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'Indie Folk' Bands // p 1

Darren's favorite bands for his Song Of The Day filtered by Indie Folk
371 Bands
Aldous Harding

Aldous Harding

An artist of rare calibre and intensity, Aldous Harding does more than sing. Her body and face a weapon of theatre, Harding dances with steeled fervor in and through an omnium gatherum of emotions.

As a Bunraku puppet transfigures from graceful maiden into gnashing, black-eyed demon, so Harding spins through sinister torch songs, gentle laments and eerie odes. Her debut release with 4AD Party (produced with the award-winning John Parish; PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) introduces a new pulse to the stark and unpopulated dramatic realm where the likes of Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside.

Igniting interest with her eponymous debut album released just two years ago, Aldous Harding quickly become a name murmured on many lips, known for her charismatic combination of talent, tenacity and shrewd wit. The album drew attention and accolades from some of the most illustrious corners of the music industry, receiving 4 stars in MOJO and Uncut, while UK blog The 405 hailed her a “toweringly talented song writer”.

Comprising a formidable clutch of songs, 2017’s Party sees Harding shape-shift through a raft of roles: chanteuse, folk singer and balladeer - all executed with her twisted touch of humour, hubris and quiet horror. In other words, she’s having a good time. Stretching her limbs with playful cunning and steely fervor; every note, word and arrangement posed with intellect and inventiveness.

First single “Horizon” is a lover’s call to arms, shockingly powerful for its brutal simplicity and rawness of feeling, love and loathing colliding to devastating effect. “Aldous Harding repeats the line as a mantra, as a truth, as a reality. It's as if the gift of life is right here, with all its beauty and its limitations”, said NPR.

Renowned for the captivating state of possession she occupies in live performance, Aldous Harding has won crowds the world over playing alongside Deerhunter, Frankie Cosmos and Perfume Genius, as well as to hoards of eager crowds at Great Escape, Golden Plains, SXSW and more. Aldous’ 2017 touring schedule spans Europe, the US and the United Kingdom for much of the year.

Source AldousHarding.com

 'Hunter'

'Hunter'
Monday, August 12, 2019

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 'Titus Groan'

'Titus Groan'
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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 'Imagining My Man'

'Imagining My Man'
Saturday, February 9, 2019

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Beirut

Beirut

Beirut is an American band which was originally the solo musical project of Santa Fe native Zach Condon. Beirut's music combines elements of indie-rock and world music. The band's first performance was in New York, in May 2006, to support its debut album, Gulag Orkestar.

Condon named the band after Lebanon’s capital, because of the city’s history of conflict and as a place where cultures collide. Beirut performed in Lebanon for the first time in 2014, at the Byblos International Festival.

Early years

Zach Condon was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on February 13, 1986. He grew up in Newport News, Virginia, and in Santa Fe. Condon played trumpet in a jazz band as a teenager and cites jazz as a major influence.

Condon attended Santa Fe High School, until dropping out aged 17. Santa Fe's proximity to Mexico exposed Condon to mariachi music. Work at a cinema showing international films piqued his interest in Fellini arias, Sicilian funeral brass and Balkan music.

Cordon attended community college for a short period, before traveling to Europe at the age of 17 with his older brother, Ryan. Condon's exploration of world music developed Beirut's melodic sound. Zach's younger brother Ross Condon played in the Brooklyn-based band Total Slacker.

Gulag Orkestar

Returning from Europe Condon enrolled at the University of New Mexico, where he studied Portuguese and photography. Condon recorded most of the material for Gulag Orkestar alone in his bedroom, finishing the album in a studio with Jeremy Barnes (Neutral Milk Hotel, A Hawk and a Hacksaw) and Heather Trost (A Hawk and a Hacksaw), who became early contributors to the band.

Ba Da Bing! records signed Condon on the strength of the recordings. Condon recruited friends to play Gulag Orkestar's first live shows in New York in May 2006.

Beirut's first music video was for "Elephant Gun". The second video, for "Postcards from Italy", was directed by Alma Har'el. Lon Gisland EP was the full band's first release, in 2007.

Source Wikipedia

 'The Shrew'

'The Shrew'
Monday, September 30, 2019

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 'Prenzlauerberg'

'Prenzlauerberg'
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Charlie Winston

Charlie Winston

Charlie Winston Gleave (born 14 September 1978), better known as Charlie Winston, is an English singer-songwriter based in London. Winston has so far had his most significant commercial success in France.

