Photo credit: Jen Ziegler
Four Folk Acts to Keep You Cool This Summer
In the midst of the sweltering heat of this summer, whether you’re sitting on a southern porch with a growler of something delicious or in a posh urban apartment sipping on something in a hoity-toity glass, here are some tunes to make what you’re drinkin’ go down smooth. Okay who am I kidding, all you granola-eating hipsters are going to have this playing just long enough to head out on a hike or go for a swim in the closest lake. Well get out there and enjoy the sunshine, kids, and enjoy these bands in the process.
All the Islands – Modern Man
-This is the kind of pop folk music that seems to be everywhere these days. The banjo, the harmonica, and of course the hand claps… you can just picture these guys playing these tracks at a house show near you. If you feel the incredible urge to yell “yeehaw” you are not alone. In the folk music continuum, All the Islands are pretty far to the country side, but don’t let that dissuade you from giving them a fighting chance. From solid compositions to fun, unconventional melodies, it’s a pop folk music that will keep the summer feeling going smooth.
Georgian Bay – Patience
-If you’re looking for spine-tingling, chilled out folk music, you really have to give Georgian Bay a spin. The female-lead harmonies are absolutely phenomenal. Not all of the tracks on the album will feel like a typical folk album, in fact several of them feel a bit dissonant and melancholy. But then there are moments of light and beauty that peek through, just like life, that make the dissonance worth enduring. The strings can be haunting, the harmonies deeply rewarding, and some avant garde soundscapes that will challenge the way you think about music in all the right ways.
The Tin Man – Too Many Lines EP
-I love the opening track of this album, “Too Many Lines.” It’s an old gospel tune with quintessential gospel harmonies. It’s one of the most amazing songs of the year for me, to be honest. The rest of the album is great, too, but that song really blows me away. There’s an easy, smooth way about the songwriting of The Tin Man. It can feel like the best of contemporary country music (think Rascal Flatts), but also shine through with an old fashioned folk sensibility as well. It’s a creative, well-produced, and often-crisp sound.
Wild Rivers – Self Titled
-There’s a right way and a wrong way to do “vibrato” and the lead female vocalist in Wild Rivers knows how to do it right. You can hear from the beginning of this album that both of the vocalists are well polished. The harmonies and style remind me of everything I love about Bears of Legend. Then, add in a bit of an authenticity kick that I always get from Native Sibling. It’s really a remarkable album from start to finish with killer harmonies and endearing songwriting. It’s not too much of an overstatement to say that albums like this are why you, dear folk fan, read this website. This one isn’t a “quick listen,” rather a “buy and listen over and over again.” Wild Rivers are pretty much tailor made for EarToTheGround readers.