Spectre Folk Goes Folk Spectre, Transcends Spectral Folk

So Pete Nolan’s “Spectre” act is now known as The Folk Spectre. I think. I can’t keep up with this shit. Anyways, I’m not sure why the name changed again, but what I do know is that Nolan’s latest offering, The Blackest Medicine is really fucking good.

In recent years, Nolan has been dabbling in a extremely lo-fi folk sound that sounds like the ramblings of long forgotten ghosts. On The Blackest Medicine Nolan still occasionally brings out his creaky, ethereal folk, but he is now moving beyond that, utilizing elements of psychedelic that really push his Folk Spectre sound to the next level.

After opening with a double shot of stripped-down, haunting folk on “The Blackest Medicine” and “Like So Many Ships,” Nolan turns us on our heads with a strung-out explosion of psyche folk on “Space Station Zebra” that sounds like C. Spencer Yeh coming down from a drug trip. Lots of spacey electric guitar that floats over the mix and spirals around before dissolving into thin air. Good shit.

Album standout “Brooklyn Tree Beats” continues in this vein, as we see Nolan bringing us an epic psyche folk piece that’s heavy on the ambiance. Nolan’s distant wails can be heard behind a meandering percussive march and a tapestry of paranormal guitar noise on this 8+ minutes long stunner. If the opening songs on The Blackest Medicine represent the surreal experience of an encounter with a specter, then the mid-portion of the album must be the journey into the crypt.

The last thing I heard from this act was Requiem for Ming Aralia, which was steeped entirely in barren, low fidelity folk sensibilities. The Blackest Medicine takes things one step further, expanding the Folk Spectre sound without losing any of its initial charm. Support good music. Buy it. But hurry, it’s limited to 500 copies on vinyl.


~ by theoberlander on January 21, 2008.

One Response to “Spectre Folk Goes Folk Spectre, Transcends Spectral Folk”

  1. […] Solo tunes by Pete Nolan of the Magik Markers, GHQ, Vanishing Voice, Virgin Eye Blood Brothers, etc. The feeling is dark and fucked up and somehow sublime. A solid statement of loner home-made goodness. A pop statement from behind a veil of dirt.Full on handsome review over at The Oberlander. […]

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