Benedikt – “Strawberries”
-I don’t know a lot of technical terms for music production, but whatever the effect is on the vocal here works really well. The mysterious energy of the backing string work balanced with this vocal is really intriguing. This is what it means to have a sound that is stylistically similar to other folk music but evidently stands out from the crowd. The introspective lyrics provide an additional layer of intrigue to a truly unique piece.
Big Little Lions – “We were young”
-There’s a beautiful, nostalgic sentiment to this track right from the sentiment. I love the way the harmonies work with Big Little Lions; whereas other folk artists folk on a twee energy, I find this feels more familiar. It reminds me of singing together with a friend. The lyrics will have you thinking back to the folks you grew up with. For me, the song immediately made me think of my cousins and playing outside for hours at a time. This is an exceptionally enjoyable summer song. I’m sure I’ll put it on some folk playlists, but it’s not restricted to genre and is a song everyone can enjoy.
Trace Kotik – “Hesitant”
-There are two primary characters in this story; one is the electric guitar and the other is the atmospheric lead vocal. As the two move together, there’s a sense that the overall track is building toward a folk-rock infused drop. Kotik’s vocal has a bit of a Bon Iver vibe to it here. The song overall has lyrics about a child returning home, so I can’t help but wonder if there’s a prodigal situation here. I can’t be sure of the message, but the evident heart of the song is a call for unity and connection. I appreciate this kind of atmospheric folk and Kotik offers a great example of how that can morph into a majestic rock style as well.