♫♪  Amulets - Betula

I used to live in a tiny little village in Pennsylvania surrounding a lake, so-designated although it was barely bigger than a pond. This place was a tourist destination for those who wanted a country getaway — there was at least one B&B in town (that I know of), and it was hard to argue with the Rockwellian layout. The pace was slow, deliberate, the people friendly.

But I got fed up with Pennsylvania — I guess it’s easy for anyone to get fed up with a place the longer they stay there. Familiarity breeds contempt, right? Right. And I lived in Pennsylvania (not this same place the whole time though) for years and years and years. When the time was right, I moved on, and I haven’t looked back.

Till now.

I never thought I’d feel a homesickness for Pennsylvania, but leave it to autumn and Amulets and Amulets’s crafting an entire cassette tape in homage to autumn, and there you have it — a massive overdose of nostalgia.

Randall Taylor, the man behind Amulets (his charms clearly imbued with some kind of natural magic), somehow understands exactly where I came from, even though he started in Texas and moved on to Portland, Oregon. Maybe Portland has autumns equivalent to those in PA (I can’t say for sure, I’ve never been there), but he catches those moments of surprise, the ones that take your breath away, like when you’re driving up 476 to 209 through the mountains in Jim Thorpe in early November, and valleys appear through the trees in orange, red, and yellow majesty, and if you don’t park the car on the side of the road and get out and just stand there you’re going to lose your composure and not be able to drive through the blur of tears. It’s like Taylor has plugged a quarter-inch guitar cable directly into his heart, run it through his suitcase full of effects pedals, improvised my actual past, and then set me in motion to somehow reach through time and experience it like it was happening in the present.

How does he do that? Again, magic, I think.

Betula is a gorgeous-looking tape and the true sound of autumn, featuring seasonal field recordings and improvised guitar loops. Tiny run of 70, almost gone…

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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