“Singalongs” is a 10-song instrumental album — no vocals — recorded during a five-hour session at Boise’s Modern Art, the now-defunct yearly assembly of dancers, musicians and artists. It’s performance art as much as a CD. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Paul focuses on electric guitar, aided by five backing musicians. The post-rock-influenced result is cinematic, ethereal, moody and permeated by a creeping hunger for exploration. Listening, it’s hard not to imagine the scene: Music being created in a hotel room while strangers gaze on wordlessly. thomaspaulmusic.com
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“Four voices, eight hands, forty fingers. Let’s pick,” Idyltime declares on its website, a nod to its guitar/upright bass/fiddle/banjo/dobro attack. Originally from southern Oregon, the Boise quartet — two men, two women — covers four traditional tunes and performs 11 originals on its second album. Earnest, sweet vocal harmonies empower twang tunes such as “Tied Up and Tangled,” which stay true to the past musically while enjoying the sparkle of modern-day recording technology. Crank it in your barn. idyltimemusic.com
Way Out West
Rod Gilstrap has shared the stage with acts ranging from Mark Chesnutt to 38 Special, but he says this is his most rewarding project. Hailing from Mud Lake near Idaho Falls, Gilstrap has recorded a six-song country-rock EP. Many songs — including the anthemic title track — are driven by acoustic guitars but punctuated by distortion-drenched electric-guitar leads. Gilstrap’s vocals also often lean more rock than country on these songs, which showcase his proclivity for hooky choruses. rodgilstrap.com