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Tyson Ray Borsboom – Caroline: Melancholic Baritone Blues Folk

Folk Singer Songwriter Tyson Ray Borsboom has just released his new single Caroline; it took me approximately 10 seconds to decide that he wasn’t your average Acoustic Folk artist.

The indie artist orchestrates textured sound around his pensively penned lyrics to give that truly organic edge to his lyric driven style. The fact that he clearly knows his way around a fretboard instead of just using the same old chord progressions is what stood out for me the most with Tyson’s track.

The Canadian based artist released Caroline as one of the singles from his 2018 EP ‘Sinner’ on February 23rd, 2018. You can check it out yourself and fall in love with Tyson’s sensual style on SoundCloud now. However, the track that really resonated with me from the Sinner EP, was ‘Ain’t Right’. His charming slightly vibrato baritone style dominated the pensive track in a roots deep Blues style creating a track that you’d be more than happy to get lost in. The diversity in the emerging artists style is just one of the reasons why I’m adamant that Tyson’s next album won’t be independently released.

Review by Amelia Vandergast.


Sean Tobin – Winter: Progressively Pensive Americana Folk

Before I listened to Sean Tobin’s latest release Winter (In an Ocean Town) I was under the firm impression that Glen Hansard was the best contemporary folk artist on the planet. My opinion was quickly changed after soaking up Tobin’s Americana Punk Folk sound. The limited amount of chord progressions didn’t hold Sean Tobin back from creating one of the most progressively pensive tracks I’ve ever heard. Tobin’s naturally organic voice has a way of drawing you into the melancholy which he projects through the microphone before uplifting you with the ethereal harmonies created by one man and his guitar.

Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve experienced life in an ocean town why the track hit me like an absolute brick, but I’m sure the effect will be universal as fans drink in Sean’s empyreal sound which he perfected from travelling Europe and discovering his ancestral roots through music in Ireland.

Sean Tobin’s 2018 single Winter (In an Ocean Town) is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Bluebyrd’s Poignant And Powerful Message To The World

Poignant music is normally born of turbulent times and it seems that more and more artists are using their creative platforms to make some vital messages heard rather than the subjects they may have explored in less worrying times. It also says something about the tipping point we are reaching that in the last few months this raft of discontented, worried, angry voices seems to be gathering momentum.

Uneven Ground is a hauntingly beautiful slice of modern acoustic folk, and in the way that folk music has always done raises issues, here regarding refugees, specifically those fleeing the Syrian crisis and of their struggle to find a new life. It also raises questions, maybe not directly, but points to the hypocrisy of their treatment at the hands of the same people and powers who have funded and indeed carried out the attacks which have displaced them.

Musically it is powerful for its starkness, a voice, a rhythmic guitar and some sullen sonic detail and you have everything you need to hammer the point home. All we need to do now is support them via songs such as this so that those voices get heard.


Folk Music Gets A Cinematic Make Over

You have to admire a song that starts out in the chilled acoustic territory of a Dylanesque ballad and ends up floating gently off into the setting sun of a Pink Floyd infused dreamscape. That is, after all, a lot of territory to cover but Island is crafted so deftly, burns so slowly towards its final sonic destinations, that you hardly notice the transition. Layers of instrumentation and clever additional textures seem to be added under the listeners nose, well ear, but never seem intrusive of appear to distract from the lyrical thrust.

If you are a fan of intimate vocals and sumptuous otherworldly harmonies then you will find a lot to like here. If you appreciate ambient progressive music that somehow combines wide-screen cinematic qualities with clever understatement, again this is for you. If you want a glimpse of how folk music treads new paths through the modern age, you can give that box a tick. Those who appreciate songs of slow-burning grandeur will also enjoy these songs. In fact I can’t think of many people who I wouldn’t recommend this album to. Go buy it now!

If Progressive Rock conjures up images of Rick Wakeman dressed as a wizard, or fourteen hour guitar solos and folk music brings to mind over-earnest singer-songwriters re-inventing that genre’s  musical wheel then Nick Murray is probably the man you have been looking for whether you knew it or not.


Aiden Dale – Bananas: A Vibrant New Approach to a Timeless Folk Style

If you could imagine Smash Mouth as a Folk Acoustic singer songwriter, you’d get pretty close to imagining the soundscapes created by up and coming artist Aiden Dale. The Watford, UK based artist has a vibrant approach to his timeless style which makes him so iridescently bright in comparison to other acoustic acts out there today.

His latest single Banana’s almost ventures into the Dream Pop arena with his ethereally charming rhythmic sensibility. The same can be said for each of the tracks on Aiden Dale’s 2018 EP ‘Head/Heart’, his wit from his lyricism cleverly flows through his almost Twee vocal style. Yet, I’ve never heard a Twee artist paired with such immersive instrumentals. His ability to fire through chord progressions and create a euphoric Jangle Pop vibe isn’t to be underestimated, and I hope he’ll forgive me for creating a Johnny Marr comparison.

If you’re looking for the perfect track to add to your melodic playlists you can check out Aiden Dale’s debut single Bananas on SoundCloud along with the rest of his 2018 EP Head/Heart.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Hear Me Roar – Let it Go: A Numbingly Sensational Masterpiece of Nordic Acoustic Pop

Folk collective Hear Me Roar have just released their debut acoustic anthem Let it Go on 14th March 2018. With an ethereal take to the Indie Acoustic genre, the 6-piece powerhouse of talent created a succinctly Immersive rendition that you just can’t help getting swallowed up by. The soaring vocals from Roar Koppertad elegantly capture the evocative emotion that’s poured into the track over the cacophony of the acoustic sound. If you’re a fan of Tom Petty, Neil Young and Jeff Buckley, you’re going to want to check out the track.

I can say without doubt that there are no other artists with the ability to create such harmonious resonance with a simplistic sound. It probably makes a lot of sense that Hear Me Roar is a Norwegian based Alt Country act. No one likes music like the Nordic and Hear Me Roar’s latest single is the best testament to that fact.

You can check out Let it go by Hear Me Roar along with the rest of his EP ‘Part Two / Nine’ on SoundCloud.

Connect with the band via Facebook

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Storie Grubb – Milky Way: Pensively Penned Americana Folk

Idaho based Folk artist Storie Grubb’s latest track Milky Way may just be the sweetest Indie Folk rendition I’ve heard this year.  With so many acoustic artists already on the scene it can be near impossible to shine above the rest given the finite number of chords to choose from. Yet, Grubb’s ethereal sound creates a resonance that other acoustic artists could only aspire to. His music has an Americanised, yet universal sound has a quintessential lo-fi feel thanks to Storie Grubb’s succinctly adorable vocal ability, but what really bowled me over was the masterpieces of macabre artwork Storie Grubb creates himself. The artwork serves as a nod to his slightly darker than average for an acoustic artists sensibility which is perfectly paired with the lyrics to tracks such as Milky Way which is steeped in pensive intergalactic wonder.

Milky Way is just one of the tracks from Storie Grubb’s debut album the Length of Tomorrow, you can stream & download the entire album via BandCamp.

You can connect with Storie Grubb on Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Understatement Is The Way Forward

All music is a juggling act of views and references, new ideas and absorbed sounds; the art is just not showing the welds that join them all together. Eight01 is a top sonic welder. He blurs so many musical lines so effectively that it is only when you get the microscope out that you can really see what is going on here. But who would do such a thing? And even though Moving On is built only of simple but sleek acoustic lines and emotive vocals it covers a lot of ground

It is a perfect blend of classic song writing and more folky traditions, understated pop and emotive, stripped back indie rock. It seems to have a wonderfully dynamic vision of what such a song should be about, it has grand sonic scope, captures or at least references a number of genres and styles and does so with only the most minimal of musical cards played. Less, as is often the case, is indeed more.


Sarah Thiele – Human: Twists of Electric Cacophony around Pure Pop-Rock Harmony

Folk Singer-Songwriter Sarah Thiele has just dropped her heart-wrenchingly bewitching new Pop Rock track Human, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it. I’m no stranger to veraciously empowering tracks, yet with Human, the connection to the message to the track was on a completely different level.

Sarah Thiele’s huskily dominant yet soft vocals perfectly portray the passion contained in the lyrics, not one syllable lingers in the superficial. All of that is before you get to the poignantly orchestrated composition of sound created. From soaring guitar riffs, to a pensive blast of pianist perfection it has it all.

Human is a rare track where you’re delighted by the extended duration of the song, as it progressively twists through its electric cacophonies of sound.
When you get to the finale of the track it’s hard to place your emotion against where it stood before you first checked out the track. Sarah Thiele’s sound puts other Pop-Rock artists to shame with her palpable purity and veracious energy.

You can check out Human which was first released in February 2018 on SoundCloud

Sarah Thiele’s album Built Like the Sun is also available to download through her website

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Evolution Not Revolution

Folk music, like any other genre has to move on, it’s only healthy after all. But the trick is not to move quickly and radically but to evolve rather than revolt. And for every Fleet Fox or Mumford and the Whale type chancer, bands who claim to be furthering the folk cause but who are really just indie scensters in ironic knit ware, there are acts like this fellow. If you have a need for genres then we are talking neo-folk, new folk, post-folk, alt-folk…whatever….but it is all really just folk isn’t it? Folk moving with the times, folk talking about its own surroundings, its own time and place. Today’s folk.

And that is one of the great things about Where We Belong. Sure, it is unashamedly folk, Eric Fernandez being a deft player bending the traditional sounds into a modern take on the genre but rather than seeming to find his inspiration in dusty traditions and finger in the ear folk clubs, he explores the modern world, his world and talks of it as he sees it. Musically there is certainly a nowness at work, as he blends indie, singer-song writer vibes, with sumptuous folk, lilting country and sparser roots traditions. Music which stands on the shoulders of musical giants but which is in itself no small cog in the wheel of musical evolution.

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