Five Formative Folk Songs

Folk music is at the core of our identity at EarToTheGround. So what makes a formative folk song? Well there has to be some guitar, some contemplative lyrics, and a well-delivered vocal. Beyond that, it can go anywhere. Which of these do you like best? Tell us on social media.

Clara Strauch – “Islands”
-This song has several great vibes going all at once. There’s the island sensibility from the title, a bit of Celtic Woman maturity in the vocal, and a lot of raw energy that is deeply satisfying. Some of the atmospheric elements even put me in mind of early Fleet Foxes. This captivating style is truly unique.

Okay Mann – “When She’s Not Around”
-Harmonic folk music is seriously one of the reasons we started blogging so every time we hear a band like Okay Mann, we just melt. The lyrics are, of course, about a broken relationship. But some of the natural imagery pops really well with the beautifully arranged vocal harmonies. This is an album (not just a track) that we’re going to be watching closely around here. This is “next level” good and puts us in mind of Darlingside, high praise around here.

Galapaghost – “Pulse”
-We’ve covered Galapaghost here before, but when something is this good it’s hard not to cover it again. The sense of passion in this song is absolutely infectious. There’s something deeply cinematic as well as personal that connects. The rolling fingerpicking is enough to get us interested, but then the creative use of electric guitar and heartfelt vocal work come together for a really great track. It’s not your grandpa’s folk, but we still dig it a lot.

Rosie Carney – “Winter”
-Subtle and beautiful, melancholy and rich… it’s really difficult to put your finger on what makes Rosie Carney so wonderful. She sings with a richness that is not always pitch perfect, but always feels like it’s from the heart. She embodies the 21st century folk realm quite well, seemingly crying out in the darkness to be heard. The layered strings come alongside her minimalist vocal in a way that feels natural, believable, and deeply moving.

Fergus – “You Or Nothing”
-The pitch of this vocal is pretty stunning. I don’t know much about the artist, but what you can feel through the singing is an open and stunningly gorgeous heart. Maybe this is a band or maybe it’s layered vocal. Who knows? Whatever it is, the electric guitar line works like a well-laid red carpet for the star of the show – the vocal – to saunter into the song and capture all the attention. It’s a love song… and it’s heartwrenching.

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