Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Not everything with an acoustic guitar is folk

January 25, 2012

Rebecca Zapen’s delicate “Swamp Pit” sways with a charm reminiscent of a stately, classy woman leaning over to you and unexpectedly revealing her affections. There’s no big move or huge shift; it’s just a lovely little waltz. The lyrics are wonderful and perfectly matched to the melodies, as well.

Torn Shoe Records, which is run by quirky acoustic dudes The Mothafolkin’ Soul, will soon release a comp called Torn Shoe Vol. 1. The release includes TMS, The Cimarron Music Show, Timmy Lane, Arthur Elias, and Josh Hathcock. You can check out two tracks from it at the label’s Bandcamp. Both are really earnest, melodic acoustic tunes without the polished sheen of John Mayer or Matt Nathanson.

It seems that I am obsessed with the indie music of Australia. The number of bands from down under that I’ve been repping is now close to ten with the addition of Smith & Frank. Their gentle ambient/acoustic tune “Charlie” is more concrete than most ambient tracks, but less structured than most acoustic-pop. The well-handled balance of spacious vibe and layered arrangement results in a unique and interesting experience. I’m definitely looking forward to more tunes from this duo.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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