Westhead – “Benji”
-The crooning sincerity of the lead vocal here reminds me of Rayland Baxter. I mean that as high praise. In fact, the whole composition reminds me of some really remarkable modern folk writers. By the time the strings enter the track, I really don’t know what to make of this song but I like it. Something about it feels distinctly old, like the heyday of Laurel Canyon folk music. The blend of styles and energies in this piece of music will blow your mind. Give it a spin!
Scott Jackson – “Folded maps”
-I love the fingerpicking in the opening of this song. The rising atmospheric energy in the background helps the song unfold into a fuller picture. The whole composition feels familiar, but at the same time I am certain I’ve never heard it before. Jackson’s vocal has a gentle intimacy to it, like a friend talking to a friend over a cup of coffee. Maybe we’re talking about where we’re going. The lyrics give that impressionistic style, allowing your imagination to dream of the scenarios and emotions that inspired this beautiful piece of music. I could listen to just the guitar part of this song on repeat. So, so good.
Madeline Doornaert – “Sing up, sing softly”
-When I find an artist like Madeline Doornaert, I just feel like the world is a better place. Do I compare her to great folk singer songwriters of the past? Of course. But honestly I just want you to listen to this song for Madeline’s own artistic sake. It’s beautifully done, with a vintage aesthetic, a timeless appeal, and a musical basis that is rooted in real music. The lyrics are full of love and longing. The melody twists and turns with a few really sweet chord changes and a rewarding sing-along feel. A lot of people will be able to relate to the song’s sentiment. Sing along, why don’t you? Sing up, sing softly. Never be sorry.