Angela Harris – “Still”
-The best way to describe how I feel about this love song from Angela Harris is that I shared it with my wife of 12 years. If that don’t say how I feel bout it, ain’t nothin will. No, but seriously, this is one of those “bring the lights down and hold her close” songs. It’s beautiful. Harris’s vocals and lyrics are a perfect match.
Maria Kelly – “June”
-The song’s title is “June” but I think the mood fits perfectly for fall. Something about the texture of the vocal and the effect feels like sweater weather to me. It’s a wonderfully sweet composition. “I want to love you like I chose to” is a gorgeous, expressive line too. It’s an eloquently balanced song in terms of production. I am happy to support this art.
Charm of Finches – “The Bridge”
-This contemplative folk song almost defies modern categories. There are some classic vocal harmonies and strings that make it feel old fashioned at times, yet there’s a modern feeling in some of the backing track too. As the song unfolds, it feels timeless and meaningful. It’ll require a few listens, but it soaks through like an old John Denver tune.
Joseph Hammill – “I am yours”
-Something about the style and phrasing of this song feels like modern church music. That said, the declarative phrasing in the lyrics is also quite engaging. You can’t help but wonder WHO he’s singing to. Is it a lover? A friend? Something or someone divine? It’s one of the most confidently existential songs we’ve heard and we can’t help but be intrigued.
Graci Phillips – “Conductor Doctor”
-Check out the lyrics. There’s a nice play on “Doctor Doctor” for sure. Beyond that, though, the genre mashup of some sort of 20s jazzy swing with modern pop music is infectiously fun. It’s like a Postmodern Jukebox take on a few blended tracks. The style is definitely unique and shakes up traditional versions of “folk” music.
Brooks Hubbard – “Blood in the Cotton Fields”
-In my other life when I don’t write about music, I’m a history teacher with a focus on the Civil War. When I ran across this song, I was impressed first by the vocal and then by the intriguing lyrics. When you take it all together, even the subtlely pleasing organ work, it’s a modern folk song with some powerful lyrical meaning. I am a bit conflicted on positively evoking the memory of the rebellion, but I appreciate the song itself.
Adam Melchor – “Metadata”
-This is the kind of music that John Lennon would write if he was still alive, I promise you that. It’s critical of our world, blends some fascinating tech elements, but preserves the raw string work that makes humans feel human. It reverberates, in a word, deeply within a person as only music can. I unabashedly LOVE this song and find it to be one of the best of the year. You might here me comment on this a bit more in a few months…
Michigan Rattlers – “Evergreen”
-When it comes to Americana, there’s a certain ethos that has to be captured. Michigan Rattlers seem to have that captured here in spades. I mean the song is named after a category of trees… the strings laid down are simple but engaging… and the lyrics win the song over. It’s what Americana is all about. Fans of artists like Joe Purdy or even the Milk Carton Kids definitely need to spin this track. We’ve heard these snakes before, but this track takes them to another level. Love it.
Modern Monet – “Blonde Horse”
-I think it’s a cello. Just hush and listen to that cello steal the show here. Then you hear these eloquent, delicate vocals that whisper and wane into the rest of the track. This is one of the most captivating songs we’ve heard recently. The guitar is so hypnotic, it helps you “lose yourself” in the folk duo harmonies. This folk music leaves a real impression.
St Pete Holland – “Leslie Likes It Loud”
-St Pete Holland is one of the most perfect “fit” bands we’ve found this year. They just seem to “get it” when it comes to modern folk music. There’s even a trumpet! YES! I’m not real sure what Leslie likes loud, exactly, but I have some guesses. (It’s music, isn’t it?) Anyways, this is a really fun track because it has a gang vocal and some fantastically clever lyrics. We’re going to presume this won’t be the last time you hear about SPH on our site!