the naked trees: a collection of 8​-​bit ambient noise and appalachian folk music

by accentor

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Tenth in a series of twelve albums released every month for twelve months.

"the naked trees" was performed entirely on a Nintendo DS and all tracks are live single single take performances (with the exception of the vocals, of course, and the improv drum sequencing on "songbirds...") recorded with no post production other than a little eq here and there.

The idea behind the record, which hopefully comes across as more purposefully ramshackle than accidentally so, was an effort to capture and combine musically various elements of a childhood spent coming of age dirt poor on a dirt farm off a dirt road seven miles outside of Cameron, WV (

So here I am, playing in the yard again with stick guns to the endless sound of birdsongs and the insects that buzzed all night. Shouting as loud as I can to hear my own voice reflected back repeatedly off the walls of the holler. Saving up for two years to buy a NES, but only getting to play it for a half hour a day, and only then if I'd practiced my fiddle first. And the TV works, but it's black and white and only gets two channels and like the radio everything on it is coated in a thin layer of distorted static buzz.

The folk song tradition does exist, somewhere, but it's a distant hazy memory, it echoes back to us though we rarely notice at the time. And as a teenage I wanted to make and listen to electronic music, but it was more of an idea than a reality, because all I had was a mostly broken PolyMoog I borrowed from the high school and never returned and my mom's handheld cassette recorder, and all I of knew of the genre anyway came from reading the words in magazines and whatever Top 40 remixes the station in Wheeling played on their "Friday Night House Parties."

I don't suppose the record really sounds like any of this attempted sonic cubism, but that's par the course at this point.

This album had a significantly longer gestation period than the others in the twelve album series, as some of the instrumental elements date from nearly two years back. A year ago a plan was hatched to collaborate with a fellow West Virginian on the vocals, but that plan collapsed when months and months passed with no actual singing being accomplished by the supposed collaborator. The project was pretty much permanently shelved to make way for the twelve album projects and lots of music that sounds nothing at all like it until Tammy entered the picture and basically rescued (on very short notice) what would otherwise have been a lost album.

All instrumentals and arrangements are my own. To my knowledge "go dig my grave," "rain and snow," and "sugar baby" are traditional, and "amazing grace," of course, was written by John Henry Newton (1725-1807).

booking, etc.:


released March 18, 2012

Tammy McCoy: Vocals
Jacob Thomas: Nintendo DS, backing vocals, cover photograph and design



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