From all indie genres, Folk seems to have a special place in our hearts. We can't help to get back to folk songs when we look for some calm and inspiration. When we want to hope for a nice dream. Or when we are feeling in the mood for some very well told stories. As an honour to those feelings, this series is entitled TIFU (Today I Folked Up). Only folk songs from new folk artists. To let you and ourselves go.
Marlene Oak – Northern Winds
We start this Folk state of mind with probably our favourite new folk singer-songwriter – Marlene Oak -. She released her debut album, Northern Winds, in the last month and we just loved how much it speaks to us. It seems quarantine has been providing a lot of new composers with sudden doses of new inspiration, and Marlene is certainly one case of that. Through the entire album she conserves what makes her one in a million, with her rasp-powerful combined vocals making every track a marvelous contemplation for our ears and soul. Probably the greatest example of that is Northern Winds, the title track. The deep vocals emanate equal doses of classical and modern, and the track sounds progressive and super singable. The background of instrumentals includes a piano, a soft drum set, and a pair of guitars. Together they make the ideal base for a vocalist that knows better-than-anyone how to drive a listener with her tones.
Other personal favourites of the album include the ending track Sailing Home where a more stripped-back guitar provides the softness for an incedible voice singing about life emptiness and the tender feeling of home. This is a keeper:
This is the fourth time we post about Marlene Oak on WtMM, making her one of most posted artists of this magazine. So, that speaks for itself on how much we admire her music.
Al Olender – Folie à Deux
“Al Olender doesn’t want to hide from you. Al is a singer-songwriter from Baltimore, Maryland. Her songs sit in the world between daydreams and night thoughts”. When we first read Al Olender description of herself we see the typical folk pattern. What else is a Folk song rather than daydreaming and night thoughts? Well, for a start, in what Al Olender respects, it is also a synonym of a gorgeous female vocalist. Accompanied by what seem to be two distinct guitars (one played by herself), Folie à Deux, her latest, is a beautiful story-telling paced track that should be showcased as a folk dreamy song. The track is an ode to “admitting when you’re wrong” and a beautiful track that although sad, also transmits hope and genuineness. In her vocals, we also find a lot of power, and for that reason, the track sounds also like an ode to inner strength.
WUWU – Take Your Things
When happen when you mix Folk with other genres? WUWU happens – pun intended. Take Your Things mixes folk with indie rock and some bits of pop, to make a sonority that although familiar, sounds fresh and like these genres were always supposed to be born together. The track was written as a commentary about the aging process and with the goal of bringing attention to the current housing and homelessness crisis all around the world. Soon it starts the track immediately reminds us of the more upbeat songs of Mac DeMarco, but without ever sounding too much like it, and given the appropriate space of uniqueness. The big hooks with the electric guitar always feel like re-inventing the track, and that is pure genius. Impossible not to love this. You can quote us. We absolutely love this and can’t get enough of it.
Samuel Nicholson – Andy
Sam Nickolson’s vocals are unique, raw, deep, and sentimental. He can achieve power with a whisper and the tender and slight guitar elements that typically surround is vocals are also the bread to the butter that are his vocals. Altogether, his songs are gentle and contemplative sonorities that always seem to find a special place in our hearts. In the scene for 5 years, his recent tracks are sounding more special than ever, re-introducing him as a one-kind in the folk world. Andy is the second single taken from his upcoming album Missing Persons Report and talks about social dysfunction and isolation, regardless of any other context that may force us to isolate ourselves. It is a gorgeous song that catapults a whisper to a dream, and that sound both delicate and introspective. But always beautiful.
This is the second time Samuel Nicholson is featured on WtMM after the release of Frida about two months ago.
Elijah Wolf – Like This, Anymore
Elijah Wolf’s newest track Like This, Anymore includes legendary guitarist Nels Cline and is produced by Sam Cohen – Kevin Morby -, and is a song that speaks as loud as any of these bands. Super up-lifting and merging sonorities from Folk-Americana (we can feel a little bit of Fleetwood Mac in this) and typical classical folk nuances, the track also has a pop feel that is very rare to found in the genre. The track is also very natural in the way it speaks about life and feelings, the days of Summer, and how people feel about time, weather, and all the big little things in life. The guitar solos are also tender and Sunny and reflect the spirit of a song where hope is the main conductor. It is a track capable of making our lives better. We thank Elijah for that!
Sean J O’Neill – Move Backwards
Fueled with power, it is how San J O’Neill folk-infused pop sonority sounds like. Filled with instrumentals that sound both airy and lullabied – and some Springsteen like saxophone’s – Move Backwards – his latest single from his debut self-titled EP, is a tender voyage to a happy place filled with stars that we can somehow see during light-time. His vocals are one-more instrument, and one-more point of hapiness in a song that also sounds like e baeautiful nostalgy. It’s like he’s commanding an army of positivy, and every single of one of his soldiers wants to be the first going forward. The result is an indie folk ode to happiness.
Stables – Silhouettes
“Sitting on the window ledge, watching all the Silhouettes. I’ve never had a better nest. When I’m with you”. Just like that, Stables’ romantic view on folk is even more clear in their lattest track Silhouettes. Warm and cozy, but also cleverly subtle, with both first and second vocals sounding enchanting, chilled and familiar. When we talk about how much we like the folk state of mind, we should always talk about songs like this one. Silhouettes is the title track from Stable’s upcoming album (coming 09.10.20).
This is the third time we feature Stables on WtMM, and they keep making songs we can’t say no to!
Emma Miller – Honey
Emma Miller’s newest track is a slow-building folk track that is both easy-listening and gives space for breathing and contemplation. The vocals are crazy comfortable and relaxing but go to beautiful extended melodies that make the song stand out. There is not one moment where we feel the track is giving us less than the capability to be happy, and that’s always a beautiful thing to feel from a track – and one of folk’s many wonders. Honey is the first single from her debut EP and a re-birth in her musical career after a short hiatus.
All these songs (and all previous songs feature in TIFU) are also featured on our folk playlist. Follow it on Spotify: