Browsing Category

Best Folk Music Blog & Promotion

Lindsey Sampson – Sand: An Elemental Folk-Pop Triumph.

With frenetic synth sequencing that made us nostalgic for the soundscapes from Alan Vega, the pop singer-songwriter, Lindsey Sampson’s latest single, Sand, is an elemental triumph.

Oceanic momentum flows through progressive rising tides in the un-archetypally structured single that harnesses deep reverence for natural phenomena and articulately observes how nature often works to reflect introspective sensations.

Lindsey Sampson, who spends her time between Nashville and New England, marries the soul of country with a contemporary indie folk pop edge that is definitively hers. We can fully attest to her ability to appeal to the spirituality that lies within us all – regardless of whether we nurture that relationship or not.

Since her humble beginnings, the singer-songwriter has been nominated for the award of Best Female Performer at the New England Music Awards and received many other accolades along the way while performing solo and as part of her folk-rock band, Visiting Wine. 

Sand will officially release on January 27th. Dig your toes in on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Denim Dan has released his blissfully bitter-sweet folky pop-rock serenade, 3AM (I Call You Up)

Denim Dan is fresh from the release of his fourth studio LP, 3AM; the 70s folky pop-rock album is one you will want to while away the small hours with to keep at bay the nefarious thoughts your mind summons when it hits the pillow.

The dreamy, spacey sincerity of the title single, which proves die-hard romanticism will never go out of trend, takes a break from the trippy colourful psych tones to serenade with an ardent rock riff that stands as a testament to the creative power and talent poured into the blissfully bitter-sweet serenade.

For any Bob Dylan fans, Denim Dan has also recently debuted his cover album, Denim Dan Meets Dylan… A Tribute. No matter how much you think you know Dylan, you’ve never met him quite like this before. Denim Dan’s quintessentially affable vocal command and his swanky yet innocently sweet instrumental style are cutely visionary.

Hear both albums via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Australian alt-indie singer-songwriter Greg Barnett advocated for nature in his existential serenade, ‘The C-Bomb’

Starting his single with clips of Donald Trump’s cognitive dissonance was a bold choice, but his obnoxious tones will always evoke a visceral reaction from the minds Greg Barnett aimed to compel with his standout single, The C-Bomb.

Taken from his massive 30-track debut LP, The Flat White Album, the single reminds us of the role we all need to play in salvaging the planet before it burns hotter than the temper of a right winger when expected to find a modicum of empathy or awareness.

The orchestrally laced alt-indie-folk soundscape that will make any Elliott Smith fans feel instantaneously at home delivers a shot of vindication through the affirmation that you’re not alone in your climate anxiety. Which is as warranted as it is a necessity if we want to take back our world from the disaster capitalists who would be happy to walk in the ashes as long as there are enough 0s in their bank balance before the curtains close on humanity.

The C-Bomb is available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Californian solo artist, Beau James Wilding, put the grit in folk with his reverently fervid single, SET MYSELF ON FIRE

With the choppy discord in the acoustic guitar strings against his gravelly punk blues vocals, the Californian solo artist, Beau James Wilding, orchestrated a roots rock masterpiece with his latest single, SET MYSELF ON FIRE.

We didn’t need his bio to inform us of his intense emotional relationship with sound and music. But learning that the relationship was strengthened after he was left legally blinded by a disease at eighteen made the fierily ardent passion in SET MYSELF ON FIRE burn with even more reverence.

Any fans of Dogs D’Amour and The Quireboys won’t want this fervidly impactful single to pass them by. The dark poetic imagery in the lyrics paired with the frenetic pace of the guitar rhythms that consume the instrumental arrangement with their ragged timbre is a sobering multisensory experience that reaches the pinnacle of gritty folk.

SET MYSELF ON FIRE will officially release on January 13th. Stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Paraguayan Southern Rock troubadour Sunburned River is beguilingly defiant in his cinematic single, Go On

Paraguayan Southern Rock troubadour Sunburned River closed 2022 with the release of his heart-wrenchingly defiant single, Go On.

Starting with choral 70s folk-rock tones, the disarming single seamlessly builds around orchestrally cinematic and baroque motifs, complementing the rugged acoustic guitar timbres and the low ethereal hum of his evocative vocal timbre. If that wasn’t enough sonic beguile, the singer-songwriter orchestrated an electric guitar riff solo for the ages.

Regardless of who you revere as a guitar hero, Sunburned River’s talent while ripping through the soaring lead guitar work is breath-takingly superlative. The only thing on par with his instrumental ability is his captivatingly immersive songwriting skills.

The official video for Go On is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sam Scherdel narrated the descent of the ‘BOY WHO FELL TO EARTH’ in his artful indie-folk piano ballad

Sam Scherdel

2022 saw a cascade of hit singles from the superlatively talented indie singer-songwriter Sam Scherdel; to round off a perfect year, he eked new melancholy from Fairytale of New York with Harri Larkin. If there was any cultural justice in the UK, it would have made it to number one.