Charlie played bass guitar for his brother Tom Baxter, appearing on Baxter's Feather and Stone album. As well as touring with Tom, much of Charlie's early career saw him composing music for, and performing in, London-based contemporary theatre productions.

His first ever unreleased and rarest record was Mischifus, a mix between beatbox, guitar and piano, which appeared as a theater/dance production that he had performed on stage in 2007 recorded under the Real World label.

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 'In Your Hands'

'In Your Hands'
Monday, December 16, 2019

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Cotton Jones

Cotton Jones

Cotton Jones (formerly The Cotton Jones Basket Ride) is an indie folk band, with elements of psychedelic folk, dream pop, baroque pop, and Americana, based in Cumberland, Maryland and currently signed to Suicide Squeeze Records.

Michael Nau (born October 31, 1984) is the lead singer-songwriter and plays guitar, Whitney McGraw (born July 20, 1986) is on keyboards, organ, and electronic autoharp, Todd Gowans (born February 4, 1986) is on lead electric guitar, and Greg Bender is on bass.

The signature sound of the band is Michael Nau and his wife Whitney McGraw's ethereal vocals.

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 'Some Strange Rain'

'Some Strange Rain'
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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 'I Am The Changer'

'I Am The Changer'
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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David Ramirez

David Ramirez

We’re Not Going Anywhere: At a historical moment of immense political, social, and ecological uncertainty, those four simple words comprise both a promise and a protest, a comforting reassurance of inclusion as well as a hearty cry of defiance. It’s a statement that offers no small sense of hope, in that sense matching the music contained on the album.

On these vividly imagined and passionately performed songs David Ramirez takes in the world from his unique perspective: “Being half white and half Mexican has made this current political climate especially interesting. So many cultures in this country are being viewed as un-American and it breaks my heart. My family have raised children here, created successful businesses here, and are proud to be a part of this country. Most of what I've seen as of late is misplaced fear. I wanted to write about that fear and how, instead of benefiting us, it sends us spiraling out control.”

The album that bears that title marks a departure for Ramirez, who builds on the rootsy sound of his early albums to create something new, something bold, something anchored in the here and now. Scouting out unexplored music territory, these songs bounce around energetically, toying with new ideas and experimenting with new sounds, as barbed-wire guitars and retro-futuristic synths grind against his anguished vocals and evocative lyrics.

“We flipped script a little bit and went in with a pretty specific vision: lots of keyboards and some out-of-the-box guitar sounds. I took a lot of notes from the indie bands I’ve been listening to and from the bands I loved growing up in the ‘80s, like the Cars and Journey. Let’s just live in this spacy world for a while and see what comes out of it.”

What came out of it isn’t just Ramirez’s most adventurous album to date, but a record that captures the mood of the country in its music as well as in its lyrics. While he does tackle some new subjects, Ramirez grounds these songs in his own perspective, which means every song remains both human and humane, outraged and generous. There are some break-up songs on here, sober and self-castigating: first single “Watching from a Distance” thrums with iridescent synths and a tight backbeat that sounds like lines on the highway measuring the widening rift between lovers. “People Call Who They Wanna Talk To” is Ramirez at his catchiest, marrying a playful earworm hook to a somber realization about romantic irreconcilability: “Don’t blame it on the distance, don’t blame it on the booze… people call who they wanna talk to.” A simple line, but completely devastating.

“This is the first album I’ve had properly produced,” says Ramirez, who either produced or co-produced all of his previous efforts. For We’re Not Going Anywhere, he hired Sam Kassirer, who has helmed albums by Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Bhi Bhiman, and many other artists. “I needed to evolve and change things up a bit, which is why I chose Sam. He pushed me in a way I hadn’t been pushed before.” Kassirer challenged Ramirez to simultaneously simplify and complicate his songwriting, to find new ways to tell his stories. “He said, I want you to try to tell a story but use fewer words and more space. In other words, let’s not make a singer-songwriter record. Let’s make a band record. Once he said that, my mind just opened up in a way it never had before. It was fun to just be more straightforward lyrically. It left a lot of space for the music.”

In January 2017 Ramirez and his band decamped to the Great North Sound Society, an eighteenth-century farmhouse in rural Maine that serves as Kassirer’s studio. Especially in the winter, when the trees are bare and snow blankets the ground, the setting proved inspiring. “It’s very secluded, which was part of the appeal. We were able to get out of our touring headspace and stay completely involved with the record and what we were doing.” That allowed the band to concentrate on the music, to pursue ideas without distractions and misgivings, but it also removed them from the world during a momentous event.

We’re Not Going Anywhere turns that distance into a big-picture perspective— engaged and informed, compassionately political but not necessarily partisan. “We’d take breaks during the day and watch the news and see all the rallies and marches and the disruption and the out-of-control feeling that was everywhere then—and, frankly, still is now. We were looking around and no one was around us. The closest house was a mile away, so it was just us. We were grateful just to retreat from that social tornado for a while and create something that we hoped would be very beautiful.”

Looming over every song is the ghost of Ramirez’s great-grandmother, who inspired “Eliza Jane,” a deeply poignant and personal tune near the album’s conclusion. In gracefully plainspoken lyrics, Ramirez describes how she and her brothers left Oklahoma during the Great Depression, heading northwest to Oregon, where she played piano in a country band. “My mom was telling me this story and the song was writing itself. I wish I had known her, because I’m curious what drove her. I know what drives a lot of my musician friends, but I really want to ask a family member: Why did you do this? Was it just for fun? Was it a passion so deep-rooted that you couldn’t not do it?”

While he may describe the creative process as fun, Ramirez obviously has inherited a deep-rooted passion—one that will continue to drive him well into the future. “I’m not going to be so afraid to take risks in the future, like I have been in the past. I’ve been so stressed and concerned with every detail, but I learned to let that go. Let’s just have fun. Let’s get weird. I’ve never felt that way about my work. I still respect my older stuff, but I just didn’t want to be afraid anymore. That’s what I learned on this one.”

Source facebook.com

 'I'm Not Going Anywhere'

'I'm Not Going Anywhere'
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

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Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith

Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and lived much of his life in Portland, Oregon, where he first gained popularity. Smith's primary instrument was the guitar, though he also used piano, clarinet, bass guitar, drums, and harmonica. Smith had a distinctive vocal style, characterized by his "whispery, spiderweb-thin delivery", and used multi-tracking to create vocal layers, textures, and harmonies.

After playing in the rock band Heatmiser for several years, Smith began his solo career in 1994, with releases on the independent record labels Cavity Search and Kill Rock Stars (KRS). In 1997, he signed a contract with DreamWorks Records, for which he recorded two albums. Smith rose to mainstream prominence when his song "Miss Misery"—included in the soundtrack for the film Good Will Hunting (1997)—was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category in 1998.

Smith was a heavy drinker and drug user, as well as being diagnosed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and major depressive disorder, which impacted his life and work; the topics often appearing in his lyrics. In 2003, aged 34, he died in Los Angeles, California, from two stab wounds to the chest. The autopsy evidence was inconclusive as to whether the wounds were self-inflicted or the result of homicide. At the time of his death, Smith was working on his sixth studio album, From a Basement on the Hill, which was posthumously completed and released in 2004.

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 'Better Be Quiet Now'

'Better Be Quiet Now'
Monday, August 10, 2020

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 'Waltz #1'

'Waltz #1'
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

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 'Speed Trials'

'Speed Trials'
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

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Father John Misty

Father John Misty

Joshua Michael Tillman, born May 3, 1981, also known as Father John Misty and previously J. Tillman, is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, drummer and record producer.

 'Nancy From Now On'

'Nancy From Now On'
Thursday, August 29, 2019

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 'True Affection'

'True Affection'
Sunday, May 26, 2019

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 'Bored In The USA'

'Bored In The USA'
Thursday, October 18, 2018

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Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington. Their first two albums were released by Sub Pop and Bella Union, with their third by Nonesuch and Bella Union. The band came to prominence in 2008 with the release of their second EP, Sun Giant, and their self-titled debut album. Both received much critical praise and reviewers often noted the band's use of refined lyrics and vocal harmonies. Fleet Foxes' second studio album, Helplessness Blues, was released on May 3, 2011, and their third album, Crack-Up, was released on June 16, 2017.

Robin Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset both attended Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle, and soon became close friends. Pecknold and Skjelset bonded over a mutual appreciation of Bob Dylan and Neil Young and began making music together. Their parents influenced their musical tastes early on—Skjelset's mother Peggi was a keen listener to both Dylan and Hank Williams while Pecknold's father Greg was a member of The Fathoms, a local 1960s soul group. The two shared an interest in the music of Dylan and Brian Wilson. Pecknold played bass for Seattle's Dolour on a US tour in 2005, shortly before forming the first incarnation of Fleet Foxes.

Originally going by the name "The Pineapples", a name clash with another local band prompted a change and Pecknold decided upon "Fleet Foxes", suggesting that it was "evocative of some weird English activity like fox hunting". Pecknold took up the role of principal songwriter, both singing and playing guitar, while Skjelset played lead guitar. The original lineup was filled out by Casey Wescott on keyboards and backing vocals, Bryn Lumsden on bass and Nicholas Peterson on drums and backing vocals. Pecknold's late-sixties pop style caught the attention of the Seattle producer Phil Ek and he helped them record their first demo in 2006, the self-released Fleet Foxes EP. Ek was impressed with the band's songwriting, and on hearing Pecknold for the first time, noted, "It was obvious he had talent coming out of his ass." By late 2006 the Seattle press began to take notice of the band; Tom Scanlon of the Seattle Times stated that he was impressed with the band's lyrics and musical maturity. By the end of the year, Lumsden had been replaced on bass by Craig Curran, who would also handle many of the band's vocal harmonies.

With growing popularity on the local circuit, the band set about making their first album in early 2007, spending time in the studio with producer Ek in addition to recording material at home. However, funds for recording were tight, so the band members cobbled together what funds they had, which limited the time they had in the studio, and so the majority of the tracks were recorded in various band members' apartments, other spaces, or the basement of Pecknold's parents' house.

Source Wikipedia

 'Ragged Wood'

'Ragged Wood'
Monday, June 17, 2019

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Fruit Bats

Fruit Bats

Fruit Bats is an American rock band formed in 1997 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Noted as an early entrant into the folk-rock boom of the early 2000s, the group has had many personnel changes but revolves around singer/songwriter Eric D. Johnson.

History

In 2000, Eric D. Johnson was an instructor at The Old Town School of Folk Music, led his own space-rock band called I Rowboat, and was a guitarist in various groups, including Califone and The Shins. He also had a four-track solo outlet called Fruit Bats, which he had been working on since 1997.

Fruit Bats had begun to evolve into a band with the inclusion of I Rowboat members Dan Strack and Brian Belval and in 2001, their debut record Echolocation was released on Califone's imprint, Perishable Records. Tours followed with the likes of Modest Mouse and The Shins.

Fruit Bats signed with Sub Pop in 2002 and have released four albums with the label including Mouthfuls in 2003, Spelled in Bones in 2005, The Ruminant Band in 2009 and Tripper in 2011.

Johnson also joined The Shins in 2009. Their song "Humbug Mountain Song" spurred new fan activity. In an interview with Reverb Magazine's Nick Milligan (Australia), Eric D. Johnson has said of The Ruminant Band: "I shouldn't say I had any strong ideas about how I wanted The Ruminant Band to differ from our other records, but I knew that I definitely wanted it to. Previously, when I did those other albums, I think I set rules for myself. This time I didn't try to go by the book so much. I also let the other [band members] play, rather than me being in charge. I played very little on this record – I wrote the songs and the vocal arrangements, and played some piano, but for the most part everything else is the band. That trust is something that comes with time. I had four years to sit and think about it. It can get lonely when you're doing the – quote unquote – solo thing. My band is really talented, so I wanted their voices to be heard."

The song "When U Love Somebody" from the album Mouthfuls can be heard in the 2010 film Youth in Revolt.

The music video for "The Ruminant Band" from the album The Ruminant Band was shot in El Monte, California and directed by The General Assembly. Eric D. Johnson is the only member of the Fruit Bats to appear in the video. He is backed by a fictitious band that includes legendary guitarist, Willie Chambers of The Chambers Brothers.

In June 2011, Johnson appeared in the music video for "You're Too Weird" from the album Tripper. The video was shot in Hollywood, California and directed by The General Assembly.

In November 2013, Johnson announced the demise of the Fruit Bats on the band's website. The band played a handful of live shows, which also marked the 10th anniversary of their album Mouthfuls, in the Pacific Northwest, with their final show in Portland on November 16, 2013.

Johnson announced via Twitter in May 2015, "I'm doing Fruit Bats again", and linked an Instagram photo of a handwritten letter, indicating that an album will be released in 2016. Additionally they have scheduled 2015 tour dates with My Morning Jacket. The album Absolute Loser was released in 2016.

Johnson is also the cofounder of the Huichica Musical Festival, in Sonoma, California, along with Jeff Bundschu, owner of Gundlach Bundschu winery. Johnson started this festival in 2009 to give him and his friends a place to play.

Musical influences

According to an article in The Aspen Times, lead singer Eric D. Johnson's musical influences include 70s AM radio, which he listened to while growing up in Naperville, Illinois, and The Grateful Dead.

One writer described the band's fourth album, The Ruminant Band, as one that ..."revels in early ‘70s SoCal bliss and other alt-country permutations," with elements reflective of classic rock icons including Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Three Dog Night.

In a music blog entry in the Chicago Sun-Times from 2010, the band's influences include The Byrds, The Kinks' album The Village Green Preservation Society, pop radio from the late '70s and early '80s, and Supertramp. According to the same blog post, lead singer Johnson said of his musical style, "I started out a hippie, but I've always had that pop jones -- and that's been plenty revolutionary, at least for me."

Source Wikipedia

 'Primitive Man'

'Primitive Man'
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

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J. Tillman

J. Tillman

Joshua Michael Tillman (born May 3, 1981), also known as Father John Misty and previously J. Tillman, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer.

Maintaining a steady output of solo recordings since 2004, Tillman had been a member of or toured with Demon Hunter, Saxon Shore, Fleet Foxes, Jeffertitti's Nile, Pearly Gate Music, Siberian, Har Mar Superstar, Poor Moon, Low Hums, Jonathan Wilson, and has toured extensively with Pacific Northwest artists Damien Jurado, Jesse Sykes, and David Bazan.

He has also made contributions to albums by popular artists, including Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Kid Cudi, and has produced one album for Matthew Daniel Siskin, known as Gambles.

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 'Vessels'

'Vessels'
Friday, June 14, 2019

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Julia Jacklin

Julia Jacklin

Julia Jacklin (born 30 August 1990) is an Australian singer-songwriter based in Sydney, Australia.

Jacklin grew up in the Blue Mountains, Australia, in a family of school teachers. Inspired by Britney Spears, at the age of 10, she took classical singing lessons before joining a high school band which did Avril Lavigne and Evanescence covers. She studied social policy at Sydney University, and after graduating she lived in a garage in Glebe, a suburb of Sydney, and worked in a factory making essential oils. Growing up, Jacklin did not know anyone who was a full-time musician, and her family did not understand what it meant to be a musician: “They didn’t really see it as being something that was going to work out, at all,” Jacklin says in an interview with Sound of Boston. She continued to perform locally, and formed the band Salta together with Liz Hughes in 2012.

She gained an audience and significant critical acclaim through her first two singles "Pool Party" and "Coming of Age" which both received radio airplay on BBC Radio 6 Music. She has been touring extensively since March 2016 in the US, UK, Europe and Australia, appearing at various festivals (most notably End of the Road Festival, Electric Picnic and South by Southwest). She has played headline gigs and has also supported artists such as First Aid Kit, Whitney, Marlon Williams and Okkervil River. In 2016, Rolling Stone Australia tipped Jacklin as one of their "Future Is Now" artists, while Triple J nominated her for a J Award for Unearthed Artist of the Year. Jacklin did not consider herself a full-time musician until August 2016, when she really started touring and figured she could not manage her regular job anymore

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 'Good Guy'

'Good Guy'
Tuesday, December 3, 2019

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 'Pressure to Party'

'Pressure to Party'
Friday, September 27, 2019

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 'Turn Me Down'

'Turn Me Down'
Friday, April 12, 2019

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Julie Byrne

Julie Byrne

Julie Byrne is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist from Buffalo, New York. To date, she has released two studio albums, Rooms With Walls and Windows (2014) and Not Even Happiness (2017).

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Julie Byrne was influenced by her father's guitar playing at an early age: "I grew up with the sound of his playing, which was fingerstyle guitar, so I would say that my style is completely rooted in his influence." At the age of seventeen, Byrne began learning the instrument herself, after her father could no longer play due to complications from multiple sclerosis: "The opportunity to play his instrument and honor the legacy of his craft and all of the time it took for him to cultivate a skill that he ultimately had to find a way to give up — it feels like a bit of an offering to him." At the age of 18, Byrne left Buffalo, living in various different cities in America, including, Pittsburgh, Northampton, Chicago, Lawrence, Seattle, and New Orleans.

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 'Sea As It Glides'

'Sea As It Glides'
Saturday, January 19, 2019

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 'Sleepwalker'

'Sleepwalker'
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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