With its roots in oral storytelling and traditional instruments, Folk (or ‘Revivalist’ music) starts with neo-traditional poetic and ‘work’ songs, running through the pre-war Great Depression-era; from performers such as Carl Sandburg and Woody Guthrie to the Folk-styled popular ‘protest songs’ of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and The Carter Family. Folk music tends to rely on traditional instrumentation such as acoustic guitars, banjos, fiddles, penny whistles, and bodhrans, simple progressions, regionalism, and poetic lyrics.
Crossover Blues artists like Leadbelly and Jelly Roll Morton and modern performers such as Jason Isbell, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The Pogues, and Mumford and Sons are all keeping folk a part of the mainstream. Bright Eyes’ album selling over 250,000 copies was just one of the breakthrough success stories in recent years.
The Lumineers found themselves at number 2 on the Billboard charts in 2016, and the supergroup Bonny Light Horseman, consisting of Josh Kaufman, Eric D. Johnson and Anaïs Mitchell released a Grammy-nominated album in 2020.
The folk genre always has room for the next big act. If you think that you have something unique to contribute, get in touch, we will make sure that you are heard.
A&R Factory is a UK-based artist & repertoire service that has proudly supported up and coming global artists since 2012. We are one of the top A&R blogs in the UK. Our high international readership allowed our platform to become one of the highest for breakthrough artists to feature on.
We have watched and aided the ascent of many folk artists since our inception. Recently, we have featured Brighton’s Jacko Hooper, the cult sensation Amigo the Devil whose latest album, Born Against, bowled over the Rolling Stone and landed the #27 spot on the American iTunes charts and London’s most poignant underground folk artist Mock Deer as he explores existentialism in the modern age.
What We Are Looking For
We are looking for folk artists who embrace the storytelling roots of the genre, who boast the same gravitas and sincerity as Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. Artists who can bring nuance to conversations and shift perspectives with their lyrical explorations of the social, political and simply what it means to be human.
Whether you’re orchestrating massive sonic folk-rock productions or are an indie-folk DIY artist producing from your bedroom, if your music has evocative potential, we want to hear it.