Andrew Phelan – “That’s How”
-Okay so brace yourself for these lyrics. It’s about (wait for it…) drinking. But it’s also about moderation. The verses are definitely worth your attention. They’ll have you laughing, thinking of old friends, and remembering to cut yourself off at a responsible amount. It’s a good time, sing at the bar kind of jam. I can’t believe Phelan isn’t a household name yet. He should be everywhere with this amazing songwriting.
Joshua Burnell – “Skylark and the Oak”
-When you tell your friends you listen to folk music, this is what they picture. A sort of modern day feeling applied to the classic Peter Paul and Mary harmony structure. It’s timeless and enchanting. I love the lyrical complexity here. Something about the articulation reminds me of classic folk music that goes back much further than the 60s folk revival. Nevertheless, the imagination in this track is stunning.
The Karmanauts – “Hold me in your heart”
-This light and delightful song from the Karmanauts is expertly produced. The clarity and precision in the vocals here are amazing. It’s a song that I’ll immediately consider for song of the year. The sense of gentleness and intimacy in the lyrics make it timeless, but the harmonies make it sink deep into my soul. If you’ve ever been in love, you’ve felt the sentiment at the core of this song. It’s truly wonderful.
James Beau Barclay – “Want Me”
-If “hauntingly beautiful” vocals are in your lexicon, then Barclay is going to make a permanent place in your discography and rotation. Barclay writes with a sincerity that belongs in the top echelon of folk singer songwriters like the Tallest Man or Gregory Alan Isakov. There’s just enough rasp… just enough space… just enough gentleness in the recording to make the music resonate. James Beau Barclay has set himself apart from the crowd with this track and I can’t wait to hear more.