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folk

Music

Sam DeMartino put a modern indie twist on alt-folk with their single ‘The Ring’

Sam DeMartino

Drift into alt-folk nostalgia with singer-songwriter, Sam DeMartino’s recently released EP ‘Not Soon Enough’. If Cat Stevens and Elliott Smith always hit the tender sweet spot, the standout single, ‘The Ring’ may just hit harder.

Sam DeMartino has been honing-in on their signature blend of 70s folk, 80s post-punk and 21st-century indie since high school, based on the ethereal tonal alchemy in The Ring, it’s safe to say that he’s already reached virtuosic heights. The semi-orchestral single possesses a sense of vulnerability that is potent enough to shift your romantic perceptions.

You can hear Sam DeMartino via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Brighton’s Jacko Hooper treats us to an intimate exhibition of relatable fear with his latest single, ‘This Was the Earth’

Being no stranger to Jacko Hooper’s all-consuming music, I thought I was prepared for what was to come in his latest single, ‘This Was the Earth’. Considering that it perfectly captures the sense of drowning while contending with your thoughts in a world where normality and certainty seem like too much to ask for, I was wrong.

With instrumentals mimicking internal conflict paired with Hooper’s vocals which reach deeper than most, This Was the Earth is an intense listen, but the single isn’t without catharsis. With baroque keys adding a touch of theatrical intensity to the semi-orchestral folk-pop single, you can’t help but find yourself overcome by the fact that it seems to unfold like an aural piece of fine art.

Not only is Jacko Hooper a phenomenal artist in his own right, but he also runs the label and promotions company, Folklore Sessions which has showcased over 200 live acts at their monthly shows. I was lucky enough to find myself at such an event in 2018, with Paper Hawk and Josh McGovern joining Jacko Hooper on stage, each act left me more transfixed than the last with their uniquely hypnotic command of modern folk.

The official music video premiered on March 11th; you can check it out for yourselves via YouTube.

You can check out the other artists involved with Folklore Sessions here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

The last ten months: Katja von Bauske encourages us to stay strong while starting again on ‘Close My Eyes’

Whilst walking around seeing the wild world for herself, Katja von Bauske brings us an inspirational message about thinking for ourselves on the cinematic new single ‘Close My Eyes‘.

Katja von Bauske is a mesmerizing World folk/pop artist from Hamburg, Germany. She brings us a poignant global four minute track of so much realness born from the last ten months of a crazy roller coaster ride, that has been upside down from normal reality.

This is the story about how the world is in a mess right now, small businesses are struggling and we need this pandemic to end sooner rather than later. Through her footsteps and seeing this for herself, you get the picture about the misinformation, sadness and how small businesses really suffer the most from all of this, while science gets disregarded.

Close My Eyes‘ from the superlative talent of Katja von Bauske, is an ear-bending track that makes you think deeply and opens your eyes further inside. She reflects the current world through her ten month journey, which is scary and courageous at the same time.

During these extremely stressful times, we all have to be stronger and open minded, reading and learning to make our own minds up. Life has changed forever but through self-awareness, you can ride above the tide and keep your head above water.

Watch this magnificent artist here on YouTube and support her journey here on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

Baneful Town have released their wistfully lo-fi folk single ‘Change Your Mind’

Montreal-hailing experimental folk artist Baneful Town has been making waves with their wistfully lo-fi style since making their debut in 2019. Their signature sound may be instrumentally sparse, but it’s evocatively charged with a transfixingly nostalgic sense of loss and love.

Based on their latest single ‘Change Your Mind’, Baneful Town may become just as renowned for their bittersweet symphonies as the Verve.

Any fans of the tenderness of Elliott Smith and the dreamy mercurial tendencies of Bonny Light Horsemen will want to get acquainted with this quiescently compelling single. With their debut album due for release, Baneful Town are definitely one to watch.

Change Your Mind is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Baneful Town tells an indie-folk tale of love, loss and hedonism with their latest single, ‘You and No One Else’.

Thanks to artists such as Baneful Town, folk will never become an archaic and outdated genre; as you pick bits of bluegrass out of the raw yet harmonically timbered single, you’ll also feel the sting of the contemporary resonance in the candid lyrics. If you’ve ever attempted to fill a hole with hedonism only to find yourself even more hollow, you’re sure to find plenty of yourself reflected at you in their latest single ‘You and No One Else’.

