If you are still reading these NMF posts, I salute you. Over a year now, with these artists marking 740 different tracks covered. Whew! We’re tired. (Insert “I’m tired boss” gif). But you know what it’s so much fun to have our friends reading along and falling in love with the bands we feature… so let’s do this!
Meen Streets – “Playboys of the Western World”
-This is a really dynamic rock song to get us started for this episode. You’ll hear a nice blend of 80s rock and early hip hop stylings. What I dig most is the way the lyrics match the rhythmic feel of the song. It’s a great vibe and will get you thinking about a “class above” lady.
Animal Years – “Friends”
-If you like uptempo pop folk music with some amazing harmonies, you’ll love this track from Animal Years. The easy comparison is NeedToBreathe, a band that we love around here. The sound is optimistic and infectiously positive. It’s about needing to get through the rough parts of your life with your friends. It’s a hit!
Twilight Driving – “Soft and Pink”
-When you think about what good pop rock music should sound like, you’re thinking of something like this. Take the uptempo energy of an arena rock band with some really great layers with keys and a solid lead vocal. What’s not to like? Sometimes the balance of keys and guitar feels a little 80s, but it’s just colorfully nostalgic and perfect. The woman who provoked this song must have been quite… umm… inspiring!
Harry Pane – “Here We Stay”
-In a world of Charlie Puth and Ed Sheeran, get you a Harry Pane. When you click play, you’ll hear what I mean. The guy is just about as legit as possible. There’s no studio tricks here; it’s a guy singing his heart out with some really nice folk guitar playing. It’s a song with hit potential, so let’s help him get it to take off.
Ronald Troy Collins – “Hell or High Water”
-If you like Otis Redding style soul music, you’ll love this track from Ronald Troy Collins. The vocal is a nice balance of tenor high pitch with some gravelly goodness to it. The overall song has a nice modern soul snap that has plenty of overtones toward its roots. The lyrics highlight enduring the difficulties of life all for the sake of someone you love.
Aeseases – “Any Body”
-This provocative folk track has some great folksy elements and probably some unique layers. The song starts off small and subtle, but as it grows the intimacy swells and becomes more and more captivating. The layered female vocals are the calling card for the song. You can just picture hearing this in your favorite indie coffee shop or book store.
Freya Ridings – “Lost Without You”
-The second time I heard this track, I was three seconds in when I say “YES!” out loud. It’s subtle and beautiful, but the way it wrenches at your heart is quite visceral. Anyone who has ever experienced breakup or profound loss will connect with this song. Ridings has one of the best pure vocals we’ve heard all year (and that’s a lot of voices). I can’t wait to hear more from her.
The Northern Folk – “Get On”
-The Northern Folk are a band that we’ve had our eye on in the past but now… whew, this song is at another level. The snappy pop style of this track is really great, but the lyrics on this one are in a different place. “Always been a sucker for sin” was a line that popped for me, part of this sensual horn and piano element that makes the song feel like you’re out too late and just buzzing a little. You know? Of course you know. The political lyrics are going to punch you right in the gut, though. Fair warning.
Young Mister – “Imaginary Lines”
-So take a little drop of John Fullbright’s songwriting with a little side of someone like John Mayer’s production. Got it? That’s Young Mister. His work here is really fascinating and enjoyable. The style might be best described as pop folk, but he’s meshing together quite a few different styles just in this one track. I think you’re gonna like it.
Reema – “What the Whisper Said”
-If the term Brit folk means anything to you, you’re already clicking play on this song. The vocal on this song is out of this world. I can’t even believe how excellent the execution is on this track. It has a kind of hippie or countercultural vibe to it. Fans of Joni Mitchell and that era of classic folk music will really find a lot to love about this track.