The best way to digest Lichens' The Psychic Nature of Being is in an empty room with the lights off. Simply lie flat on a hardwood floor, and let time and space heave and drip as Robert Lowe's wordless vocal drones spiral and compound around his meticulous guitar plucking.

Lowe is lauded primarily for his work with TV on the Radio and the Chicago math-rock outfit 90 Day Men; but Kranky Records possessed the foresight to champion the experimental ambient inflections of Lowe's Lichens project. Devoid of anything close to the rock-tinged oeuvre of his previous associations, Psychic Nature is more akin to the treated folk-guitar work of John Fahey's Womblife (and, to an extent, Red Cross).

The three compositions on The Psychic Nature of Being, each recorded in single takes without any overdubs, reveal a love for both the hypnotic essence of the drone as well as the naked beauty of simple guitar melodies. On "You Are Excrement, You Can Turn Yourself into Gold" (a line from Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain), tiny bells and what sounds like the looped hum of a Tibetan singing bowl grow almost indefinitely until Lowe's drifting acoustic guitar caps the specter-like buzz. It's at this precise intersection of guitar and drone that Fahey's influence becomes most apparent, as the tense, layered delays from "Red Cross, Disciple of Christ Today" come to mind.

Through each Lichens piece, Lowe's appreciation for space within his subtle, loose structures allocates great room for improvisation and should lead to an adventurous live experience.