The Good Folks are a folk outfit who impressed us with their initial submission. Sometimes when we process these tracks, we’re not quite sure what the overall band sounds like. From that first song, we’ve come to appreciate a diverse artistry from The Good Folks.
The 2016 album Vol. 1 EP from the Good Folks offers some unique work. The opener “Beasts” provides some interesting melodies. There’s a resolve on the chorus that sounds a bit like the 60s. Other parts of the song has transitions that feel almost dissonant. Yet at times the harmonies can be really delightful. It will be interesting to hear how the sound of The Good Folks evolves.
“Burn” is a more subtle, contemplative piece. The lyrics are more like a traditional folk narrative. In some ways, I think the deliberate style is a bit more fitting of the genre overall. “Whiskey burn my lips as I’m put through my paces…” is such a great line. It’s a smooth song with a raw core to it.
“All You Had” has a thoughtful relationship element at the core. It’s an intriguing song, “I’ll hide from the person I should be.” We’ve all been in that position, pretending to be someone we’re not in a relationship. Fascinating concept.
So the track “Lost” is the one that won The Good Folks their spot in the contest and then the win. It’s really a delightful song. It reminds me of another indie band we covered some years ago called Charlie and the Foxtrots. That said, the folky element to this song is great. It’s actually one of the better vocals from the lead singer on the whole album. When the harmony vocal comes in on the “just call my name” lyric, there’s all sorts of goosebumps for me. That’s when I really know it’s a good song.
The final track “Rubble” is a bit faster, but it still has a similar folk feel to it. The strings steal the show on this one, keeping things moving and full with resonance. When the choral backing comes in, the track feels full and fulfilling. It’s an intriguing lyric, too, about someone struggling and trying to make it out of some type of trouble.
I don’t often make public criticisms in these positive reviews, but this might be construed as one. I’ll just put it this way; I think this album feels backwards. I think “Rubble” and “Lost” should have lead off the album as they are much stronger songs than the first three. I am not sure if the songs were tracked in different sessions or what, but that would be my recommendation (not that anyone asked).
That said, the Good Folks are exactly the kind of band we love to feature around here. They truly are emerging, with a promising songwriter and some really enjoyable early songs. It will be a pleasure to watch their career unfold from here. If you’ve enjoyed these songs, consider giving the review a share and buy a copy of the album to support the band.