - "Grains" is perhaps the best example of this.
Songs (direct linked from Boduf Songs original label page):
"Puke a Pitch Black Rainbow to the Sun"
(note: if Blue Baby objects to direct-linking, please let me know and will take down)
- Read what other blogs are saying about Boduf Songs:
- Blue Baby Recordings is Mat Sweet's homepage/label - plenty of other music to check out there
- ADDENDUMEMUM: Mystery and Misery beat me to it - plus they have (legal) links to even more cuts (including "Ape Thanks Lamb" and "Vapour Steals the Glow" (the awesome closer).
Originally self-released/self-recorded as a CD-R and sent out to record labels as a demo, Kranky listened to it and decided to release it without re-recording. I got it for $12.00 plus shipping through Forced Exposure - here's their description (which probably came from Kranky):
"Boduf Songs is Mat Sweet, who lives in Southampton, England. He recorded some songs for Kranky as demos in early 2005 at home with an acoustic guitar, some cymbals, violin bow, toy piano, manipulated field recordings and a computer. With less than ideal equipment and under less than ideal conditions, he created songs with memorable melodies, artful arrangements and carefully placed effects that lend an air of surrealism to the album. Deceptively low key, Boduf Songs skirts between singer-songwriter, psychedelic, home recorder and folk modes, bringing an obtuse, angular minimalism to these forms. Listening to this music visions of a beautiful spring day in an English meadow come to mind.Note to self: Get motivated - this weekend is a vinyl cleaning weekend! Yay to rain and insipid Xtian gatherings on the Mall since both keep me inside cleaning vinyl.