Five Folk Bands to Start Your 2016 Off Right
These list articles are fun to write. They allow us to introduce our readers to multiple new and emerging artists. The great, fear, though, is that sometimes will not find the article as easily when scanning their email or the search results page. So please share this article with your friends and relations who enjoy this kind of music. There are many different versions of “folk” music and there are several iterations represented here. If one of these bands makes you think of a loved one, please take the five seconds (and zero cost) it takes to share it. The loved one will love you more, the bands appreciate it, and the survival of our site depends on it. Here’s some music:
Bloch Eyot – Magic Folkgrass
-The first time I heard Bloch Eyot, I experienced a tangible euphoria. I felt like I was listening to something that could perform some sort of supernatural feat. It made me feel a sense of being in a different place and a different time. The use of the term “magic” doesn’t really feel like an overstatement. In any event, you’ll notice that Eyot’s album is rewarding from start to finish. The tracks address a wide variety of emotions with great sincerity. The music will simultaneously remind you of older classic folk music and something unique – a true storyteller’s style. This is not an album you want to miss if you take folk music seriously.
Quiet Island – Self Titled
-Last year I covered a band called the Postmen from Switzerland. In particular, I featured a cover they did of “Helplessly Hoping” that I still listen to on occasion. The band reached out to let me know that they changed their name and have a new album out. This self titled debut holds everything I loved about the Postmen; unconventional melodies (think Fleet Foxes) with still-amazing vocal harmonies (think CSNY). They are not typical folk music in the sense of the acoustic singer songwriter style, but their sound is appropriately eclectic. The album teleports listeners to the golden era of the 1960s on several occasions. “Freedom Echoes – Exile” is a great snapshot if you just have time for one to check them out.
Jack and Eliza – Gentle Warnings
-You could called Jack and Eliza indie rock or Americana, even, at times. They sometimes remind me of the beach. But then again they sometimes sound like a pretty awesome folk duo, which is why they’re on this list. Acts like this are why Dylan plugged in his guitar 50 years ago. Seriously the storytelling is there. The emotion is raw and in each song, sometimes about love and sometimes about doubt. But the rich sound textures make the guitars sound super sexy and the vocal blending is enough to make Brian Wilson blush with envy. Seriously if you like Pacific Coast rock music and folk rock, Jack and Eliza need to be in your ears right this minute.
Native Harrow – Ghost
-If you’re a fan of relaxing indie folk music, Native Harrow is an excellent choice. They are talented and feature the kind of soothing folk music that is perfect for a coffee shop or a day of studying. They have an authentic flavor to them. Much of the music seems to be influenced by classic Americana and folk acts like CSNY or Simon and Garfunkel. That said, their own smartly-crafted lyrics give the band their own identity. I definitely look forward to hearing more from them as the duo continues to evolve.
Family and Friends – XOXO
-This is just a fun album. I mean pure, unadulterated fun. It’s like bright sunrays through the window in the morning. It’s the kind of “wake up and breathe” album that perfectly suits the optimism of a new year. Fans of Branches or even a band like Green River Ordinance will really like this band. They really like drums and gang vocals, so be forewarned this is not exactly the sit around the fire and sing Kumbyah kind of folk. It’s pretty much the folk revival pulled to a stylistic extreme… and I totally dig it. Give them a spin. Try “Howl” if you only have time for one. You’ll get hooked!