Friday, August 1, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Lichen “shake my bones” (Lungbasket)

                There is just a certain something about Lichen that makes “shake my bones” seem so familiar that I instantly fell in love with it.   At its roots, it is a collection of folk songs, yet they are presented in an almost bedroom/lo-fi way that makes them perfect for cassette as well.   Though they really don’t sound like Mumford & Sons, for example, I believe that Mumford and, yes, even his sons wouldn’t sound this good on cassette.

                Between the acoustic guitar comes what I believe to be a banjo and perhaps also a fiddle.   The female vocals are reminiscent of Becca Parks or Rachel Jacobs, and just come out rather well.   It is a complimentary style of folk that sometimes tells stories and other times just makes me think of “The Muppet Movie” with Kermit the Frog sitting in a swamp, singing his songs.

                But there is where the odd aspect of this comes from, which I believe is what also makes it that much better on the whole.    As much as this draws pictures in my imagination of someone sitting in a rocking chair on front porches or as I mentioned earlier of being in the backwoods swampy marshes, there is also this overall feel like this was recorded straight to cassette by someone, sitting on their bed.    The combination may or may not feel like it should work- I don’t know, I’ve never really given it much thought before- but Lichen does find a way to make it work inexplicably well. 

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