Darren Kiely – “Time to leave”
-Everything about this track from the quality raspy lead vocal to the subtle harmonies are perfect for the type of folk we like to feature. There’s a punctuated, percussive style to the verses that keeps the song moving along nicely. If you’ve ever had a moment in life where you had to really assess a relationship and leave it, this song will resonate. It’s a beautiful breakup song full of emotion with a genuine sense that the way forward is best to separate. The emotion and instrumentation are a fantastic match.
Virens – “salut!”
-This is the kind of pop indie folk that feels like the Oh Hellos or the Lumineers back in their popular moment. But Virens certainly have their own artistry to stand on in this incredible tune. Layers of traditional folk meet more contemporary theatricality. The blend makes for a sound that echoes other artists but doesn’t quite parallel anything I’ve heard in over a decade of covering folk music. There’s an epic poetic element to the song that definitely makes for an intriguing message that works incredibly well with the unique instrumentation and style. This is a “ya just gotta hear it” tune!
Katherine Paterson – “Bloom”
-Every once in a while a song comes along that just feels really sweetly comfortable. Katherine Paterson’s “Bloom” has a softness to it that works really well. The string instrumentation, what sounds like a mandolin, creates a different mood than a guitar would. There’s something about the use of space, in particular, that makes this song stand out. The poetic writing feels unhurried, thoughtful, and genuine. Fans of artists like Anna Tivel and Rachel Bearinger will find a lot to like in this unique singer songwriter style. (PS – Stick around for the last minute. There’s a pretty substantial shift in style but it’s very satisfying.)
Image courtesy: Darren Kiely IG