Margaret Ayre of Fern Knight

Margaret Ayre

Margaret Ayre

Alberto MonteroClaroscuro

When Fern Knight was on tour in Spain, we had the opportunity to play a show with Alberto. He was playing solo that night, just him with his acoustic guitar, and his magical voice. He really fleshed out his work on his new LP with full beautiful orchestrations (strings, brass, piano, drums, bass). I got this LP in September and found it to be the perfect soundtrack for the fifth season, playing it en route to the beach. Brings to mind Milton Nascimento’s Clube Da Esquina, but singing is in Spanish, not Portuguese.

ArboreaRed Planet

Arborea have really hit their stride with this LP, and their dreamy somnolent vibe is readily apparent with the opening instrumental track “A Fossil Sea,” where Buck’s electric guitar/slide playing shines through. Shanti is showing more colours with her singing on this album, especially on tracks “Spain” and “Song for Obol” – gorgeous breathy high registers and full lows. One of my favorites that gets stuck in my head often is “Arms and Horses.”

P J HarveyLet England Shake

Back in the 90s I was a big P J Harvey fan, saw the Rid of Me tour, loved her Peel Sessions, her collaboration with Nick Cave on the Murder Ballads album… and then I stopped paying attention for whatever reason. I heard her interview this winter on NPR and then immediately had to listen to the whole album, and I found I really loved hearing her voice again. The whole album’s vibe, recorded in a remote church in Dorset and the fact that it’s a concept album appealed to me. The title track is my fave, with its slightly out of tune use of the autoharp.