#NewMusicFriday – Episode 58 – Vote in the poll to decide who wins an artist feature!

Here we go again on our own… goin’ down the only road we’ve ever known.

Apologies to the iconic band Whitesnake for borrowing their lyrics, but sometimes this can feel like “oh here we go again” with NMF. But please, if you have any honor, give these tracks an honest listen. And when you love an artist or two here, please share the post with your friends. Our goal is to spread love and good music… won’t you join us?

James Walker – “Weathered”
-If contemplative singer songwriters are of interest to you, James Walker is an excellent choice. The phrasing on this song is as much poetic as it is sung. The thoughtful lyrics, though, are really fascinating. When it transitions to soft waltz timing, I can feel something incredibly deep going on with the song. It’s a song with immense depth and character, while still being easy to listen to.

Daniel Alexander – “Doubleglazedown”
-This is an extremely moving politically conscious track about corruption and power grabbing. The song’s style is really easy to enjoy, allowing for the lyrics to penetrate your soul. It’s the kind of thoughtful track that gets you to think about the world that we live and move and breathe in. What a powerful statement. You may not like this one, but you will be moved.

James Holt – “Whatever Happened to John?”
-This is a really fun track with a nice uptempo throwback sound. Imagine the old school world of Chuck Berry influencing the young Beatles. This track captures that. Co-editor Matt Simon described this as “rambling lyrics like Dylan and Jake Bugg.” I agree. It’s still a ridiculously enjoyable listen.

The Guest and the Host – “Remedy”
-When I listen to this song, I feel like I’m at home. This is my happy place. The vocal is on point, the harmonies are really welcoming, and the entire composition feels comfortable. This is the type of sound that defines the new folk revival for me. The lyrics are about finding your way and it just works!

Critics – “Key Lime Pie”
-This might be the wrong time of year for this banging college rock track, but it’s so addictive we had to cover it. Do you hear that? It just sounds like it should be playing at a frat house. That said, this glowing, hook-laden indie rock is infectiously fun to listen to, despite reminding me of less harmonious stages of my own life.

Gifts or Creatures – “Two Hearts (Two Peninsulas)”
-The keys that open this track make you feel immediately relaxed. Then, as the male-female vocal harmony enters the track, there’s a really uplifting quality to it. But what I like is that the song is written with a “minor” feel to it, while also being contemplative and thoughtful. More Dolly and Kenny than Civil Wars, it’s nevertheless an inspiring folk rock duo that pops.

Wiens Lief – “Better than me”
-Prepare for some chills with this remarkable song. Wiens Lief are an all-female three-part harmony group. The song’s style is vintage, feeling a bit like a last track from Simon and Garfunkel. The vocal blending here is absolutely top notch. The easy comparison is the Staves, but I like Wiens Lief in their own right; something about their style feels absolutely genuine. I believe them.

The Sowing Season – “Meribah”
-This is a really fun, harmonic track. It has a worship style to it, which may not be for everyone. But one thing that really is evident here is that the sound is crisp and has a fun folk style to it. The biblical imagery really resonates. The gang vocal “and we cry you are our God” would really be fun to sing together at a live show.

Todd Kessler – “Old Fashioned Way”
-Before I began writing this piece on Todd’s song, I shared it on my personal social media. That’s my endorsement! I love this little song. The production is superb and it allows Kessler’s vocal to resonate powerfully. His overall style is rejuvenating and I love how it compliments the lyrical content. It permeates with nostalgia, reminding me of all sorts of halcyon days.

Julia Piker – “September”
-The classic folk structure on this Julia Piker song is really wonderful. It reminds me of the Mamas and the Papas or something, even though it’s a solo piece. When the rock sound joins partway through the song, you’ll find yourself really getting amped up. The aggression is real and you’ll grit your teeth for the finish.

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