Sleep Walking Animals – “Wild folk”
-The understated style of this track from start to finish is really appealing. I feel like a lot of folk today is in a hurry to get handclapping, but this track shows that a song can be spiritual and moving without being rowdy. The lush harmonies remind me a tad of the iconic Fleet Foxes. Yeah, I said it. That said, the overall track rises and falls with a beautiful, inviting energy. This is artful folk music that certainly deserves your attention.
Blindhead – “Safe passage”
-Something about this melody reminded me of some old days I’m too young to experience. I’m not sure if it’s Dylan or earlier, but there’s an energy to this track that feels like the best of the old times. There poetic lyrical structure will have you listening more than once. It’s complex but still toe-tappingly good. There’s even a faintly punk vibe here that shows the close relationship between the punk and folk genres. Even if the vocal and lyrics weren’t fascinating, that acoustic guitar lick is enough to keep me around. But the whole thing is great. Give it a spin.
Tommy Ashby – “Poolside”
-It turns out Tommy Ashby is one of the names for me to remember in 2021. I just keep seeing this name in the “accepted” pile and for good reason! The artful compositions are commanding of the attention of serious folk fans. The production on this song is really something spectacular. It maintains a focus on lyrical folk music, while allowing atmospheric synth work in the background to swell and fill the room. The combination feels like something that you’ve not really heard, but will want to hear more. The banjo in the second half of the song gives it an Oh Hellos vibe and, if you followed their career, you know is a great place to be for Ashby’s present and future in folk.