Proud Peasant – Communion (Basement Avatar Records)

Nothing is off-limits for this ambitious, large-scale concept... Well, it's taken a while, but alongside autumn's arrival comes Communion, the sophomore album from Austin, Texas-based Xander Rapstine and his band of merry musicians collectively known as Proud Peasant. Their 2014 debut Flight has been a mainstay on my stereo system since its release (occasionally joined..

Auri – II: Those We Don’t Speak Of (Nuclear Blast)

The honeyed voice of Johanna Kurkela glides over the lush empyrean chords of Kiss The Mountain, the remarkably beautiful halfway point of Auri's sophomore release Those We Don't Speak Of. It's an unusual placement in the running order; other bands might have chosen such a piece to close their album, drifting off like a lullaby...

Jordsjø – Pastoralia (Karisma)

There came a point midway through Pastoralia, the new album from Nordic folk-proggers Jordsjø, where I realized they might be on to something with the switch from monochromatic cover art to a decidedly more vibrant impression. The Oslo-based outfit have been on a steady incline for several years, with recent albums Jord and Nattfiolen garnering..

Grumblewood – Stories Of Strangers (Gravity Dream)

Exquisite, skillful, rich in imagination and feel... The debut album from Grumblewood plays like a lost classic. It certainly doesn't have much 21st century about it, and yet it's a wonderfully refreshing change. You see, this quartet from Wellington, New Zealand merrily ignores boundaries, feeling every bit at home playing trippy bass lines and groovin'..