From faithful solo sets to Television-indebted deconstructions, 2013 has been a renaissance to the fingerstyle guitar. And more so than any year, American Primitive ain't just for loners anymore.
All Songs Considered posts about Viking's Choice
With acoustic guitar in hand and a voice like browned butter, Walker swings and sways throughout a lush string-and-piano arrangement of "The West Wind."
There's something blurrily manic about cable television at 3 in the morning. The production team behind the "Wojtek" video has been there, as zombies eat ninjas in a celebrity chef's kitchen and, well, it'd be a shame to spoil it for you.
World War IV features what's become James Jackson Toth's own Crazy Horse: a crew of Birmingham, Ala., musicians who lock in like a hound around the neck of a boar. It's all gnarly and distorted and downtrodden, big-men-with-big-feelings kind of stuff.
The San Francisco gutter mutants spew psychedelic noise and plastered punk in their new video. CCR Headcleaner features former members of like-minded bands The Hospitals and Long Legged Woman.
The body-rattling stoner-metal band hides rhythmic tricks under distortion and double guitar solos.
The Salt Lake City doom-metal band SubRosa isn't out to reinvent the stone wheel, but it does offer a unique perspective by looking back to America's melancholic folk roots for something darker and more soulful.
Listening to High Aura'd, it's apparent that creator John Kolodij hears life with great clarity. Fittingly, director Kenneth Linehan's 16mm-shot video for "Remain in Light" documents the oft-unseen moments of snails in beautiful detail.
Even as the world falls around the black-metal band's shifting song, there's nuance at play.
The track barrels out of a reverb tunnel like a Birthday Party song on a psychotropic bender.
Punks seem to get all the skateboarding videos. Why shouldn't a metallic and cavernous noise band?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Goth kids like to dance, too. With "The Warden," the surreal singer-songwriter brings her foggy, mysterious sound into the club.
True Widow's stoner-rock and shoegaze mix trudges with back-breaking heft. Turn it up on a good pair of speakers or headphones, and "Four Teeth" rattles like a heavier bummer jam from Neil Young's Zuma, complete with one-string guitar solos.
Two Inch Astronaut explodes with a twisted riff and a nasty bass line out of The Dismemberment Plan or Frodus. Reckless and irresponsibly catchy, this is nerd music for who those who plug in.
Kwaidan's "The Sound of This Bell" drifts around your brain like a mist of evaporated blood.