Consistently excellent minimalistic singer-songwriter guitar and vocals
Leroy Lytel's album "Swarm of Doves,", from 2011, is a 15-track self-taught singer/songwriter acoustic masterpiece without a single bad song. It's lyrics-priority music, almost stubbornly minimalist. The rich, resonant voice is made even more so by overdubbing of the same note, without vocal harmonies. There is no percussion, no piano, and only the occasional third instrument (whistling, recorder). Each song is crafted without a wasted word, backed by clean, bright, and possibly easily imitated finger-picking guitar work, for those who might want to add a couple of his songs to their own guitar repertoire.
For those who like their movies happy, but their song lyrics a bit dark and angsty, and a small number of companion CDs capable of playing on infinite repeat, "Swarm of Doves" is a contender. The lyrics carry reminders that finding the right relationship is not just pattern recognition problem, ah, there she is. There is error ("Go back to where you once came, says Paula, with Her Eyes. Pick up the pen and finalize it here on the line.'), there is competition, ("You better know who your friends are, when you're on the inside. You can throw away the law book, 'cause it's the Lord of the Flies"), there is thin hope ("It's a big round world, and you walked straight away. Chances are, you'll be coming around some day" ).
This album was not easy for me to find. Pandora took me from Bob Dylan to the similarly unknown Travis Linnville. My Travis Linnville station, after long training, popped up Avett Brothers, an excellent but unknown Steven Stills acoustic piece, Iron and Wine, some John Prine, and tracks 1 and 6 from Leroy Lytel, whose unheralded, unknown, un-advertised album, when played through, is one of the best I've heard.