I have been looking for an antidote to the feelings that have haunted this summer, shadowed by the horror that is the thought of Donald Trump as the next president of the USA. I have found it in the music of an American duo who, until recently, worked under the name Brown Bird. This is music that is truly American, in the sense that it starts loosely with the framework of what might be called an expanded americana (a blend of American mountain music, old European folk music, blues where it shades into jazz, etc.) – a rich enough mixture – but then moves on to absorb into that palette various shades of Eastern European and Middle Eastern music, which it then filters through an understanding of the possibilities of post-metal and psych-rock. I started with their Salt for Salt and am now listening to all their other recent records, most notably Axis Mundi. Add to that lyrics that show the influence of a somewhat melancholic reading of ideas from Thomas Paine, Omar Khayyam, Christopher Hitchens, and Plato (among others), and you may start to get an idea of why this feels like a music that is as far from the America of Donald Trump as its possible to be.