LCNL 020: ACL Spring Mix (Richard Allen)

Grand Prismatic Spring (AllPosters)

The thirteen tracks in A Closer Listen’s first seasonal mix were chosen by Richard Allen and lightly mixed by Joseph Sannicandro. They represent Rich’s picks of the season: his favorite tracks from the first 120 albums he’s reviewed this year.

How do you find the time to review so much music?

I have the luxury of being able to play music on the job, and I spend many of my work hours at home or in the car.  This provides me with the ability to check out a handful of albums each day, and to get to know them before sitting down to give them “a closer listen”.

Is there anything specific that drives you?

Music kept me going during the darkest parts of my life.  The same is true for others on our staff, and I’m sure for many of our readers.  Reviewing music is a way to pay back the positive energy.  On the flip side, I love to bring good music to the attention of the right audience, which is what our site is all about.

Tell us about this mix.

This past season was tough for New York and the surrounding region: an extended winter that began with a hurricane and ended with a blizzard.  Even residents who love winter have been desperate for spring.  These songs feature chimes, cellos and clocks, wine glasses and glockenspiels: the sounds of reawakening, of returning warmth and light.  Many of the songs have a bittersweet nature, recalling sorrow while looking forward in hope.  The mix brightens as it progresses, reflecting the new season.


Melodia ~ “The spirit of rain arrives to the forest” (Saudades, Own Records)
Petrels ~ “Giulio’s Throat” (Onkalo, Denovali)
Go! Save the Hostages! ~ “Salma” (demo, self-released)
Rhian Sheehan ~ “La boîte à Musique” (Stories from Elsewhere, Darla Records)
Bruno Bavota ~ “Il dito si muove sui vetro appannato” (La casa sulla Luna, self-released)
Peals ~ “Pendelles” (Waking Field, Thrill Jockey)
William Ryan Firth ~ “Hold High Your Head” (The Waiting Room, Lost Tribe Sound)
Piano Interrupted ~ “Hobi” (Two by Four, Denovali)
Clorinde ~ “Prosperina” (The Gardens of Bomarzo, self-released)
Julia Kent ~ “Transportation” (Character, Leaf)
Otongo ~ “Irami” (Tutuguri, Sargasso Sea)
BJM Mario Bajardi ~ “Glass Orchestra” (Glass Orchestra, Onde)
3+ ~ “End of Sister” (Your Small Story, Twice Removed)

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