Browsing Tag

Acoustic Folk

Belfast’s Fuar became the paragon of the loveable rogue in his folk debut, Leave the Light On

For his debut single, Leave the Light On, the Belfast-born-and-bred multi-instrumentalist Fuar put the faux Irish roots of Mumford & Sons to shame. If you want to get high on the fumes of authentic Irish folk, make Faur your dealer.

The infectiously upbeat acoustic folk anthem needed little more than his guitar chords, a solid backbeat and Faur’s naturally exhilarated charisma to drive the euphoria through the progressions of the hook-proliferated single which celebrates love and the ecstasy found in the sparks of connection.

With Faur’s affinity for punk giving Leave the Light On plenty of fiery rugged bite, he hasn’t just contributed to the rich tapestry of Irish folk music, he’s made his own matchless mark on the genre. With the promise of plenty more singles to come conflated with the commercial potential which courses through his debut, it is impossible not to anticipate Faur becoming one of the biggest breakthrough singer-songwriters in 2024. Watch this space.

Leave the Light On was officially released on March 16th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

In Conversation with Phil Coomer: Unveiling the Healing Power of Love in Songwriting

In an insightful interview with A&R Factory, Phil Coomer delved into the creative process behind his latest single, “All the Medicine I Need.” The song, born from a personal moment of realisation, transcends into a universal anthem about love’s healing power. Coomer shares how an injury and his girlfriend’s return sparked the song’s conception, highlighting love as the ultimate panacea. The interview also touches on influences like John Prine, the joy of songwriting, and themes in his upcoming album, offering a glimpse into Coomer’s artistic journey and the profound impact of relationships in his music.


Can you tell us a little bit about your latest single, All the Medicine I Need?

“I tend to write about how I feel or how others feel and All The Medicine I Need does not vary from that methodology.  Because I had done a good job of injuring my left arm in the fall of 2023, I was looking for some kind of medicine that would help relieve the pain I was having in my arm.  I wasn’t having much luck but about that time my girlfriend came home from an extended trip abroad.  Her attention and caring made me forget all about the pain I was having.  I realized that she was all the medicine I needed.  When I was working on songs again, I thought that because I felt that way maybe others did too.  So, I started working on the song and it turned into being about the normal day in a regular person’s life and the restoration that tends to come when we are with our person our significant other.”

It’s such a great extension of the ‘love is a drug’ adage; was it difficult to transform the lyrics from a personal feeling to a universal sentiment? 

“Very quickly I realized that I could easily change the song from being about her and me to being for everyone.  The song is about any healing or restorative relationship.  He-her, her-her, him-him, parent-child, child-parent it always works no matter who sings to who.  It was as simple as changing “the girl” to “the one.”   I did talk to her about the change, and she said I should definitely change the lyrics so the song could speak to everyone’s feelings.  But she knows it’s her song.”

We love that the song started from a soulful epiphany and built from there; is that usually how your music comes to fruition?

“Yes, and I wish I could have epiphanies more often. I said earlier that I usually write about my feelings or the feelings of others. I don’t know why I’m wired that way.  Maybe others are too.  I was working on a song from a recent trip to NYC to the World Trade Center Memorial and to Strawberry Fields in Central Park the John Lennon Memorial and was just getting nowhere I was writing junk.  Finally, I decided to write from the perspective of a woman who had lost someone and to let her tell the story and It just flew out my mouth and onto the paper. It became, easy and natural yet different, wicked and soulful.  That song is called “Still Lives.”

Were there any particular artists who inspired the sound and style of the single?

“Yes, I think so. Musically to me it is very akin to a John Prine song in simplicity and matter of fact-ness.  There’s even a little Prine humor in the 1st verse line “and I guess elevators too”

What is the most rewarding aspect of the songwriting process for you?

“There is always some euphoria when you’ve framed in a new song and think it’s complete enough to play for someone else.  But I think a few months out when you’ve played the song in front of hundreds of people and it’s actually now part of you and there some sustained affection for the song that’s pretty nice too.”

How has your approach to songwriting evolved over the years, leading up to this release?

“I’d say that I moved more from writing the ballad or story of what occurred to the feeling or the impact the notion had on who is there or who found out and what it did to them.  It seems more endearing to me to show the effect of impact to us.”

You mentioned All the Medicine I Need will feature on your upcoming album; what other themes does the album explore?

“All The Medicine I Need is the first recording of the next project and a couple of the other songs are “Kissing Lessons” – written after seeing a bulletin board ad I came across at college.  Another song is called “Different Ride” which is what occurred to me when I’ve come across people who are still alive yet their fate is already written.”

Watch the official music video for Phil Coomer’s latest single, All the Medicine I Need, on YouTube.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

Mikey Wayne – Coming Home: A Cuttingly Flawless Folk Confession

Mikey Wayne’s latest single, Coming Home, stands out as a remarkable addition to the folk genre, exuding a sincerity that captivates from the first chord. This single, a confluence of Nashville country and Wayne’s Southern Californian and Alabaman influences, offers an intimate glimpse into the soul of its creator.

The song’s strength lies in its raw honesty and the profound way Wayne owns his imperfections. He eloquently expresses the nuances of a relationship’s push and pull, encapsulating the struggle and beauty of growth within a partnership. Lyrics such as “If you’ll have me baby, I’m coming home” cuts like a knife of resonance while the gentle tenacity in the acoustic guitar strings amplifies the precision of the incision by echoing the universal yearning for acceptance and love. He may not have spoken for us all word for word, but we can all find a piece of ourselves within the single.

The official music video for Coming Home, which was recorded in Echo Mountain Studios, premiered on YouTube on January 26th.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tyler Street’s latest indie-folk confession, ‘Faith, Wisdom, You’, is spiritual poetry in melodic motion

Candid, confessional, and captivating in equal measure, the latest single, Faith, Wisdom, You, from the Dallas-born, Napa-based singer-songwriter Tyler Street is poetry in melodic motion.

After the raw yet euphonic timbre of the acoustic guitar strings, the up-and-coming luminary cuts straight to the crux of the lyrical essence of the single, which resonantly explores a melancholic exposition of an inability to control the tides of emotion. The gentle vocal performance provides a scintillating juxtaposition to the lyricism, which carries the admission of uncontrollable anger.

With hints of Frightened Rabbit and The National within the indie folk production fused with the soulful warmth of Jack Johnson and the emotional intimacy of Elliott Smith, Tyler Street cultivated his sonic style to complement his soulful aura, which echoes the self-awareness and mindfulness inspired by his spiritual awakening. Take notes of the Eckhart Tolle-esque introspection while losing yourself in the transcendence of the guitar notes as they’re artistically amplified by the presence of chamber strings.

Faith, Wisdom, You was officially released on December 21. Stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jayacus rose from the ‘Wreckage’ in his indie folk-punk debut

With all the magnetism, poetry, and soul of an acoustic B-side by the Manic Street Preachers and all the brashy folk-punk intimacy of Neutral Milk Hotel, Wreckage is a deeply affecting debut from the UK-based indie folk singer-songwriter, Jayacus.

After living a life of loss, alienation, and despair, Jayacus has finally come into his artistic stride with Wreckage which shares the message of resilience and hope while delivering an affirmation that as long as you are still breathing, you have reason to keep your dreams alive and pursuing what ignites your passion.

Following a stint in hospital, Jayacus picked up his guitar and recorded Wreckage in his bedroom; here’s to hoping the sophomore release is already in the works.

Wreckage was officially released on October 20; stream it on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Brian Berggoetz tenderly chases an ethereal spectre in his orchestral folk score, Just a Dream

Just a Dream is the latest orchestrally ornate single meticulously crafted by the Tucson, Arizona artist, Brian Berggoetz. While the acoustic guitar strings keep the orchestration humble, intimate and folky, the cinematic interplay between the cello and violin strings brings a profound sense of elegant refinement to the lyricism, which tenderly chases an ethereal spectre.

With his backing band, Brian Berggoetz has become a prominent fixture in the Tucson live circuit and beyond; his live shows, whether he’s opening for Reverend Horton Heat, Charlie Sexton and Chris Murphy or topping the bill, have a reputation for rendering audiences enraptured.

