Ariza – “Keep on”
-This track is one of those genre wonders that seems to fit just about anywhere and nowhere. Something about it reminds me of some classics like the Eagles, yet it feels very new at the same time. I like the way the “pocket” of the song feels so natural and comfortable. This is definitely one for your easy listening playlist.
Connor McCoy – “Problem Children”
-I admire the intensity of this track. Who says all folk sounds the same? The style that McCoy brings here is kind of an indie pop meets acoustic style. I like the way the vocal is almost a secondary element to the opening parts, then it blossoms into the feature in the middle of the track. I’m not entirely sure I understand the lyrics, but I think it’s about perseverance and working together. I’m ok with that. It’s a good tune.
Will Bremen – “Tiny house”
-Bremen is a talented singer songwriter, sure. But what I like most about this song is that it’s a narrative in and of itself. He’s clearly minimalist, honest, and kind. The way that the lines roll into each other feels about as old fashioned as can be. There’s a wholesomeness about this song that I really like.
Aisha Badru – “Prisoners and Guards”
-Badru is an immensely fascinating artist. I don’t know what makes her vocal cut through like it does, but it soothes me to the core. I like the way the near-whispered vocal is so gentle and moving. The lyrics are poetic and meaningful. I quoted the “we are the prisoners and the guards holding the pain hostage in our hearts” to a dear friend of mine. It’s that kind of song that will make you feel SO MUCH. I really like this. Badru is a rising star.
Yoke Lore – “Safe and Sound”
-Long time readers of our site will say “hey wait a minute we know this artist.” Right. Well job. You do know Yoke Lore. This is a delightful new salvo from one of our longtime favs on the site. This song specifically has some amazing little harmonies on the chorus that build with that “epic piano chord” style toward a soaring second half of the chorus. It’s funny because you might not think of this as typical singer songwriter fare, but it absolutely fits with a certain ethos that we love on this site… let’s call it hope, ok?
Plasi – “Mystery”
-One of my favorite thing about writing these features is that I get to discover artists from all over the world. I never thought I would cover so many Swedish folk artists on this site, but here we are! Plasi is among a long line of immensely talented singer songwriters who seem to be able to write with uncanny gentleness and finesse. I really enjoy the way this song feels in the soul as much as the sound. I don’t really understand how music works, but I know that it is medicine for my soul. It’s a mystery, I guess.
Thomas Ashby – “What I expected”
-This thoughtful acoustic track fits with what our site has been about from day one. The songwriting is good, the lyrics are thoughtful, and the vocal style is to DIE for. Ashby is an artist we keep hearing lately and we keep saying yes! It’s so fun to find an artist who isn’t just “good for one song.” Ashby’s poetic lyricism focuses on the complexity of a relationship but also how to preserve your sense of self amid that complexity. I think it’s an important song both for the relaxing guitar work and the excellent vocal.
Tara Velarde – “Willow Baby”
-I really argued with myself whether to include this song here or save it for a folk playlist next week. It’s really fun loving. I decided it has enough pop appeal and charm to be with these other singer songwriters. I can’t believe how much I am enjoying the woodwinds on this song. It’s like an old school country vocal with a chamber folk arrangement. It works wonders for the soul.