Love, Consequences, and Serenity: Volumes 1​-​4

by Mikah Sykes

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  • NEW EP 2014 RELEASE DATE TBA ON SPLIT LEVEL RECORDS

    buy the SPLIT LEVEL RECORDS compilation here: http://splitlevelrecords.bandcamp.com/album/split-level-vol-1

    PRESS:

    36 tracks on an album is a bit overwhelming - isn't it? But in case of Mikah Sykes digital album it is totally ok. His songs range from simple folk tunes over excellent sound experiments/ambient to nice electronic pop so you never get distracted from listen to this album. And to drop some names, it was partly recorded in John Frusciante's home studio in Los Angeles or K Records/Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, Washington.

    For A Love My Grace is such a wonderful and lovely piece of Chamber Pop. The clarinet, the bass, the fingerpicking and the light jazzy drums makes it just perfect.

    Other noteable songs are the ballade U Broke My Heart N 2, the electronic pop of A Shadow in the Valley (featuring Badsector) or the beautiful forward/backward experimental folktronic piece 3/2.

    So get this album for $1 minimum and it will bring you joy for hours, which is priceless.

    -Dying For Bad Music (http://dyingforbadmusic.com/blog/post/2012/04/mikah-sykes-love-consequences-and-serenity-2011.html)

    Sykes, meanwhile, has been bouncing around avant-folk circles. After some time in respite, Sykes returns with a new album, Love Consequences and Serenity, recorded across the Northwest, from K Records' Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia to sessions in Portland with the Decemberists' John Moen and others. A step away from his more challenging, free-jazz muses, Sykes' latest is sunny and open armed. It's one I've been waiting for from him for some time.

    - Andrew R. Tonry (The Portland Mercury)

    Mikah Sykes' unique country, Mississippi delta, and Brazilian classical guitar fingerpicking style is a rarity that is not to be missed. This local guy has got talent beyond belief. So much so that John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers fame asked Sykes to record in his Los Angeles home studio (Frusciante backs up Sykes’ guitar on keyboards and guitar) after seeing him play a set in Eugene.

    - Willamette Week (Portland, Oregon)

    Folk dude Mikah Sykes fits somewhere between Iron and Wine and early Bright Eyes. There’s also some tremulous Sufjan Stevens instrumentation, guitar that feels a bit like Joanna Newsom’s harp, and some kiddie-ish Daniel Johnson vocals. Not to get all reference crazy up in your grill, but sometimes when the shoe fits you’ve got to go jogging and get some excersice. (I don’t know what I am talking about either.) Oz St. Fossils is straight up New Weird America old-timey. Straight-UP. This show will folk you up so good and you’ll love it.

    - The Portland Mercury (Portland, Oregon)

    I don’t think the universe rewards a good deed, and I’m not even sure that love is always the answer. That said, the way Mikah Sykes’ childlike voice meets his folk-blues finger-picking and promenades around a track is pretty damn adorable, hippie-ish or not. Sykes’ tendency toward spacey experimentation is tethered by his deep love of the blues, which brings a familiarity and structure to his work that makes it feel like home. For a guy who recorded his last album in John Frusciante’s living room, he has stayed one of Portland’s better-kept secrets...But I doubt that’ll last long.

    - Willamette Week (Portland, Oregon)

    From Mikah Sykes, to Mikah Sykes and the Pearly Everlasting, to the Pearly Everlasting, back to just Mikah Sykes to, now, National Forest. Though the name change has not been officially approved by the other half of the duo, Willis Ransom, Mikah shared: “I have reconnected with my old bandmate Willis; he was in Little Two’s with me and Emily Kokal from Warpaint. Anyway, my upcoming album will be a collaborative affair with him. we are going to use what i’ve recorded so far, and finish it together, plus his songs. We have 3 or 4 albums of material that is album ready as a duo; don’t know if we’ll do one at a time or a massive- mulit-disc release.” This is not the last of Hook and Line Mikah coverage…..expect some more good stuff in June *hint hint wink wink*
    On another note, Mikah was nice enough to write up a really awesome playlist for us to include in the latest issue, which is available here.

    - Makeba Robinson, Hook And Line Magazine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

    Allez savoir pourquoi. Depuis quelques temps, toute soirée arrosée s'accompagne irrémédiablement d'un lendemain d'expiation. Alors, samedi dernier, après une soirée de gala passablement alcoolisée, paracétamol et boissons au cola sont mes meilleurs amis. Il faut dire que je tiens là une gueule de bois de bien belle facture. Une poigne vicieuse m'étreint le foie. J'ai l'impression que mes cheveux poussent vers l'intérieur. De quoi me rappeler, s'il en était besoin, que je n'ai plus 20 ans. Je trimballe ma trentaine bedonnante entre le salon et les chiottes. Heureusement, c'est bien connu, la musique adoucit les mœurs et les bides en vrac. Pas le moment de s'envoyer du death metal hardcore ou de se trémousser sur la Saga Africa. Non, quelque chose de serein, de paisible, sans heurts et sans secousses, voilà ce qu'il me faut. Comme souvent ces derniers temps, j'ai le réflexe Bandcamp. Il n'y a plus qu'à dénicher la perle rare dans cette véritable mine d'or musicale. Et voilà que je tombe sur un album au titre rêvé en pareilles circonstances, le bien nommé Love Consequences and Serenity, dernier disque en date d'un artiste dont je n'ai jamais entendu parler, Mikah Sykes.

