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On Record: Richard's Selections, by Ancient Forest

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The 2011 eponymous debut from Missoula's Ancient Forest sounded like an alternative soundtrack to Rankin and Bass' 1977 movie version of The Hobbit. It embodied an earthy, ancient tone, albeit through the filter of 1960s and 1970s psychedelia. A few albums later, the band (which is songwriter Kalen Nri Walther plus a rotating cast of musicians) has more fully teased out that garage-fuzz sound, making it sound even more like a companion to Jefferson Airplane and the Incredible String Band than before.

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And unlike 2015's Lay the Rent to the Bonnie Brome, the B-side of which is immersed in the sound of running water, Ancient Forest's latest album, Richard's Selections, seems less specifically located in the outdoors. The lyrics still reference old-growth forests, water, ice and snow, but the album has a slightly funkier, loungier feel than previous releases, especially on "Purple," where Walther sings, "Home, sometimes I think it's just a feeling /that I get when I'm living on my own." It's a whimsical, casual album that perfectly encapsulates the feeling of winding down at an after-party, just as the sun is starting to rise again.

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