In an earlier post, I wrote about how I am gingerly stepping back into the world of pop music and doing so from the point of view of one who is profoundly ignorant of much that is going on today.
The upside of this, as I mentioned, is that the joy of new discoveries is practically on the level that it was when I first began to explore the music as a teenager.
Of course, it's not quite the same. Unlike those virgin years, I now have a very broad knowledge of all music, not only from my own collecting but also from taking academic courses on the subject. So whenever I hear anything new, I'm also aware of what influenced it – to a greater or lesser extent.
Take the band "Six Organs Of Admittance" for example. Not really a band, these are the recordings (mostly home recordings) of multi-instrumentalist Ben Chasny. Chasny's music is meditative and contains elements of folk, drones, Eastern musical forms, avant-garde experimental, and ambient music. I hear elements of the more experimental sounds of The Velvet Underground and the 1970s German underground, the psychedelic styles of Donovan and The Incredible String Band, the gothic experimentation of Nico, the folk guitar virtuosity of artists such as Bert Jansch and the synthesizer sonics of artists such as Brian Eno.
That's quite a blend, and nothing I've heard before is quite like this. This makes listening to Six Organs Of Admittance one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had in a while. I picked up two albums recently "The Sun Awakens" and "Asleep On The Floodplain" (a wonderful title for one who has spent a lot of time exploring the Mississippi and Missouri valleys) and both are delightful. The video is to a song that's not on these records, but it's entirely representative of Chasny's deeply peaceful art.