Browsing Tag

Psych Folk

Oliver James Brooks synthesised contemporary sickness with the fever of the 70s in ‘Technologically Stoned.

To hold a mirror to the dystopic sickness of the day, the critically acclaimed Toronto singer-songwriter, Oliver James Brooks, lyrically narrated our iPhone co-dependency issues in stark contrast to the 70s fever of psych-folk timbres with his alt-folk-rock single, Technologically Stoned.

Illuminating the reality of the evolution of technology which is spurring the regression of society while orchestrating a lava lamp warm soundscape that consoles through the dusky hues couldn’t have been an easy feat; the resolving raconteur succeeded nonetheless.

The accompanying music video, shot on super 8mm film along the Humber River Valley, also acts as a compelling visual exposition of how the chokehold of our phones is blinding us to the natural beauty that is everywhere we turn. If any single is going to convince you to get your dopamine fix in a more organic way, it is Technologically Stoned; the organic and raw production leads by efficacious example.

Technologically Stoned was officially released on September 22; it will also feature in the artist’s third studio LP, A Little Long While, which will be available to stream on all major platforms from November 24.

Watch the official music video for Technologically Stone on YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Slip into the hazy catharsis of No Lonesome’s Indie-Psych-Folk single, It’s

With tones that will do as much for your nostalgia-seeking soul as songs from The Beatles, The Maccabees, and The Violent Femmes, the debut album, Flowers Recomposing, from the Chicago-hailing alt-folk outfit No Lonesome is a Tour De Vintage Force.

Between the blissful timbres of the harmonies and the serotonin that spills from the foggy with euphoria horn stabs, the standout single on the album, It’s, is the perfect introduction to the ingenuity of No Lonesome, which can be tracked through the distinction in the production that melds the quirky intimacy lo-fi with higher fidelity instrumental recordings.

If you were under any illusion that fresh alchemy can’t be squeezed out of amalgamating folk, 60s psych-pop and indie Americana, the seminally sticky-sweet LP will prove you otherwise as soon as you slip into the hazy catharsis.

The debut album from No Lonesome is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Isiah & The New People started a Western Psych-Folk revolution with their live recording of Hold On

Joined by the conduits of rhythmic virtuosity that make up his live band, the prodigal son of western psych folk, Isiah Driessen, stepped into The Train Station to lay down the licks in his standout single, Hold On.

Hit play and be a fly on the wall to the mind-melting alchemy that spills from the live recording from Isiah & The New People. While the jazzy sax lines feed the seduction, the rhythm section ensures your pulses are tied to the progressions in the laidback but electric hit that kicks up plenty of Western country dirt.

Driessen’s impassionedly strident vocals are the cherry on the psych-folk sonic cake as they alternate between raucously bluesy lines to honeyed harmonies that reach the pinnacle of sweet. If you ever catch someone insinuating that contemporary artists suck because they don’t ‘make them like they used to’, rub this elevated with nuance single in their faces.

Stream the live jam recording of Hold On which premiered on June 9th on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Behold Andy Smythe’s Orchestrally Lush Vignette of a Homeward Bound Beatnik, Prodigal Son

‘Prodigal Son’ is the latest baroque folk-rock single from the psychedelically captivating singer-songwriter, producer and arranger, Andy Smythe, who transcended the Bowie and Beatles assimilators with his orchestrally lush vignette of a homeward-bound beatnik after a soul-seeking journey.

Anyone who has ever searched for tangible evidence of an entity or philosophy which contextualises reality while grasping and affirming inner essence will feel the force of a fist full of resonance while Prodigal Son is narratively unfolding under the duress of the London-based singer-songwriter’s magnetic with soul vocal lines.

There’s no overstating the sharpness of the songwriting chops or the compelling Buckley-esque 4-octave warmth in Andy Smythe’s vocal lines. After cutting his teeth for the past 20 years as a songsmith, Smythe could give Nosferatu a run for his money with his quintessentially quirky sonic signature which has garnered rave reviews on both sides of the pond.

Prodigal Son will hit the airwaves on June 23. Hear it first on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Desert folk duo, Medicine Hat, made soul the centre of their gravity in their latest single, She Comes and She Goes

The latest single, She Comes and She Goes, from the breakthrough duo, Medicine Hat, is an instantaneously resolving amalgam of indie, blues, deserty folk, and psych-pop, which will efficaciously pull you into the soul-centred gravity of the harmony-laced release.

While the folky strings exhibit just how much the nostalgically-inclined independent duo respects the roots of the genres they tease through their melodies, the Stevie Nicks-reminiscent lyrics paint a romantically immersive picture of a free spirit that you can’t help falling in love with by proxy.

The riff-driven middle eight gives you the perfect opportunity to appreciate the virtuosic flare of Medicine Hat, along with their ability to reinvent a familiar palette to make it definitively their own.

She Comes and She Goes was officially released on March 3rd; hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

KAIS culminates a sense of hope in a disparate world with his Indie Psych Folk two-track release, Willow

With every new release from the singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, KAIS, we know we are in store for two things, deeply intellectual yet accessibly resonant contexts, and a glimpse into a brand-new facet of his creativity. His latest two-track release, Willow, was no exception.

The opening single, Willow, is a defeatism-traversing intrinsically melancholic work, which utilises solemnly angular art-rock lead guitar lines to completely submerge you in the cold tones that exemplify the isolation and frustration over deceit. Regardless of the inspiration of the lyricism, Willow extends sentiments that will viscerally resonate with anyone feeling adrift by the contemporary times, which all too often leave silver linings out of sight.

