I know that many out there have found that any "milk of human kindness" that they may have had on reserve for all things "freak folk" has long soured. Granted, Devendra Banhart, the Jewelled Antler Collective and those that traipse along under similar standards are an inconsistent lot, and that may be part of the whole modus operandi. I mean, doesn't exactitude of key and clear direction and purpose of lyric and melody just end up being a stone drag...man?
I hear all of that criticism, and I get it. I picked up the recently issued 4CD Jewelled Antler Library box, and amongst all that dusty immediacy, birdsong and flecks of deep inspiration, there was some serious dreadfulness.
All that said, Skygreen Leopards, featuring JAC founders Glenn Donaldson (also of Blithe Sons and Thuja) and Donovan Quinn, have held to their own modus of trippy, immediate, flawed songs partially recorded in the open air and likely in one take. Just six songs here, none of them clocking in over four minutes, but all of it strangely, dreamily compelling. The vocals are troubled, the grooves are lazy and lethargic, but I will take it over anything by Bevis Frond in a hot minute, because it's all of a piece. Everything refers to everything else, the vocals are sung like the guitar is strummed like the drums are brushed...as if it's all good, Brother Bear, and it's ok to just sway in place and turn your face, flower-like, towards the sun.
It's not a piss-take, folks. These guys believe their hype and I know that there are those who might read this, pick up this little nugget and absolutely hate me for it, but I think that this is one of those creepy, honestly misguided gems that 20 years down the road is going to blow people's minds like rediscovered wierdo gems from the 70's like:
Ed Askew's Little Eyes (1971):
or Bobby Brown's Enlightening Beam of Axonda (1972).