Browsing Tag

folk

Music

Man the Lifeboats – A Wasted Life: Intoxicatingly Raucous Folk

I’m not even sure the Levellers have the ability to put the amount of momentum in their Folk tracks as Man the Lifeboats did with their latest single A Wasted Life. There’s a sublime touch of Celtic Punk to the London based collective’s sound, so for any fans of the Dropkick Murphy’s, Frank Turner and the Pogues you’re going to absolutely love Man the Lifeboats upbeat anthemic Folk style.

If you get to the end of A Wasted Life without developing a taste for chaos, well, I kind of feel a little sorry for you. Their punchy style incorporates an array eclectic instruments, from the mandolin, to the penny whistle, the five-piece band have got it covered. Yet what I loved the most about A Wasted Life was the lyricist and vocalist Rich Quarterman’s ability to create and bring to life such a narrative portrait of euphoric revelry.

Whether you’re down and out or on top of the world, can check out A Wasted Life for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Ezra Foster – Misty Mountain: Viscerally Narrative Folk

As Folk singer songwriters go Ezra Foster is pretty much the whole package. With playfully inventive lyrics, the ability to create a dulcet yet uplifting melody and his enigmatic vocal offering you really couldn’t ask for more.

The Austin, US based artist’s latest single Misty Mountain which was released in April 2018 offers instantly cathartic rhythm which invites you to slip into the sonorous soundscape. Yet, what really sold Misty Mountain for me was that the lyrics weren’t just an apathetic offering of introspection. Ezra Foster’s narrative lyrical style creates a veraciously beautiful portrait in your mind, you know, like Folk music is intended to. Many contemporary ‘Folk’ artists may have forgotten the intention behind Folk, yet Ezra is still roots deep in the traditional style.

You can check Misty Mountain along with the rest of Ezra’s album ‘the Pace of Living’ for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now. Each one of the eight tracks carry their own brand of personably passionate emotion, by track eight, I can guarantee you’ll be in love with Ezra’s viscerally ethereal style.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Mo Zowayed – Gypsy Queen: Quaint as Folk

It would seem that any musician capable of playing a few chords dubs themselves as a Folk artist these days. Yet it is artists such as Mo Zowayed that proves just what Folk should sound like.

The acoustic singer songwriter has dug deep in the roots of Folk to recreate those incandescently uplifting vibes that you just can’t resist being enveloped by. Mo Zowayed’s vocals are simultaneously raw and polished which means that you’re treated to a resonant vocal offering which brings the sweetly penned lyrics to life. The use of the strings within the instrumental mix was an excellent move to make the track more than just one man and his guitar. With his captivating approach to Bluegrass I have no doubt that the artist will come to be universally adored.

More than anything it was the sentiment behind Gypsy Queen which really moved me. We’ve all encountered people who put up an icy wall for self-preservation, but could anyone ever possibly resist Mo Zowayed’s playful demolition of their façade?

You can check out Mo Zowayed’s latest single Gypsy Queen on SoundCloud now; any fans of the Levellers will be absolutely in heaven with this track. Gypsy Queen was just one of the stunning singles from the Folk artists latest EP ‘the New York Times’.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Dalton Day – Glad You Came: Meet Your New Favourite Folk Crooner

Finding the same level of quiescent talent which Dalton Day exudes in his single Glad You Came is pretty much like finding a needle in a haystack. Before you even reach the chorus to the track you’re already invested in the narrative lyrics which have been pensively penned to perfectly express Dalton Day’s sweet offerings of romanticism.

Whilst the track is fairly instrumentally simplistic, this only adds to the resonance and weight of the sentiment that makes Glad You Came one of the most ethereal Indie Folk Acoustic track I’ve heard recently. The momentum with the instrumentals picks up considerably with the tracks that follow on from Glad You Came on the EP release. However I’ve come to find comfort in the simple melodies orchestrated within the opening track. Also, no one says ‘darlin’’ better than Dalton Day. No one.

You can check out Dalton Day’s latest single Glad You Came along with the other stunning tracks from his 2018 album via Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Jack Biilmann – Hills Have Eyes: Folk Music That Isn’t as Scary as It Sounds

Any horror fan will agree that the Hills Have Eyes is a little of a misleading title for a sweetly resonant Indie Folk track. But once you get over that, Jack Biilmann’s latest single unfolds like an absolute dream. He packs plenty of momentum into the acoustic melody which goes beyond your average genre-conforming Indie track with Biilmann’s tendency to throw in everything from Dub to Blues in to create a soundscape that is as fresh and organic as it comes. I don’t mean to make him sound like food produce, but damn, the Australian guitarist and singer songwriter has such command over his eccentric melodies that it’s hard not to find yourself in awe of his prodigal approach to sound.

Through his lyrics and pitch perfect vocal offerings it’s palpable that Jack Billmann is an artist that throws his passion into the orchestration of the music, for the end result to be dripping with resonance.

You can check out Jack Biilmann’s music on Spotify now, or head on over to Facebook where you can keep up to date with all his latest releases and tour info.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

KirdA – Sunsets: Because Who Doesn’t Love Folkish Chill Hop?

Emerging Indie Folk artist KirdA has just released his transiently stunning new EP ‘Endless Summer’. It took listening to one track to decide that this type of soundscape is exactly where the future of music lies.

Contained within the intricate masterpiece of a release is the standout track Sunsets which bowled me over before the first verse had even ran through. If you’re lucky enough to be one of those people that gets goose bumps from listening to a resonantly blissful track, you’re in for one hell of a prickly treat. The resonance contained within the Indie Folk track reverberates through you thanks to the Chill Hop vibe that washes over the entire track. Someone should have told the Artic Monkey’s that this is how you create a genre mash of an album. KirdA has all the suave style of a Trap Artist but boasts the sweet sensibility of an acoustic Indie artist. It’s hard not to fall in love with the narrative lyrics, the tentative versing and everything KirdA puts into the genius orchestration of his stylised sound.

You can check out KirdA’s single from his five-track EP Endless Summer on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Ava Earl; Folk’s Sonorously Soulful New Contender

Not another Folk Singer Songwriter I hear you say, but Ava Earl’s latest single Quiet Eyes says so much more.

From the very first notes her stylised expression hits you, to drive home that her style is anything but typical from what you’ve heard from up and coming Folk Singer Songwriters this year. The complexity within the rhythmic guitar picking doesn’t fail to stand testament to her command over the acoustic soundscapes and her ability to orchestrate a captivating masterpiece of a track.

Better still, a violin was thrown into the mix to create the perfect concordance within the track around the acoustic guitar and her sonorously soulful vocal ability.  Perhaps what I love the most about Ava Earl’s vocals is that there’s a tangible sense of fragility, but none of the naivety that comes with it. The level of maturity in her vocals and style isn’t quite what you’d expect from a young up and coming Folk artist, but that is exactly what makes her style so refreshing.

Quiet Eyes is just one of the singles from Ava’s album ‘Am I Me Yet?’ which is available to pre order through her website,  pending the release on July 2018.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Joey Costello – Where I Long to Be: Ethereally Textured Acoustic Folk

With a soundscape as a sonorous as the one captively orchestrated by Joey Costello in his latest single Where I Long to Be; it’s hard not to fall a little bit in love with his pensive style.

I’ve always believed that the mark of a stunning singer songwriter is the ability to write melancholy into music and still have the end result of pure uplifting catharsis. Where I Long to Be is one of those tracks which bleeds pure resonance through the creeping acoustic and electronic progression. His vocals aren’t traditionally moulded (who needs another Gary Barlow on the scene anyway?), yet, they compliment his ethereal textured style in a way that is almost unparalleled amongst other American Alternative Acoustic artists. The production behind the track is simply stunning, rather than creating yet another typically lo-fi track the styling of the mix allows each note and chord progression to pierce through you.

Where I Long to Be was just one of the tracks from Joey Costello’s latest EP ‘the Wind Blows By’ which was released June 15th, 2018.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Stu Mcloughlin – Drink To Me Only With Your Eyes

The subject matter for songs is as varied and diverse as the people who write them. They allow us to express emotions, make important points, talk about the world around us or the world that we would like to see. One subject matter that has always been on the table is that of love, longing and unrequited love and Stu McLoughlin makes this abundantly clear with his re-imagining of Ben Jonson’s famous poem Song: For Celia into a wonderful modern acoustic solo piece. 400 years may have passed between that poem and this song, but it shows that as people the same things are largely at the centre of our lives. The heart has always wanted what the heart wants.

This dexterous acoustic song captures the echo of ancient music and 60’s folk revivalism but its real charm lies in the lyrics, the first half a modernisation of the original poem, the second an update of the same sentiment expressed through the trappings of a more modern experience. It’s great, unexpectedly accessible considering the material he has chosen to work with, wonderfully emotive, musically elegant and lyrically eloquent.

Music

Hooligan Ghosts’ Orchestration of Pure Phantasmical Bliss

If I told you that the clue is in the name with Hooligan Ghosts and that’s all you need to know this would be a bit of a short review and it would in no way do any justice to how absurdly beautiful Hooligan Ghosts sound is. Their latest single ‘Last Winter, Pt.1’ could be described as haunting, but that almost seems a little cliché to apply to their melodically prodigal soundscapes which carry a palpable chill as they progress through their reverb soaked instrumentals. There’s an almost cinematic aura to their latest single which is a good indication that the production quality is beyond what you would expect from an independently produced record. The Dayton, Ohio based artist has quite literally redefined the ambient genre by infusing elements of experimental folk. Whilst the lyrics are fairly indecipherable, I’d say that ultimately this just makes the track all that more captivating as you attempt to soak up the stylised aural alchemy in its entirety.

If you feel inclined to drink in some beautiful doom-impounding sounds (you totally should) you can head on over to BandCamp where you can stream and download Hooligan Ghosts single from their latest album ‘The Spectral Mother’.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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