Freight Train Foxes – “Avalance”
-This is a relaxed folk song about a disaster. It’s a nice little metaphor in the lyrics. I appreciate the way the lead vocal nestles right into the middle of the mix, allowing the strings to fill out the sound. The overall mix feels comfortable, yet the variety in the verse, chorus, and bridge all keep it from being just another repetitive folk tune. It stands out.
Tomo – “Enough to drink”
-If you’re a fan of acoustic folk music, give Tomo a spin. This track has a narrative style with some really pithy lyrical moments along the way. The atmospheric vocals in the background create some depth in what is a truly creative endeavor. I appreciate the raw, authentic nature of this recording.
Tommy – “The Butcher”
-Tommy’s track “The Butcher” is a little more pop than folk, but I’m including it here because I like the way the song connects. It has a bit of a Paul Simon brand of pop folk to it. I really appreciate the gentleness in the piano work. The full composition is very endearing and some of the descriptive lines will give you chills.
Jack Kessell – “Heaven’s Touch”
-The energy of this track is right on the border between folk and pop music. It’s got a nice rolling style in the string work that makes each line feed into one another. The lyrics are about a hopeful relationship with a dreamlike composition that really pulls the listener in. I like this one because it reminds me of those really vibrant days of young love.
Josh Fudge – “Evergreen”
-If you’ve been watching ETTG’s coverage closely, you’ll know this name from just a few days ago. I was blown away by Fudge’s compositional style from the very start. He reminds me a little of what I liked about Mac Ayres when I first found him. The chilled out neo soul style here is dripping with energy and potential. The cryptic lyrics require a few listens, but the meaning pierces when you feel it. This is deep stuff.
Austin James and the Nomads – “On life and love”
-The electric guitar in the opening of the track stopped me right away. “You have my attention,” I said audibly. Then this soulful, tender lead vocal entered the song. I clicked accept. The combination of gospel and soul energies makes for a really wonderful track. I could listen to a band like this all day long. In fact, I just might.
Glenn Thomas – “Catherine Ames”
-“I let go of you Catherine Ames.” This is one heck of a way to move on. It’s a bit heartbreak, a bit anthem of putting something in the rearview mirror. I’ve been where this guy is, let me just say that. I can relate to the emotions, at least. There’s something to be said for acknowledging that love can still exist but its best to move on. What a powerful sentiment and a well produced pop country rock (?) track. This is what SHOULD be pop, in my opinion.
The Amber Day – “Missing Man”
-If the quarantine is getting you, maybe you’re feeling this desire to hold someone in your arms who is distant. This is a powerful little pop folk tune that gets right at the heart of that sentiment. The lead vocal is solid, allowing for the listener to lean right into the meaningful lyrics. I like the entire ethos of the piece, from the longing in the vocal to the uplifting energy in the strings. There is hope, friends, and music like this is much needed to process our emotions.
Henry Black – “In the mirror”
-Every time I hear Henry Black I think he’s got to be one of the best folk artists making music today. I know that sounds like an exaggeration, but he’s just really amazing. I can’t believe he’s not a household name in the genre (yet). I think he’s one we’ll be seeing playing with Chris Thile and the best of the genre. If you have a connection to Thile or the Milk Carton Kids, give Henry Black a shot. He’s doing something remarkable here for it and the world deserves to hear this magical voice and composition.
Passenger – “The way that I love you”
-I appreciate the legendary artist Passenger. Full stop. But I am even more surprised that his team sends us his music. It’s really nice to have such an established singer songwriter still connected to our little corner of the Internet. We love the thoughtful, signature vocals. The entire style is endearing and sweet. The lyrics of this one remind me of something that Paul Simon or James Taylor would have recorded fifty years ago.