    Disons le tout net, c'est le coup de foudre immédiat. Sans aucun doute le meilleur album folk que j'ai entendu cette année. Quand on parle de folk, on a souvent en tête l'image un peu étriquée du hippie barbu défoncé jouant les trois mêmes accords sur sa vieille guitare acoustique en ânonnant des paroles mystiques. Avec Mikah Sykes, on en prend plein les oreilles. En 36 morceaux, il nous fait un tour à 360° de tout ce qu'on peut ranger aujourd'hui sous l'étiquette folk. Musique ambiante, néo-folk, folk psychédélique, tout y passe dans cet album radieux qui emmène l'auditeur dans un voyage sonore ensoleillé et accueillant. Rarement je ne me suis senti aussi bien en écoutant un disque. Le sentiment de plénitude qui se dégage de ce Love Consequences and Serenity est tout bonnement extraordinaire. Le titre tient toutes ses promesses. La sérénité se trouve indéniablement au détour de ces ballades tantôt délicates tantôt complexes. Mikah Sykes atteint toujours le juste milieu entre pureté acoustique et volonté d'expérimentation. Le disque s'écoule avec une fluidité remarquable. Son jeu de guitare en picking touche dans le mille à tous les coups et tire sur la corde sensible sans jamais tomber dans le pathos. Entre minimalisme plaintif et luxuriance musicale, il livre ici un disque qui fait de lui l'un des songwriters les plus enthousiasmants de ces dernières années. Repéré en 2006 par John Frusciante et invité par le Red Hot Chili Pepper à enregistrer son précédent album dans son home-studio de Los Angeles, Sykes reste malgré tout relativement confidentiel. Faut-il se réjouir lorsqu'on découvre au détour d'un chemin des artistes aussi talentueux ou faut-il au contraire s'émouvoir que des gens tellement doués soient si peu valorisés par l'industrie musicale? Je vous laisse vous faire votre propre opinion en écoutant ce véritable chef-d'œuvre...

    -J'ai tout lu, tout vu, tout bu...

    http://jaitoutlutoutvutoutbu.blogspot.com/2012/08/jai-interviewe-mikah-sykes.html
    ... more

     $1 USD  or more

     

  • Buy the disc from Bicycle Records in Olympia, Washington

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about

Split Level Records Presents...

Some of this album was recorded in John Frusciante's home studio in Los Angeles. "Snow Softens Sound" was recorded at K Records/Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, Washington. The quartet versions of "Inasmuch/Nonetheless" & "For A Love My Grace" were recorded by Dave Pulliam in his home studio and features John Moen (The Decemberists) on bass and drums. "Bad Feelings" and "Shadow In The Valley" were produced and recorded by Badsector in the Electro-Bus when it was parked outside the Nightmare Collective in Forest Grove, Oregon and at least three other locations. The rest of the songs were recorded at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, Old Standard Sound in Portland, Oregon, in my bedroom, The Cartoon Bungalow, Brody Welch's apartment in Eugene, and in the field on my Sony TCS-430. "Arctic Explorer" was written by Michelle Lamanet and was originally performed by an OLY-PDX based band called Swimming (proudly, I was once their drummer). The song originally appeared on their album "You Are Your Own."

credits

released 21 December 2012

Mikah Sykes: guitar, vox, percussion, clarinets, keys, accordion

Willis Ransom: xylophone, drums, magic

Emily Kokal: vox, guitar, organ, magic

Jacob Wilson: guitar, percussion, vocals

Kae Ito: production, vox, guitar, arrangements

Frankie Palmer: pedal steel

John Moen: bass, drums

Bob Schwenkler: drums

Nate Lumbard: clarinet on "For A Love My Grace"

Susan Reilly: cello

Paloma Udovic: violin

Justin Higgins: percussion, whistling

Produced and/or engineered by Bob Schwenkler, Grant Fairbrother, John Frusciante, Dave Pulliam, Kae Ito, Jacob Arnold, Justin Higgins, and Jacob Wilson

tags

license

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feeds

feeds for this album, this artist
Track Name: Jacob Wilson, Forest McBrian - The Hostile Sun Competes With Me
darkness is not your enemy
or what you thought it would be
its just the long walk at night
you walk all night

serenity will be with me
everywhere I go
and I'll feel safe and comfortable
as life or death comes slow
Track Name: Om 48's
i came to my senses through loves consequences
i swear that i don't need you
i swear that i do
if you need to ask why
there's no need to know

these stones that are my bones this
black dust in my soul
these rocks below our feet are
these rocks that we breathe
one thing that i think that you should know
time don't pass
it shows

i came to my senses through
loves consequences
i swear that i don't need you
i swear that i do
one that that i think that you should have
have my hand to hold

one thing that i think that you should have
have to hold my hand
Track Name: Ask The Dust (for Camilla Lopez)
jackson on a high hill
and i am falling softly
and i want to rest on her skin
like the smell of her perfume

i always knew that one day
the ocean would come take me
take me and my life away
and that is why i'm not afraid

i want you to know
that i noticed
you looked closer

oh her black skin
it reminds me
she's a diamond
i want her to
wear my heart like
its her jewelry