The second single, On to Land, uses an extended prelude of ardently raw acoustic guitar strings, rhythmically hammering zealous emotion before the first word is spoken. After cavernous shimmering reverb crawls across the folky, sparse soundscape, there’s an interlude of silence before the melody picks up under KAIS’ vocals, which are fervid in their urgency to culminate a sense of hope in a disparate world. Closing on a turbulently psychedelic outro, you’re only human if you delve in for a repeat experience of the awakeningly affirming release.

Listen to Willow on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Bard of Ely, Steve Andrews, decreed that it is ‘Time for Ocean Aid’ in his latest psych-folk-rock single.

How could we possibly forget Steve Andrews after first hearing his insightfully sharp single, Where Does All the Plastic Go, in 2019? Many artists claim that their music is for the good of humanity, then conflate that with ego-centred lyricism. The famous Bard of Ely stays true to his unrelenting MO. Case in point, his latest single, Time for Ocean Aid, which invites you to consider the intangible mess we’ve made.

Sure, songs that paint a picture of where our toxic traits have led us aren’t an all-out dopamine riot. Especially when we’re already contending with an endless series of tragedy, sleaze and disaster. But in such a stunning way, Andrews used Time for Ocean Aid to pull listeners out of any sense of self-centred malaise and gave them something real to fight for. The psychy feat of intricate and artful folk-rock is an all too efficacious reminder that the world isn’t happening to you. It’s happening, and you happen to be here with the same responsibility as everyone else to leave it in a habitable state for every species.

Honestly, we couldn’t rate Steve Andrews more. He easily transcends heartfelt and litters your mind with a conscience. Which is, of course, the only acceptable form of littering.

Time for Ocean Aid is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Meet your new slide guitar hero in Forest Ray’s psych-folk single, Always

Forest Ray

The notion of forever may be farfetched, but Forest Ray’s title-single from their upcoming album, Always, melodiously exhibits the beauty in love persisting. The folky psych rock soundscape carries the finger-picking influence of the late and great John Prine as the psychedelic nuances freshen the familiarity under the honeyed timbre of Forest Ray’s vocals.

The soaring guitar slides bring an absorbing dynamic to the release, entrenching Always next to the roots of Americana while simultaneously bringing in the future of psych-rock. Forest Ray deserves to be equally as revered as Kurt Vile for their hazy and cathartic sense of soul that leaves you with no question over their sincerity. For your sanity’s sake, delve in.

The single, Always, will release on January 22nd with the official music video.

Check out Forest Ray on SoundCloud, Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: KAIS is stripped-back and spiritual in his latest acoustic indie-soul-folk single, Healing


KAIS bared his spiritual soul in his latest release Healing. The Canadian Cyprus-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer allowed his acoustic single to explore the deep significance of the messiness of our existence and our ability to clean up through bleeding, breathing and healing.

It is thanks to artists like KAIS, that the conversations around trauma have moved past idiomatic ignorance. Remember when we were all under the impression that PTSD existed solely in the minds of those that had experienced war? Thankfully, we now see it as a common experience; every ego-blow and mental scar imprinted leaves us with the option of carrying trauma or moving past it, and that is exactly what Healing forces you to reflect on. It’s enough to make you step in front of the mirror and check for scars that have been pushed into the subconscious.

With KAIS’ effortlessly artful vocals atop the acoustic guitar strings and nothing else to get in the way of the evocative impact of his lyrics that find a meta way to resonate as confessional, it is easily one of KAIS’ most powerful singles to date. As the perfect example, “fall from grace at god’s own pace I’m travelling through the fire, victim of desire” leaves so much more between the lines than your average lyrical confession for the way it alludes to the conflict between our situational emotion and desire.

For KAIS’ fans enamoured by his new venture into psychy indie-soul-folk, stay tuned for his upcoming EP that is due for release in February 2022. Healing was officially released on December 19th, 2021. It is now available to stream on Spotify.

Connect with KAIS to keep up to date on his new releases on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Strap yourselves in for the sonically celestial ride Suris will take you on with their psych-folk album, ‘Bonehouse’.

UK-based husband and wife duo Suris released their third album, Bonehouse, on April 29th. After a six-year gap in releases, anyone previously acquainted with their arcane sound will want to adjust their expectations accordingly for the evolution in their expression. During lockdown, Suris have taken their sound to an artfully transcendent level; strap yourselves in for the smooth celestial ride.

The album starts with ‘Argus’, a spacey ambient feat of psych-folk that carries reminiscence to Bowie through the argonaut-inspired instrumentals and Kate Bush through Lindsey’s vocals which switch from evocative vibrato to chorally ethereal and back again. It perfectly sets the tone for the record that never allows you to get comfortable.

Instead, with their soulfully pretence-less writing and production style, Suris meld elements of jazz, folk, progressive rock, psych-pop and avant-garde pop in compelling arrangements that breathe with the new age freedom of a Fleetwood Mac record, yet, there is always something striking, and indulgently unsettling waiting for you in the next progression.

With the more atmospheric singles such as, ‘Wanted’, and ‘Eclipse’, the self-recorded and produced record feels so spiritual that it almost becomes metaphysical. Bonehouse is an incredible testament from Suris. If you appreciate true aural pioneers, you’ll want them on your radar.

Bonehouse is available to stream from April 29th, 2021. You can check it out for yourselves on SoundCloud.

Keep up to date with new releases from Suris via Facebook and Instagram.