Now he’s starting 2023 with a bitter-sweet bang with the release of his live recorded single, BOY WHO FELL TO EARTH. It shares a few of the sombre tones of his Christmas release, but this emotionally layered piano ballad, complete with orchestral strings, stemmed from his own compassion-gifted mind.

As much as we adored the indie anthems, this folky turn that gives a more intimate view into a mindset that resonates with the contemporary atmosphere of collective ennui is just as seminal.

The live recording efficaciously captures every ounce of vulnerability pouring from the vocals that inhibit nothing to deliver a sincerely profound experience. Between the artfulness of Radiohead’s High and Dry and the hammering keys of Elton John’s Rocket Man rests this tender sonic narration of the boy who fell to earth. Prepare to be viscerally disarmed.

BOY WHO FELL TO EARTH will be available to stream and download on all platforms from January 6th via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Aayushi has released her captivatingly cosy ukulele-led lullaby, I Ran Out Into the Snowflakes, Laughing

Daringly opting to use a ukulele as the main melody driver in a single that encompasses the nostalgia sparked by Christmas paid off in spades for the Birmingham-based folk singer-songwriter, Aayushi in her latest single, I Ran Out Into the Snowflakes, Laughing. The artist’s background in poetry and literature also owed itself to the quiescent track, as Aayushi reclaimed the term ‘snowflake’ away from those who wish to abstract from the beauty of compassion and uniqueness.

The stripped-back sonics did little to detract from the disarmingly arrestive power of the cosy lo-fi lullaby, which rekindles the warmth of childhood Christmases in the snow while reminding us that, as autonomous adults, we get to choose how we reignite that magic.

Released on December 23rd, the quaint serenade quickly amassed ample attention, including placement on several staunchly followed Spotify playlists. It is a single her fans will undoubtedly turn to year after year to stave off the threat of festive melancholy.

I Ran Out Into the Snowflakes, Laughing is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ye Angst – 15: A Superlatively Succinct Alt-Indie Rock Remedy for the Soul

The indie singer-songwriter Ye Angst is renowned for sharing his artistic vision through the looking glass of youthful angst. In his evocatively enriched discography, which dates back to 2011, the perfect example is his exemplary single, 15. The jazz-blues piano keys around the Americana folk-rock body unravels as a superlatively succinct remedy for the soul.

In the same way, Cohen, Cat Stevens and Lou Reed emanate elevated grace, Ye Angst is in the habit of implanting ethereally cathartic instrumental accord in his singles that will effortlessly take you to a higher plateau while the lyrics and vocals pull you back down to our ennui-imparting earth.

Nearly a decade has passed since the release of 15, but the timeless single still resounds with glistening gospel for the impiously disenfranchised. Even around the complex instrumental interludes that give way to Journey-Esque heart-in-throat vocals, you’ll be caressed by the upliftingly melodic single, which perfectly rounds itself with orchestral strings for a filmic touch.

Succumb to the soul in 15 by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Gwac paves the way towards acquiescence in his alt-indie-folk single, Stacks

South Korea-based singer-songwriter, Gwac, unveiled the quiescent alt-indie-folk melancholy in his debut EP, MOHO, on December 19th. Narrating themes of loss, denial, regret and acceptance, the 4-track EP flows through the grief cycle, hitting the most visceral spot on track two, Stacks.

With hints of Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea paired with the monoculturalism-shattering world music motifs, innovation mellifluously spills. The accordance set up by the angular guitar work and woodwind instrumentals fed through torrid effects reflects the storms we weather before we arrive at a state of mind where we break through the listless frustration and arrive at a place of acquiescence.

“Throughout the making of this EP and digging through past experiences, I learned that sadness has a lot of dimensions for me. Some of the saddest memories are sometimes the most beautiful things I know. There’s no need to try and erase them or run from them. By just letting it be, I see a bit of light in my unsettling mind”.

On that note, Gwac’s mind may be one of the most beautiful things I’ve encountered in 2022. His tangible songwriting and instrumentally conceptual talents are one thing; his ability to recontextualise pain and share a brighter philosophical perspective with his listeners is fundamentally requisite in these times.

Stream Stacks on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The UK orchestral folk duo River Knight is on melodious form in their sanctuary spilling single, Unsprung

The folk duo River Knight has been fairly quiet since their 2021 album, Grow. They are back on melodious form in their latest orchestral folk single, Unsprung, which borrows fractions of the melody to Take on Me, but with such a stunning orchestral string ensemble and hints of the Verve and 90s Britpop in the verses, who is complaining?

The earworm brings the ragged and rough timbres through the acoustic guitar strings and percussion while the smooth can be found in the gloss of the orchestral crescendos, which are as close to heaven as the impious are likely to get.

Each new progression is a brand-new opportunity to fall in love with the duo who banded together in 2017 as a form of therapy for Darren Knight after the tragic passing of his wife. Stone River was there for unwavering support and to offer the Ying to Knight’s songwriting Yang. The duo are well known on the London, Portsmouth and Southampton live circuit, but it’s only a matter of time before they take their international-level approach to indie folk rock to the status it beckons.

Unsprung officially released on December 16th. Catch it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast