Daily Distraction: Discover some new guitar music
Pitchfork's Sam Sodomsky picks eight new records that push the boundaries of solo guitar music
When I'm writing, I can't often listen to music with words. Sometimes ambient, classical or jazz will do the trick, but I'm also a big fan of instrumental guitar music, so I always perk up when writers I respect recommend new six-string savants.
To my delight, the pandemic seemed to spawn even more solo guitar music than usual, for obvious reasons. Back in February, Tyler Wilcox put together some recommendations for Aquarium Drunkard, which included one of my recent favorites, Yasmin Williams. And this week, Pitchfork's Sam Sodomsky wrote about "Eight New Records that Reimagine what a Guitar Can Do."
More and more, the line between ambient and solo guitar music is blurring (though it was never a clear distinction in the first place), and Sodomsky's recent picks continue that trend, particularly on albums like You Can See Your Own Way Out by Ilyas Ahmed & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma.
Even the more traditional(ish) acoustic records by Tomáš Niesner (formerly of noise-rock act Unna) and Ryan El-Solh (also of improv trio Scree) seem to take inspiration from far outside the John Fahey school, which often reigns supreme in solo guitar music. Check out a few examples below, and be sure to read Sodomsky's words over at Pitchfork.