The Sentinel

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Category Archives: Freak Folk

Fursaxa – Russian Snow Queen

Some droney folk for wintery nights from the 2005 album ‘Lepidoptera’.

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No-Neck Blues Band – Untitled 1

Eerie folk from the Harlem collective’s 2001 album ‘Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones But Names Will Never Hurt Me’. The band are in full Hillbilly voodoo mode here, with a track that sounds a bit like Biota without all of the studio processing; or John Fahey with a backing band and creepy acid.

Fursaxa – Firefly

Freak folk from Tara Burke’s album ‘Mandrake’ released in the year 2000. If this had come out post-2003, no doubt the David Keenans of this world would have labelled it ‘New Weird America’, or something. Minimal and monolithic; also effective.

Danielle Dax – Cutting The Last Sheaf

Creepy avant-folk from Dax’s 1983 album ‘Pop-Eyes’.

Fursaxa – Troglodytes

Tara Burke makes perfect music for frosty winters; or even sweltering summers. Whatever the weather, you’ll feel as though you are in the deep, deep woods. This is from 2016’s ‘Immured’ album.

The One Ensemble Of Daniel Padden – Singing Norway To Sleep

Languid, otherly folk music from one of the Volcano The Bear members. This is from the incredible 2006 album ‘The Owl Of Fives’.

Ginnungagap – Duel Ravens

Droning folky doings from Anthony Sylvester and Stephen O’Malley’s Ginnungagap (named after the yawning void from Norse mythology) project. From the album Remeindre (2004). This void is warm and cosy.

Faust – Miss Fortune

Faust’s debut album was a dizzying collage of avant-rock, noise, freak folk, and everything in between; it was certainly radical at the time, and would still unsteady the uninitiated to this very day. The third track, which covered the whole of side B, continued in this cut up style, and takes the listener on a journey through the 1971 German underground. One minute you feel like you’re walking through a beautiful meadow, only to suddenly be confronted by a hideous industrial structure belching smoke. Also, check the section where the band clearly took direct inspiration from the Velvet Underground’s ‘The Murder Mystery’.

Biota – Rackabones (Full Album)

Incredible stuff from the American band. This was after they’d changed their name from Mnemonists, and forged forward as the musical project Biota. Under the new moniker, the collective were quieter; more discrete. However, the music oozes towards you in an extremely unsettling manner; rolling, cracking, clumping, and dissolving then reforming before your very eyes. This is the whole album from 1985.

[0:00] “Vagabones: Part I”
[26:39] “Vagabones: Part II”
[52:59] “Rackabones: Part I”
[1:11:02] “Rackabones: Part II”

Volcano The Bear – Burnt Seer

Weirdo English folk with strong hints of This Heat and, of course, Robert Wyatt. This is from their 2007 album ‘Amidst The Noise And Twigs’ from Beta-Lactam records.

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