Marmalakes – “Slow Dance”
-We’ve covered Marmalakes in the past, so we were thrilled to hear more from these talented artists. The intricate and subtle style from the guitar to the vocal is really appealing. It’s the kind of relaxed modern folk music that shows we don’t all need to be yelling and handclapping to express positive emotions. This is a delightful track worth putting on steady rotation.
Fathom Lane – “Fingers and Toes”
-Fathom Lane ride that line between folk and Americana music, between country and rock, between new and old. They are an intriguing new group making some of the better chill music we’ve heard in a long time. The syrupy style of the lead vocal works perfectly with the delicate understated harmonies here. When the full composition comes together, you’ll find this amalgamation of American music from pop harmonies to throwback country melodies. It’s a solid track for sure.
Vanderlay – “An Oversight”
-Sometimes you hear a vocal tone that is just perfect for the genre; that’s the case here, with Vanderlay giving just enough intonation to make this jazzy Americana feel like the real deal. The fiddle here does some great work to provide texture for this captivating song. You can say a lot about this song, but you can’t say you’ve ever heard anything like it before. This is cutting edge artistry in the folk genre.
John Calvin Abney – “Always Enough”
-Abney’s vocal sounds more like an alt rock guy than a typical folkster, but his lyrics and overall style definitely belong here. This song drips with authenticity and makes me feel the way I did when I first heard Water Liars. There’s a positivity to the song embodied in the keys. Something about the chord structure reminds me of a 60s pop song, but it works and I keep coming back for more.
Black Suit Devil – “Fumble”
-It’s just a strummed guitar and a whispered vocal. I know. Trust me I get it. But holy hell does this guy have soul in his voice. Sometimes you don’t hear a song so much as you feel it. This is an incredible song and stands out like a lighthouse beacon on a dark night for us. The Kensrue-esque sincerity and delivery made fans of us right away. We’ll be watching this fella’s career for sure.
Elsmore Carey – “Young and Old”
-Carey is a South African folk artist bringing a subtle, genuine music to the world. The lyrics lay across like poetry, while the melody line feels familiar. The overall track is easy listening, with stimulating pops of electric guitar to keep it from feeling tired or stale. This is perfect for that work or chill playlist.
Count This Penny – “Baby You”
-It’s hard to find a good male-female duo that doesn’t feel derivative or even outright copying. But Count This Penny have a sincerity in their style and delivery that really deserve to be in elite company. They’re different than the Civil Wars, but that’s a style they connect with. They remind me a bit of the YouTube duo the Light Parade, who we also enjoy. This slow burner here is perfectly romantic with lyrics that cut right to the sadness of a breakup.
Jonamoon – “Friends”
-This is the sweetest song we’ve heard in a while. It’s got an optimistic charm both in the lightness of the lead vocal, as well as the chords that bounce across the track. The line “but I love you as a friend” is sweet, but wow if you’ve ever heard it can really cut deep. The levity of the track’s style helps to ease across the meaningful message. The folksy rock storytelling style is perfect for the lyrics.