Three tracks that prove folk music doesn’t all have to follow the same old formula

Drumming Bird – “American Spirits”
-This is a stunning piece of songwriting. The phrasing requires that you lean in and pay extra close attention, but I promise you will be rewarded with some engaging lyrics. Drumming Bird won’t mind me saying that the lyrics will ruffle some feathers (pardon the pun). That said, I think the unsettling lyrics are helpful for 21st century listeners, particularly Americans, to consider. There’s a lot about American exceptionalism that is worth considering. This song’s dynamic lyrics are met with some fantastic sonic dynamics as well, including guitars and a plaintive-yet-searing lead vocal.

Ocie Elliott – “My everything”
-It seems like every submission we’ve gotten from Ocie Elliott I’ve approved for the past few years. That’s because they’re just that good. We’ve always been suckers for the folk duo style around here, but there’s something special about these two artists in particular. The sincerity in each vocal is enough to carry the act on its own, but when you combine them they make for some sweet harmonies. The phrasing on this track feels dearly poetic. The tension between the cathartic acoustic guitar in the background and the calmly delivered lyrical lines makes for something magical. If you’re a follower of this site, you’re probably not even reading this anymore because you clicked “play” a few minutes ago and have totally tuned out my writing. Rightfully so, I’ll add.

Tomo – “All the lines on your face”
-There’s a sweet, gentleness about this song from Tomo that’s sure to find a lot of fans from our readership. When I found the track, I was transfixed by the easy going nature of the song. The acoustic guitar lead is really wonderful and the background strings create a depth to the composition that really works well. The combination is a soft and satisfying style of folk more akin to chamber folk than the hand clapping pop-informed indie folk… and we’re totally okay with that. Take this one in, think on it, and smile.

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