‘You and No One Else’ is the lead single from the Montreal-based three-piece’s debut self-titled album that comes with a promise of lyrically delivering nothing but soul-projected sincerity. After hearing the all-baring lead single that takes none of the torment of pining after something you’ll never have or replace while providing a harmonically uplifting track, it’s safe to say we’re excited. Fans of everyone from Jayhawks to Dinosaur Jr to the Dandy Warhols will find plenty to love about You and No One Else.

You and No One Else is now available to stream via Spotify. Their debut album is due for official release on March 12th, 2021.

You can keep up to date with Baneful Town’s latest releases via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Echo Wants Her Voice Back explores the complexities of grief with her sermonic folk noir single ‘Blue Lament’

Echo Wants Her Voice Back

Even with a moniker which sounds like it seeped out of David Lynch’s imagination, singer-songwriter, Echo Wants Her Voice Back’s artful folk noir sound subversively surpasses all expectation.

Any artist who can leave you arrested with acapella vocals is definitely worth getting acquainted with. The perfect introduction is her latest single, Blue Lament, which was released on February 12th. The sombre blues-inspired single explores the complexities of grief in a powerfully sermonic style and celebrates that sweet moment when grief and loss finally relinquish their grip.

Check out Echo Wants Her Voice Back via Bandcamp and Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Award-winning bluegrass singer, Kevin Serey is set to release their wisdom-driven single ‘Old Man’s Eyes’

Kevin Serey

Singer-songwriter, Kevin Serey has been raking in the accolades since making their debut. As an Ohio Music Award Winner and an International Acoustic Music Awards finalist, his highly-anticipated forthcoming album holds plenty of promise. On the basis of the standout single, Old Man’s Eyes, he’s discernibly delivered.

As we’re collectively living through some of the most isolating times in living history, wisdom-fuelled singles, such as Old Man’s Eyes are priceless. Serey’s consoling words melodically shove you in a positive direction while his timeless bluegrass country folk tones leave you enraptured by evoking just as much emotion as the lyrics.

You’ll have to wait a little longer before you can check out Kevin Serey’s new album, in the meantime, hear their award-winning previous releases via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Canadian folk singer-songwriter, Mike Latimer has made an unforgettable debut with ‘Your Memory’

Canadian folk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Mike Latimer has released the first single from their forthcoming album ‘Coastal Life’; ironically, ‘Your Memory’ is an unforgettable release.

The timeless single suckers you in through folk Americana familiarity, once you’re immersed, you’ll start to embrace the candidness of Mike Latimer’s adoringly sweet lyricism which wraps itself around the ghost of a lost lover. With the radiant tones and the affection in the vocals, the air of wistfulness doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to dominating this escapism-aiding release. Instead, Your Memory delivers a powerful lesson in the power of perception.

Your Memory is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Mark Houston has made his tribally transfixing alt-folk indie debut with ‘Open up the Pages’

Ironically, Mark Houston’s debut single, ‘Open up the Pages’ is the aural equivalent of a page-turner, each progression immerses you more in the canter, it’s mesmeric and unpredictable in equal measure.

For their debut, the Spokane, WA-residing singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist played with funk, alt-folk and indie-pop elements to construct a sweetly connectable single, confrontational through the directness of the lyricism and soothing through the jangly, shimmering pop-rock melodies.

The grippingly poetic lyrics paired with the tribalistic experimental-to-the-point-of-artfulness instrumentals made Open up the Pages one of the most promising debuts we’ve heard this year. Yeah, it’s only March, but the bar has been set extremely high by Mark Houston.

Open up the Pages is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Hunter & Girton – Father Time: Solemnly Compassionate Alt Folk

Hunter & Girton

Rural Indiana-residing alt-folk duo, Hunter & Girton, are set to release their most haunting single to date, ‘Father Time’. The sparse and desolate soundscape leaves plenty of room for your own emotions to coalesce with the sentiments delivered through the lyrics which will hold a mirror to your personal relationship with melancholy.

There may be a crestfallen air to Father Time, but it’s anything but depressive. The solemnly meditative single parallels the levels of compassion found in the most tender tracks from Pearl Jam’s latest album while delivering tear-jerking tones which lend inspiration from 60s Folk.

Father Time is due for official release on March 5th. You’ll be able to check it out for yourselves by heading over to the artist’s official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast