Matthew James Lyons – “Rhymes”
-Something about the chromatic chord structure of this song really connects with me. I appreciate the folk rock style throughout the track, but it’s those chords that win me over. Fans of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will find a lot to like in Lyons’ style here. This one feels like it’s from another time in the best way possible.
Iris and Steel – “Two steps behind”
-I guess you could call this chamber folk music, right? No matter what subgenre of folk you hear in this track, it’s a good little tune. I appreciate the expressive vocal style and the impassioned string work. The violin, cello, and guitar all work together for a rewarding full sound. I love the lyric “nobody feels like you do.” It’s about something more than the surface of so much music today; this is about a transcendent, soulful connection. Very sweetly expressed.
Scalawag – “You on my mind”
-The atmospheric elements of this track really set it apart in a crowded folk scene right now. The duo vocal harmonies are what I personally like the most. When you combine these elements together, you have a truly standout piece of music that appeals on many levels. There’s a kind of intimacy to this recording that you rarely find in music today. It feels… for lack of a better word, “organic.” I am definitely glad to have found the charming, endearing style of Scalawag.