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Best Folk Music Blog & Promotion

BREGN inspired cognizance in the ethereal art-rock world of his latest single, Dopamine Mind

The Danish 100% DIY artist, BREGN, explored neurobiology within his ethereal indie art-folk single, Dopamine Mind, to inspire mindfulness around one of the most toxically prolific habits imparted by the 21st century.

Anyone with a smartphone will know the subconscious compulsion to gaze into its black mirror. What is less understood is the key driver behind the habit that is tearing away at our ability to connect with the real world, as opposed to the divisive world depicted across social media.

While the euphonious melodies work to quell you into a state of quiescent meditative calm through the angular guitars against the quasi-jazzy keys, the lyrics allude to the entrapment of our dopamine reward system. With each new notification bringing a validation-soaked dopamine rush, breaking the habit is hard. But it’s a necessary step towards a more enlightened existence, unblighted by the platforms that profit from and exploit our mindlessness.

“It is so easy to get distracted and addicted to those distractions, which are now more instantly accessible than ever. The protagonist in Dopamine Mind thinks it is the phone’s fault, but he reveals that the root of the addiction is elsewhere.

He sets out to reset his mind and restart life, focused on things of meaningful deep value, away from artificial dialogue and small talk.”

Stream DOPAMINE MIND on Spotify and SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

From tragic inevitability, hauntingly filmic beauty is born in Rico Friebe’s single, This Day

Folk singer-songwriter, Rico Friebe, has unveiled the hauntingly filmic second single from his upcoming debut album, Word Value. Born from tragedy and hope, the vividly redolent single, This Day, explores the inevitability of the days we fear the most, alluding to our inability to avert discourses we are compelled to run from.

There is a profound grace in the alchemic vocal layering that spills soul across the stabbing minor piano keys that torridly flurry through the soundscape to reflect the phenomena we have to accept we can’t overcome. In concept and execution alike, This Day is a masterful piece that has left us with plenty of anticipation over the debut album.

Listen to This Day on Spotify from December 23rd. Await the alchemy in the debut album, which is primed for release in early 2023.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Peaks & Valleys speak for the melancholic souls in their orchestral indie-folk single, Surrender

Peaks & Valleys have debuted their masterful, aptly morose EP, How Far We Fell, featuring the bitter-sweet exposition of grief, Surrender. The Edinburgh-based three-piece start with sombre acoustic guitars before the quiescently ennui-laden vocals hush desolation into the polished orchestral production, which brings in orchestral strings and minor piano keys to pay homage to the roots of Scottish Folk and laden you with compassion for the disillusioned protagonist portrayed.

In a time when it feels like everyone with a shred of empathy and awareness is succumbing to the subjugating grips of futility, Surrender will undoubtedly have a profound effect. The grief shared through the lyricism that leaves plenty of room to inject your reason for melancholy against the climactic orchestral crescendos is inexplicably beautiful in its resounding darkness.

Surrender will be available to stream from December 13th via SoundCloud.

Follow Peaks & Valleys on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Edinburgh’s premier indie-folk evocators Peaks & Valleys bid a sweet farewell in ‘Before We Go’

Taken from the EP, How Far We Fell, the standout single, Before We Go, from the Edinburgh-based indie-folk outfit, Peaks & Valleys, is a lesson in romantically wistful meditation.

You will be inclined to lean into the cinematic work so deeply that you will be able to hear a pin drop between the mellifluous yet minimalist progressions which make the dual vocals the arresting centrepiece of this stunning serenade that wistfully anticipates departure.

The intimately entwined vocals carried as much harmonious chemistry as what you hear in Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova’s collaborations, while the strikingly sonorous strings over the rugged timbre of the acoustic heighten the evocative potential in Before We Go to the nth degree. Colour us spellbound.

Before We Go will be available to stream from December 13th via SoundCloud.

Follow Peaks & Valleys on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Snows of Yesteryear ‘Wait by the Shore’ in their orchestral indie folk exposition of generational grief.

Snows of Yesteryear could only hail from Scotland with their mesmerising future-resisting take on orchestral indie-folk, which resounds in their debut single, Wait by the Shore.

No one can ever truly replace the alchemy that blossomed in the melancholy of the original Frightened line-up. But Snows of Yesteryear set our hearts and minds alight with a similar spark as the high-octave vocals from Kat Orr captivate as they mourn the tragedies which befell Scottish fishermen in 1881.

Classic, but still a million miles from archaic, Wait by the Shore is an achingly artful dark exposition of generational grief that proves the up-and-coming indie folk outfit is inseparable from their sonic and hometown roots.

Wait by the Shore is now available to stream on Spotify. The official music video will premiere on December 9th, and their debut album is in the pipeline, so get them on your radar.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

KAIS culminates a sense of hope in a disparate world with his Indie Psych Folk two-track release, Willow

With every new release from the singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, KAIS, we know we are in store for two things, deeply intellectual yet accessibly resonant contexts, and a glimpse into a brand-new facet of his creativity. His latest two-track release, Willow, was no exception.

The opening single, Willow, is a defeatism-traversing intrinsically melancholic work, which utilises solemnly angular art-rock lead guitar lines to completely submerge you in the cold tones that exemplify the isolation and frustration over deceit. Regardless of the inspiration of the lyricism, Willow extends sentiments that will viscerally resonate with anyone feeling adrift by the contemporary times, which all too often leave silver linings out of sight.

The second single, On to Land, uses an extended prelude of ardently raw acoustic guitar strings, rhythmically hammering zealous emotion before the first word is spoken. After cavernous shimmering reverb crawls across the folky, sparse soundscape, there’s an interlude of silence before the melody picks up under KAIS’ vocals, which are fervid in their urgency to culminate a sense of hope in a disparate world. Closing on a turbulently psychedelic outro, you’re only human if you delve in for a repeat experience of the awakeningly affirming release.

Listen to Willow on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Joshua. orchestrated the ultimate Lynchian love song with ‘WALK BY LOVE’

Mike Patton walked so the ethereally scintillating alt-folk artist Joshua. could ‘WALK BY LOVE’ in his latest music video.

Only an artist as iconic as he could get away with a mononym *and* allowing haunting tones to creep out of a ukulele in the production that wouldn’t be out of place in the Eraserhead soundtrack. He could never be accused of writing ‘just another love song’.

The disconcertingly cinematic single allows his sonically ephemeral vocals to drift atop the minimalist instrumentals that envelop you in their wistfully nostalgic sepia tones. In the space of just two minutes, the originator made an ever-lasting impression that definitively proves everyone’s interpretation of love is as individualistic as they are.

The official music video for WALK BY LOVE is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chloe Southern painted the portrait of a morally grey romantic in her immersive folk single, Oil & Water

The 22-year-old neo-folk singer-songwriter and producer, Chloe Southern, goes beyond making honesty her brand through the motto, “the more alone I feel in an experience, the more I know I need to write about it”.

The Boulder, CO-born, Brooklyn-residing artist is fresh from the release of her debut EP, Last Man on Earth, which contains five singles, all orchestrated to give a confidant to anyone drifting along the same wavelength. One of the standout singles, Oil & Water, is a quiescent aching lullaby. Atop gentle acoustic guitar strings that weave rich Elliott Smith-Esque melodies, Southern finds her resounding voice as she heightens the emotions to the nth degree through the climactically gentle vocal progressions.

All too often, singer-songwriters paint themselves as flawless protagonists in their own stories. Southern switched the narrative by creating a morally grey character of herself in the single that traverses how she stole someone from the arms of another. But she pulls the romanticism back around by alluding to her ability to love him like no other. We’re officially rooting for her in the romantic saga.

Oil & Water is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chloe Southern – Naked: Intimately Confessional Neo-Folk-Pop

Taken from her debut EP, Last Man on Earth, Chloe Southern’s indie neo-folk-meets-pop single, Naked, strips emotionally bare. The urgency of the distinctive vocal delivery paired with the intimacy in the confessionalism makes for a powerful listening experience. Anyone that has ever wrestled with entropy to feel viscerally again will be consumed by the conceptual score, which runs through the dim views that get dimmer in the wake of loneliness.

Narrating how she hates coffee because she only makes it for herself and the smell of snow which takes her to places where she finds a lost love’s shadow proves how easily our perceptions of elemental to inane things can change over time and with the absence of the co-creators of our stories before a chapter closes.

Through and through, it is a stunning single from the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter which deserves to complement the next heartbreakingly cinematic Blockbuster.

Naked is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Meg Chandler Interview: Reaching her dreams with real grit

With so much in depth insight into her meaningful world, Shropshire native Meg Chandler opens the door and lets us deep within her busy world, which has recently caught on fire music wise. Full of life and showing her leader-like qualities, we find an enthusiastic creative who is ready for anything.

We appreciate you taking the time to speak with us today, Meg Chandler. First, how did you start in this wild music game?

Meg: I started taking piano lessons when I was 5 and had been brought up surrounded by music always, with my parents playing their favourite tunes non-stop – so it was quite a natural path for me. However, it wasn’t until covid that I actually had the time to sit down and give writing a proper go. Since then, I’ve spent the last few years devoting every spare second to music and creating a career for myself! My brother is also a musician, so it’s really a whole family of people that wholeheartedly love music!

Please explain to us your connection with Manchester recording/writing duo SOAP?

Meg: I met the SOAP guys about a year ago and since then have spent a lot of time working together on finding my sound and experimenting with different ideas! My songwriting process can be a bit messy because there’s always so much that I want to fit into a song, whether that be emotionally and/or specific wording, I often get quite overwhelmed by it all. So it helps me sooo much working with Josh and Karl because they refine everything I want to sing about and make it a much nicer, less chaotic experience than it would be when I’m working on my own! We’ve ended up with 6 songs that I’m absolutely in love with, 2 of which are out now!

Shropshire. Please tell us what your hometown means to you and do you still live here?

Meg: My hometown in Shropshire means the absolute world to me. I still live there with my family and work full time as a cafe manager, coming up to Manchester on my days off every week to fit in music work! It’s a really nice contrast from the busy city life and even though I’m hoping to move to Manchester next year (where I’m based for music) I know I’ll always have my sleepy little countryside home to escape back to.

Goats and donkeys. Please lead us into your side job and how well-behaved are these animals, really?

Meg: Haha, so as every independent musician knows – music is an extremely expensive career. Alongside my full-time job, I’m always looking to pick up extra hours where I can, one of those is looking after donkeys and goats. I always joke that it’ll be super funny if I get really famous and have the donkeys to thank for the extra pennies which ultimately made it possible (laughs).

What’s it like being a 21-year-old singer-songwriter right now?

Meg: It’s crazy how many young musicians are out there at the moment doing amazingly! It’s such a good thing to have that but at the same time means there is SUCH a fight to get yourself noticed and be different to everyone else. The main great thing is that I’ve made so many lovely friends through music, it really is a community, especially in Manchester. Just means you’ve gotta work that little bit harder – always good to have some friendly competition:) but equally knowing you’ll always have that group of people supporting each other is sooo lovely!

Do you have any tips for young musicians starting out in this seemingly fickle business?

Meg: Basically, just don’t give up. I’ve been extremely lucky falling in with a group of people that I work really well with and that are passionate about my music. Also, with the opportunities that have come my way. At the end of the day, not only is it about working insanely hard and being good at what you do, but equally luck is SUCH a huge thing. Being in the right place at the right time. Just make sure you’re taking every opportunity that comes your way, get out to every gig possible and make friends in the industry and just put your whole heart into it 🙂

Last, where can fans find you live next or do you have any tours on the horizon?

Meg: At the moment I’m focusing on releasing and have a few shows dotted about, but next year will be filled with gigs. I’ll always post about it on my Instagram, so keep an eye out! @megemilychandler

Soak your soul inside this angelic figure on Spotify. Follow her path on IG.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen