A Choir of Ghosts – “Sinner in rapture”
-This track feels as much metal as it is folk. Now don’t be scared by that description; instrumentally it is pure folk music. But what I mean is that there’s a drama to the piece that feels rather heavy. I feel like with a few well placed amplifiers this could turn into Nu Metal rather quickly. It’s a fascinating “Pilgrim’s Progress” style of reflection, as deep as you want it to be.
Aisha Badru – “Love doesn’t fade”
-The pure talent of Aisha Badru wins me every time. Her performance is at a level that very few artists ever attain. The intimacy in the vocal is incredible. I honestly think if her music got major airtime, she’d become a household name. The delicate Norah Jones style production on this song with captivating lyrics makes it have major hit potential. I adore this.
Bootstrap Boys – “Let’s Roll”
-If you like Sturgill Simpson‘s vocal, you’ll like this track from the Bootstrap Boys. It’s got a “bring down the house” rock meets country vibe to it. It might not fit the old timer’s definition of folk music, but it definitely suits a certain niche within Americana. We are looking for the hard stuff in the cabinet on this one. Shot, anyone?
Edward Doyle – “This I know”
-I know it’s not a professional term to call something adorable, but really this song is. If you happen to be reading this on a holiday or anniversary or your beloved’s birthday… play this song. It’s so nice. The string work provides a lovely base, but honestly it’s the sincerity in the vocal that makes Doyle stand out in a crowd of singer songwriters. He’s got a poetic sensibility and honest delivery. He’s a favorite.
Nine Year Sister – “Bound for the Mountains”
-This is an incredible folk harmony track. I am in awe of the sibling harmonies from this band. I might push back on some of the production decisions here, prefering more of a basic aesthetic allowing the simple folk construction of the song itself to shine through. That said, I can’t pass up harmonies like these. Such a captivating sound! I’ll be watching their career as they continue to rise through the ranks.
St Anthony Mann – “Still”
-I stopped writing the article to share this track on my personal social media. If that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is. The stillness invoked by the song in its composition as much as its title is… perfect. I feel a sense of calm with every listen of the track. As much acoustic folk as I’ve listened to in the past decade, this has got to be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable songs on the list. It’s truly a blessing.
Bookie Baker – “Gamble of the Day”
-If you like jangling folk music, you really must follow Bookie Baker. This song feels like what we all loved about Mumford and Sons back in the day. Should I name drop the Lumineers too? Honestly it’s such a fun sound. You can sing along. My favorite part is the chromatic chord changes on the chorus. Everything from strings to vocal work perfectly on this track. In fact, I’m going to put it on my end of year watch list.
Ben Strawn – “Dying days”
-Folk acoustic singer songwriters are literally why I became a blogger. When I find someone like Ben Strawn with his sincere, gentle, moving style, I can’t help but smile. This kind of music reminds me of growing up listening to people play around the campfire. Even the piano that enters the track feels like home. The super sad lyrics permeate a different part of my soul and remind me of lost loved ones. This is a magical track.