The Golden Apples of the Sun


The Golden Apples of the Sun, the first release on Arthur Magazine‘s Bastet label has been one of my favourite compilations of recent years. Golden Apples was/is one of those landmark music anthologies that appear from time to time and seem to fix a moment perfectly as they capture a sudden flourishing of new music, in this instance the emergence of folk/acoustic/post-Old Weird America bands and artists. Devendra Banhart is one of those artists and he compiled the anthology and produced the cover art. The first pressing sold out but it’s now being reissued and you can order a copy here.

This is more than a compilation–it’s expertly sequenced and paced, like one long, slow flow of a particularly rich vibe. Liner notes are by the artists themselves, paying tribute to each other, all handlettered by Devendra, who also provides artwork on cover, back cover, sleeve, tray and the disk itself.

“Essential.” — Mojo, September 2004

“Sparkling.” — The Wire, July 2004

“8.6 (out of 10): [Its] sprawling landscape presents a persuasive case for the depth of a scene that seemingly sprung up (like mushrooms) overnight.” — Pitchfork, July 8, 2004

Track listing:
1. Vetiver (with Hope Sandoval) – “Angel’s Share” (from the “Vetiver” LP)
2. Joanna Newsom – “Bridges and Balloons” (from “The Milk–Eyed Mender” LP)
3. Six Organs of Admittance – “Hazy SF” (previously unreleased)
4. Viking Moses – “Crosses” (from “Crosses”)
5. Josephine Foster – “Little Life” (prev. unreleased home recording)
6. ESPers – “Byss & Abyss” (from “ESPers” LP)
7. Vashti Bunyan & Devendra Banhart – “Rejoicing in the Hands” (from the “Rejoicing in the Hands of the Golden Empress” LP)
8. Jana Hunter – “Farm, CA” (prev. unreleased)
9. Currituck Co. – “The Tropics of Cancer” (from “Ghost Man on First”)
10. White Magic – “Don’t Need” (from the Drag City EP)
11. Iron and Wine – “Fever Dream” (from “Our Endless Numbered Days” LP)
12. Diane Cluck – ” Heat From Every Corner” (from “Macy’s Day Bird”)
13. Matt Valentine – “Mountains of Yaffa” (prev. unreleased)
14. Entrance – “You Must Turn” (prev. unreleased home recording)
15. Jack Rose – “White Mule” (from “Red Horse, White Mule”)
16. Little Wings – “Look at What the Light Did Now” (from “Light Green Leaves”)
17. Scout Niblett – “Wet Road” (from “Sweet Heart Fever”)
18. Troll – “Mexicana” (from “Pathless Lord”)
19. CocoRosie – “Good Friday” (from “La Maison de Mon Reve”)
20. Antony – “The Lake” (from “Live at Saint Olaye’s With Current 93”)

Previously on { feuilleton }
So Much Fire to Roast Human Flesh
Summer of Love Redux

2 thoughts on “The Golden Apples of the Sun”

  1. Where I feel that there are some good new folk and indie acts these days, I also feel that this “new weird america” movement is somewhat benal to the likes of the primordial bands which these compiled artists originate their sonic ideals and philosophies: like Comus, Incredible String Band, Spirogya, Donovan, and many countless/forgotten bards of the 60’s/70’s. Out of all the recent artist’s, I believe Faun Fables (not listed in this compilation) are extremely talented and maintain a respective mystical and practical lore within their lush, and at times savage, aural journeys. Yet, from what is on this list, White Magic also has original and mystical qualities.

    Faun Fables – I’d Like to Be

    Faun Fables – With Words and Cake

    Faun Fables – The Call (Highly recommended for Coulthart to watch)

  2. I wouldn’t say one era was better than another, they’re different and both have things of value to offer. I like the Sixties and Seventies folk stuff a lot: Shirley & Dolly Collins, Sandy Denny, Fairports, etc. Comus were rather amazing. People complained back then about some of them mixing rock influences into the music but the folk tradition has always been one that evolved, hasn’t it?

    I do know Faun Fables and I agree they should have been in Devendra’s selection. Dawn McCarthy’s song on the Valgeir Siggurdson album was one of my favourites of last year. Maybe Devendra can do a Silver Apples of the Moon follow-up and include them on that? The Call is a great piece of work, thanks for the link!

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