Indie folk-rock artist, Jonas and I, are right on the contemporary curve with their latest single, Love, released via Humu Records. The deeply atmospheric track is cinematic enough that it wouldn’t be out of place in a Hollywood Blockbuster, yet Love wasn’t written with commercial potential solely in mind.
Refreshingly, Jonas and I didn’t fall into the trap of becoming yet another Mumford and Sons assimilator. They went further back to the roots of folk to create a richly narrative radio-ready single that easily distinguishes itself from the rest.
With the tenderness of Tom Odell in the vocals with visceral robustness that gives the lyrics far more meaning, it’s hard not to get absorbed with the rich sonic textures.
Love was released on August 27th, you can check it out via SoundCloud.
North Carolina-dwelling indie-folk-pop trio Migrant Birds craft their accordant singles to ensure that folk stays contemporary. Their standout single, Feel it All, rekindles the magic of old-school folk while allowing you to get lost in the lush modern production.
In Feel it All, orchestral strings quiver below light acoustic guitars while the sublimely layered harmonies drift above. Any fans of Noah and the Whale, Mumford and Sons and Friendly Fires will want to save a spot on their playlists for Migrant Birds and their escapism-aiding soundscapes.
In his latest single, Drivin’ Me Crazy, up and coming artist Nav’s Hook pulled up the roots of rhythm, country and blues to create an indie-folk-pop jam that pays ode to romantic mania. The infectiously uplifting track comes complete with shimmering Gretschy guitars, foot-stompin’ rhythms and some all too efficacious vocal hooks which make an earworm out of the release.
Any fans of Ryan Adams, Chris Cornell, John Mayer and Jason Isbell won’t want to miss out on this expressively seductive radio-ready track that practically begs for repeat attention.
You can check out the official lyric video for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
Singer-songwriter Neil Armstrong first won us over with his cinematic folk exploration of Western movie culture through his single, Falling Man, in 2020. With his latest single, Moon, he’s gone interstellar.
The soulfully rendered piano pop single carries an expressive yet tender flamboyance that should be a hit with fans of Elton John, Bowie and ELO. Armstrong truly comes into his own through his huskily affectionate vocals and his lyrics that draw parallels between the cosmos and the connections we make with each other.
Neil Armstrong may be the only person in 2021 venturing into space that isn’t a total douche. Forget about the space race and immerse yourself in this passion-driven sweet serenade instead.
Moon officially released on August 21st; you can check it out for yourselves here.
As she attentively sings with breathtaking intimacy that blends so much beautiful air away from a rather foggy world with so much unfortunate pollution, Hélène Renaut reminds us that those soul-healing moments are there to be remembered if you know where to look on ‘Summer Love‘.
Hélène Renaut is an angelic indie-folk singer-songwriter, guitarist, drummer and classically trained violinist who was born in peaceful Brittany in France, who now calls Los Angeles, California her home.
”Poems, music, love and a lot of tea.” ~ Hélène Renaut
She is a true nature lover who sings freely with that blossoming care and real love that so many wish they had for breakfast each day. Each note performed is a calming ambiance that covers your mood from the gusting winds outside your threatened door, so that only kind thoughts and hospitable tranquilly may be forever restored into its rightful place.
This is the more-than-ideal lead single for her just-released album ‘The Bells of Freedom‘, and we are blessed with a real calming wind of wonder from an artist who seem to posses such natural grace. This is the heart-beating message that many think is still possible – as you wish to the trees outside that your dreams may all come true – with that special soul who shall arrive rather unexpectedly.
‘Summer Love‘ from the gracious Los Angeles-born, French folk singer-songwriter extraordinaire Hélène Renaut, is one of the most soothing songs you will hear all year. Her dreamy vocals puts you into a much happier place than before, as the 60’s influenced baroque pop mixed with pure folk-filled treats, has you smiling from ear to ear. Life can be so simple after all, if you keep your thoughts in the right place.
