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Semi Orchestral Folk

Music

Michael Golden gives us a glimpse into his psyche with captivating new single ‘The Rhine’

Bloomington, Indiana resident Michael Golden began his songwriting career at the age of 16; now, after twenty years of honing his craft, he drops his debut album ‘Some Kind Of Holiday’, a self-produced 12 tracks of classic, folk-rock inspired eclecticism in the singer-songwriter tradition of the 1970’s.

Raw and heartfelt, autobiographical in the Leonard Cohen way, new single ‘The Rhine’ is a vaguely psychedelic, folksy little three minutes of earnest, sincere whimsy; it’s profound, pretty, like a trip back into the world of Cat Stevens and Donovan, naked and laid bare and altogether truthful. Golden has assembled a stunning collection of musicians across ‘Some Kind Of Holiday’, with swelling cello, organ, and guitars all underpinning his deep, rich vocal.

‘Some Kind Of Holiday’ is out now; view the video for ‘The Rhine’ on YouTube, and follow Michael Golden on Facebook or via his website.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

More Than Skies – Tomorrow Won’t Bother: Psychedelically Cinematic Angsty Folk Rock

More Than Skies is the project of New York singer-songwriter Adam James. With two EP’s and a self-released double-album since its inception in 2006, James now drops his new album, ‘Tomorrow Won’t Bother’, leading off with this, the title track.

Perhaps best described as mildly psychedelic-sounding angsty folk-rock, ‘Tomorrow Won’t Bother’ has a distinctly Beatles-y vibe to it, all beautiful wavering strings, strummed acoustic guitar, and a hugely classy piano-led intro, all held together by James’ effortless vocal. There’s a pizzicato element to the strings adding some percussive drive to the middle section, a charmingly ‘Leslie Cabinet’ dopplering tremolo effect to James’ voice, and that delicious piano intro and outro, all adding serious class to an already beautifully crafted and performed track. ‘Tomorrow Won’t Bother’ is the perfect taster.

Hear ‘Tomorrow Won’t Bother’ on Spotify; check out More Than Skies on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Explore the Folklore in Garefowl’s single ‘Hion Daila Horo Ri Ho Hion Daila La’

Folklore organically flows through ‘Hion Daila Horo Ri Ho Hion Daila La’, just one of the singles found on the Alt Folk artist Garefowl’s alchemic TARDIS of an album ‘Cliffs’.

The entrancingly tribalistic record consistently subverts your expectations by seamlessly shunting you from eerie tones into euphoria-infusing traditional St Kildan melodies.

Even though each of the artists contributing to the album worked remotely, the instrumental arrangement transcends being ‘tight’. The mesmerism which breathes between the brooding notes is enough to tear you away from modernity and allow you to wonder what it would be like to live a subsistence existence away from the fray and 21st distraction,

After receiving high praise from the likes of Cerys Matthews (BBC Radio 6), Mark Radcliffe (BBC Radio 2) and The National, it is impossible to see how Garefowl won’t become a major part of the musical landscape in 2021 and beyond.

You can check out Garefowl’s single via Spotify or YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Get high with Michael Golden’s intoxicating Alt Folk single “Mr. Ecstasy”

Slip into the soul contained in US singer-songwriter Michael Golden’s debut album Some Kind of Holiday, it’s a candidly compelling narration of the artist’s experience navigating life, you’ll find plenty of familiar moments staring back at you.

The perfect introduction to their melodically haunting style is irrefutably “Mr. Ecstasy”. Any fans of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits are going to get stung by the melancholy. Just like dropping a pill, there are blissfully radiant highs and soul-scraping lows. Yet, Mr. Ecstasy is able to offer far more than narcotics could.

The tender nostalgic comfort contained in Mr. Ecstasy is worth its weight in gold. Michael Golden has palpably succeeded in recreating the 70s sound with a modern digital folk edge.

You can check out Mr. Ecstasy for yourselves by heading over to YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

It’s Never Too Late for Jakob Kupferberg

Folky strummed guitar, strident violin, and a pushing, driving bassline offset Jakob Kupferberg’s new single ‘Never Too Late For Love’, an assured, mature folk-rock song that showcases Kupferberg’s vocal styling and guitar skills.

Vulnerable and emotional and yet strong and powerful, Danish-born Kupferberg references artists as diverse as Zach De La Rocha and Jeff Buckley, and this comes across in his music, the track switching easily from comfortable, familiar chord progressions to mildly startling, divergent codas and back again, intriguing and challenging but never, ever discordant.

Kupferberg’s debut EP, ‘Sweet Surrender’, is out on October 9th; ‘It’s Never Too Late For Love’ is on Spotify now.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Sink into “September” again with Brother Sea’s latest soulfully resolving Celtic Folk single

Brother Sea

South West Celtic Folk artist Brother Sea kindly gave us a sneak peek of their forthcoming single “September” and allowed us to the sink into the accordance of their soulful aural resolve ahead of the official release on October 24th.

There’s nothing which can parallel the ethereally phantasmal chill which creeps from Celtic tones. Yet, Brother Sea infused plenty of their passion, hunger and soul into the soundscape around the eerie tones. So that overall, September unravels as a captivating folklore-spilling soundscape.

Keep up to date with news of the release via Facebook, or head on over to Brother Sea’s official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Sink into Maroney’s tenderly intimate Folk Pop single “Home”

Home” is just one of the tenderly intimate Folk Pop singles on the latest EP “Alur” from Sacramento-born, LA-based singer-songwriter Maroney.

The semi-orchestral, mellifluously magnetic single may draw you in gently, but before you know it, the accordant tones will be creeping beneath your skin and the lyrics will seriously test your capacity for compassion as you listen to the romantically resolving lyrics float around the stunning orchestration which could have only come from an artist with an affinity for Gospel, Bluegrass and Folk.

How celestial Home is, is no coincidence. The female vocals perfect the amorously evocative soundscape as they find reactive chemistry against Maroney’s soothing vocal timbre.

You can check out Home for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Knox Bronson – I Want to Know: Delicately Orchestral Alt Folk

Oakland, US Folk Singer-Songwriter Knox Bronson has recently released their latest single “I Want to Know (What You Told the Sun). If Cohen has a tendency to make you teary, so will this sublimely orchestrated release.

The delicately inviting semi-orchestral arrangement possesses plenty of choral depth and creates the perfect platform for Knox Bronson’s gravelly yet harmonic quiescent vocals. And the nostalgic feel of the release gives I Want to Know plenty of instant accessibility from the first hit. Yet, there’s plenty of distinction to be found within the atmospheric soundscape along with sheer amorous mesmerism.

You can listen to I Want to Know for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Keep up to date with Knox Bronson’s latest releases via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Grant Maloy Smith has shared their all too relatable Alt Country Folk single “Waiting for the Good Old Days Again” with the airwaves

We may not have heard any lockdown songs from Cat Stevens, but US artist Grant Maloy Smith has achieved the very same evocative effect as Wild World with his latest single “Waiting for the Good Old Days Again”.

The Alt Country Folk single shares the all too relatable emotion which has transpired from being left in stasis with the days bleeding into one another because there is nothing to set them apart. The soundscape certainly isn’t without its melancholy, but the stunning semi-orchestral instrumental arrangement makes it hard to slip into a morose state as your listening to the ethereal pull of the strings.

It really comes as no surprise that Grant Maloy Smith entered the Billboard charts with their previous releases. There is an incredibly nuanced and matured air to their latest single which can only come from an artist who has dedicated their life to their art.

You can check out the official music video for Waiting for the Good Old Days Again via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast