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folk

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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

Music

Jim Audet – Sex & Money: An Indie Rock Attack on the Vapid Nature of the 21st Century

Jim Audet’s single Sex & Money from his latest EP the Lookout is one of the most agonisingly sonorous depictions of modern day disparity that I’ve ever heard. The Montreal based Indie Folk Rock artist created a blindingly conceptual EP that doesn’t just serve as a platform for him to lay down his instrumental, lyrical and vocal talent. No, with his soundscapes he created a grounding offering of conscious shifting melodies that wrapped around his lyrics which were a straight up attack on our cultures obsession with sex, money and violence in the media. The passion which he poured into each of his tracks is palpable beyond words, yet it was Sex & Money that truly took my breath away around the pensive piano keying and chaotic Indie Rock ensemble of sound. As someone who is already fairly anachronistic the resonance I found within Sex & Money made me want to escape our vapid culture more than ever.

You can stream and download Jim Audet’s latest track Sex & Money from his latest EP the Lookout which was released on June 1st, 2018 on BandCamp now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Drakeford – Stronger Than One: Bewitching Country Blues

Usually, I’ll listen to music from husband and wife duos with gritted teeth, yet, there’s just something about Drakeford as I found out by immersing in the audio pleasure of checking out their latest single Stronger Than One. Their synergetic Folk Country soundscape is as compelling as it gets. Whilst Drakeford pulls most of the vocal focus in their latest single, the resonance created by Lucy-Jayne’s backing vocals creates an ethereally creeping harmony which really amplifies the sentimentality of the lyrics. Because let’s face it, most of the time, husband and wife duos create tracks that are just a little bit smug. Drakeford went in a completely different direction by using lyricism designed to empower pretty much anyone and everyone and God damn, I love them for it.

Taking inspiration from artists such as Jon Foreman, Jason Mraz and Gungor, the matrimonial duo created a timeless sound which sits perfectly in the contemporary Acoustic Folk Pop arena.

Stronger Than One is just one of the standout singles you can expect to hear from Drakeford’s upcoming release ‘The Venture’ which will be available to download & stream across all major platforms from June 8th, 2018.

Keep up to date with the stunning pair’s latest releases by giving them a follow on Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Chris Baluyut – Different Days: Acoustically Ethereal Folk

Some may have conceived the intricately complex acoustic guitar intro as showing off, but God damn. If I had that much command over a fretboard I’d be screaming about it from rooftops. Chris Baluyut’s latest single Different Day’s is an acoustically ethereal offering of Folk, one which I won’t be forgetting about in a hurry, or that you hear every day. Given the limited chord progressions available on an acoustic guitar it’s pretty difficult for acoustic artists to summon prodigal sounds from their instruments, yet the New York based artist proved that it isn’t impossible. His Post-Punk background is almost palpable through his acoustic melodies through which he creates, then there’s his vocals. His succinctly uplifting vocals bleed pure organic, romantic expression allowing the track to fully resonate through you.

If you’re a fan of bands such as Paper Hawk & Jacko Hooper & other Folk guitar geniuses you can check out Chris Baluyut’s latest single Different Days on Spotify now. As first single’s go, Chris has knocked it out of the park. Make sure to give him a follow; Chris will be releasing his debut EP in Summer 2018.

Review by Amelia Vandergast.

Music

All Faces – Summer in London: Prodigal Jangle Folk Pop

If you gave M83 a more Folky Twist you’d concoct a similar prodigal sound to the up & coming London based duo All Faces. Their latest release Sumer in London from their second EP may have just redefined Jangle Folk Pop with their stunning soundscapes, yet potentially what is the most ethereal factor when it comes to Summer in London is the beautiful conceptual lyricism that went behind the track, not too dissimilar to bands such as the Fratelli’s, the Lumineers and the Vaccines. All Faces captured the perfect vibe to depict all the heat of a Summer in London. In fact, I will probably lose all faith in the music industry if I don’t hear All Faces new single blaring on Radio 2 throughout the summer. Ben & Daphne share a beautiful vocal synergy that leave you hooked by the lyrical punchlines over the popping up-vibe instrumentals. Daphne has a soulfully fractured, sweet sensibility as she resonates with Ben’s polished Pop vocals to create a sound which is nothing but distinctive.

You can check out All Faces second single from their self-titled EP Summer in London which was released May 2018 on SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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