Hear her peacefully beautiful new single on Spotify and follow her journey on IG.
If you cranked That Handsome Devil’s sex appeal up to 11, you’d be left with Paul Bidault’s latest swampy, swinging, dark-jazz folk track, Who Do You Think You Are? Which experiments with a more maleficent side of the sound that Tom Waits made iconic.
With swing band percussion rattling around trombones and consistently evolving guitars in the richly dark and eerie soundscape, Bidault’s whiskey-soaked murder-folk vocals that wouldn’t be out of place in the Psychobilly scene have the perfect atmosphere to fall into.
The Paris-born, Mexico-city based artist is one to watch for anyone that gets their kicks from stumbling into tracks that carry familiar themes while completely reinventing them through the artist’s vision.
Who Do You Think You Are? was officially released on August 20th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify or the artist’s official website.
Classically trained Austin, Texas-born singer-songwriter Kelsey Hughen has released her latest cinematic Celtic folk single, House on a Hilltop; the semi-orchestral single captures Hughen’s genre-fluid at its most arcane.
The celestial timbre of the instrumentals sets a fantastical tone, as the lyrics yearn for an escape from the struggle of conformity with the one person that you can strip back the façade with unashamedly. House on a Hilltop is easily one of the sincerest love songs to hit the airwaves this year. The way it captures the security of love that frees us is just beyond beautiful.
House on Hilltop is now available to stream via Spotify.
Taken briskly from his upcoming debut EP cleverly named ‘Roominate‘, Gerard Frain has us feeling in a rather reflective gaze into the mirror as you ‘Remember‘ being with someone so special, who you thought would be holding your hand forever.
Gerard Frain is a Leonard Cohen, George Harrison and Paul Simon-inspired indie-folk singer-songwriter from South Yorkshire in England. He fuses that memory-filled nostalgic energy which sweeps you outside into the fields full of nature, as you recall those past moments which you can’t easily forget.
”Recorded entirely by himself in his bedroom he’ll have you emotionally grasped by the lyrics one second and tapping your toes the next.” ~ Gerard Frain
Sung with a comforting melody full of classic fondness to those who you want to remember, this is a wonderful song with such beauty attached. For a debut release, you have to admire this quality on a track that reminds you of those legendary music days, with the all-time icons he grew up listening to.
‘Remember‘ from the highly promising South Yorkshire indie-folk singer-songwriter Gerard Frain, is that feeling-I-regret single that has you in a rather sad trance, which is so hard to snap out of. Your mind is transfixed onto that moment which saw you drift away and you feel an empty heart resurface, as you wish things were so different.
No one wants to grow old and alone in this lonely world after all.
Listen to this debut track on Spotify and see more on his IG.
Down the Creek is the latest single to be released by the conceptually expressive singer-songwriter Janae Genna, featuring vocals from Alex Johnston. It was co-written by Janae Genna and Justin Brittain as part of the score for the film, Here Now. The accordant lullaby starts archetypally before the folksy single takes on an eerier tone, progressing almost in the same way as the cult-hit folk film Midsommar – before all the gore.`
Janae Genna’s and Alex Johnston’s layered harmonies give the otherwise minimalist soundscape a panoramically dynamic feel but as the single gears towards the outro, an uneasiness nestles into the release. The sense of anticipation it leaves you with could only be described as immense. You come to expect an ending akin to Nick Cave’s Where the Wild Roses Grow, you’re left with a foreboding unknown.
The brutalist architecture in the single artwork perfectly captures the bleak tone in the Fullers’ latest semi-orchestral single, Unreal City, which comes with 70s melancholic pop-rock nostalgia and a sorrowful indie post-punk edge.
The Fullers have been in formation since 2018; they garnered the attention of BBC Surrey and Essex before transforming their rock sound to make the most of songwriter Peter Neilan’s classical training. The evolution in their sound allows classical motifs to coalesce with folk elements; any fans of Ben Folds will want to pay attention.
Unreal City was officially released on August 13th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.