Original songwriting is just one of his talents in a vast repertoire; he also has an affinity for reimagining classical songs in his distinctive style, which balances euphonic decadence with the intense affability of folk rock to make classical overtones effortlessly accessible to a wide audience. If Eddie Vedder’s soundtrack for Into the Wild infused more orchestral strings, I’m not entirely convinced it would emanate the same delicate visceral mesmerism of Just a Dream.

Just a Dream is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The indie raconteur Zarko let it flow in his acoustic expedition to ‘River Town’

If you still revere Closing Time by Tom Waits as one of the best albums of all time, you’ll find the latest single, River Town, from the Serbian indie folk raconteur Zarko just as resolving in its acoustic rapture.

The instrumentals may be minimal, but that didn’t get in the way of the up-and-coming singer-songwriter when he put his masterful mind to painting a panoramic picture of barflies in a town which used to conjure brighter emotions. I’m sure we can all relate to the alienating sense of dejection that ebbs away at our ability to feel anything but numb. With River Town on the airwaves, the sensation feels infinitely less lonely.

On the basis of River Town alone, Zarko should be celebrating the same success as Amigo the Devil with his delectable brand of folk blues. For your own sake, pay the hit song a visit.

River Town was officially released on September 2nd; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mark Ben Wilson is searching on the other side in his compassionately warm folk-pop single, Horizons

Some tracks allow you to fall in love with a three-minute experience; others allow you to develop a deep kinship with the artist through their inviting warmth. After listening to Mark Ben Wilson’s single, Horizons, it is safe to say that he puts his listeners in the latter camp with the evocative resonance in his guitar work that is only matched by the compassionate honey that drips from his vocal lines.

His humble yet highly assured approach to passionately pure acoustic folk-pop is intoxicating from the first melodic breath; as Horizons continues to unravel, you’re taken along for the emotive ride as he searches for meaning on the other side of the kind of storm that leaves you alone holding up an umbrella. It’s a stunning vignette that will easily enamour any fans of Ben Howard, John Butler and Fink.

Horizons will release along with Wilson’s LP, Roots & Wings on September 22nd. Stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

It’s ‘Gemini’ season in the latest blues folk single by Goldschatz

Genres are defied and the soul transcends in the latest dual-harmony-driven single, Gemini, from the duo Goldschatz. Despite Timothy Jaromir and Rykka hailing from Switzerland and Canada, respectively, nothing was lost in translation in the spiritually spirited acoustic blues-folk release, which teases the soul-affirming singles to come in the upcoming EP, TWIN FLAME.

Even if Father John Misty and Stevie Nicks joined melodic forces in a euphonic portal back to 70s blues, the alchemy wouldn’t sound as sweet as the synergy that breathes through the power couple’s sound, which has seen them become one of the hottest breakthrough artists in Switzerland.

Whether they’re gracing the airwaves or live music venues, Goldschatz never fails to make an impression when they share their poetic introspection over their timelessly enrapturing antidotes to ennui. If you need to reinvigorate your lust for life by exposing yourself to the potential magic of it, delve into their rich discography of soul-rendered singles.

Gemini officially released on September 1st; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Malcolm Duff brought us right back down to humble ground with his quiescent folk score, Leaving

Along with his paramour co-creator, Da Silva, the folk singer-songwriter Malcolm Duff reminded us why his sound is so unforgettable with his latest single, Leaving.

To do this feat of melancholically sweet folk justice, I’ll refrain from the tired Cohen comparisons and lean into the cinematic fluid grace of the orchestration that wouldn’t be out of place on the Wild at Heart soundtrack. The evocative movie script ending of a score entrenches you in its sentimentality, which alludes to how distance is as much of a state of mind as it is a matter of miles.

Some may say that searching for unconditional love is simply being in love with the idea of love itself, but Malcolm Duff put those romantic cynics to shame, by proving that only love can save us all. In a time when it is so easy to fixate on arbitrary notions of success, the gentle acoustic strings and breezy harmonica blows in Leaving will bring you right back down to humble ground.

Stream Leaving on SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast