[TIFU] Chapter V

Ronny Wunderwald, from Wayne Graham What For' music video. October. 2020
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.

Alex Luca – Freedom

We’ve been admirers of Alex Luca’s capacity to produce modern and super melodic hooks into folk-pop compositions. There is a sense of a classic way of singing out loud, but there is also proper modernity and urban feel to it. Freedom is his latest track, and a track about feeling trapped in the pursuit of freedom, and his perhaps his most commercial track until now. We can feel the sonority going to a Taylor Swift vibe (especially those “take it back, table it back” bits going into the end of the track) but we can also feel Alex’s typical piano progressions and the very tasteful vocals turning the track into something very catchy and pleasuring. Radio play alert over here. 

Anthony da Costa feat. Madison Cunningham – Send My Regards

Have you found yourself alone when suddenly this state of the World bumped right in? That was the case with Anthony da Costa. Instead of blaming himself all for that, he decided to keep making music, and as more and more days go by, more and more songs are released. Send My Regards is the latest from him and features the hauntingly beautiful vocals from Madison Cunningham. Written and recorded in quarantine, and featuring contributions from members of the Dirty Projectors and The War On Drugs – like all his latest tracks -. The track sounds melancholic but evolutionary, with beautiful vocal hooks that make us wanna want to sing better, just to sing along. The hooking guitar bits are captivating and enchanting, and Anthony’s vocals are sounding more sensible and melodic than ever. Making this a track very hard to resist. And a keeper for the rest of the year.

Dekker – The Love

Almost about a month ago, Dekker released their latest single, the gorgeous The Love. Immediately sounding to us like a Nick Mulvey meets Ben Howard track – and as feverous fans of both – the track immediately stuck into our minds and ears. Much has to do with the vocal tone, that goes in and out of a rasping falsetto and into beautiful choir-like melodies effortlessly and in a very intense manner. The track is written on top of a simple 4-chord loop that circles around the thematics of the pursuit of love, in a certain way incorporating how we cycle through feelings time and time again and confirming that many times simplicity is the key when it comes to composition. The Love is part of Dekker’s 10-track debut album entitled Slow Reveal: Chapter one coming out in about a week and was released along-side a Dekker typical (and gorgeous) video concept.

Justin Goren – Cocoon

Need some folk genuineness that sticks into your mood? Justin Goren’s effort with the latest track entitled Cocoon is a marvelous way to achieve that. With a very strong and echoing chorus where the title of the track is sung time and time again in the form of an anthem. Cocoon is a great listening experience: one that mixes folk heterogeneity with a post-folk vibe, and that truly transmits the ambient where it was created – beachside under the stars. And we imagine that’s probably how it’s best heard too, with a cool breeze to accompany. The track is about feeling safe in a specific place and with a certain person but Justin says it is truly about “anything that makes you feel at ease, like a safety net” stating that “nets can break, and the safety is not always unconditional… and relying on that supposed safety can foster too much dependence taking away from your own independence”.  The track is about that grey area but sounds clear, delicate, and positive.

Kevin Atwater – Koh

“This is my second major song release! I am a member of the LGBTQ community, and I sing music from a distinctly queer perspective”. Just like that, we are introduced to Kevin Atwater’s mission in music. Filled with a very rare sense of sensibility and details, his music lingers between the classic and modern folk, with just some pop bits. And Koh, his latest track, is a beautiful example of how folk can sound enchanting and devastating at the same time. The vocal tones he sings are gorgeous and always surprising, managing a rare combination of sounding warm even when expressing coldness. The song is named after a character from Avatar: The Last Airbender in homage to one that sacrifices his own “face” for another out of love. Playing with the sense of losing identity in defense of something we love, this is a tremendously deep track, that we can feel both relaxed and sad. But always beautiful

KO:MI – I’ll Find My Own Way

Coming from within and from the original folk roots, I’ll Find My Own Way, the latest track from the Finnish’ KO:MI, is a beautiful folk contemplation that leaves us both dreamy, contemplative, and floating in the air of no concerns. That’s the magical power of music, and the magical power of great music built with taste and satisfaction and like a beautiful object of nature. And in the way it sounds, the track also feels like helping to found our way through our thoughts. In a time where the fresh air is getting more and more precious, KO:MI could perfectly make part of the original soundtrack of the new life we all want to have.

Mimi Gilbert – Taught to Build Walls

Good and captivating vocals are getting rare and rare in today’s music world. The capacity to engage with a voice is something so beautiful when happens effortlessly that we are immediately hit when it happens. A track like Taught to Build Walls – part of Mimi Gilbert’s latest album Grew Inside The Water – is the perfect example of that. Mimi’s vocals are known to relate with acts like Julia Jacklin and Angie MacMahon, but we feel they go beyond those comparisons. Perfectly melodic, likable, and familiar, but with an extra edge of surprise that echoes in the main hooks of her tracks. This track about disconnection is so easy to connect that we can’t get enough of it, and it’s an immediate and natural jump into her full album. Captivating and lingering, one of the most incredible new female folk vocalists.

Mother Juniper – Carolina

“Carolina came about while exploring connection’s winding dance. It was born in observing the absence and presence of my father, then the absence and presence of lovers. Sleep is seen as a place of comfort and there’s an openness discovered in losing one’s own name while dreaming. Sleep becomes a place of truth and a revealer of patterns”. This is how Mother Juniper introduces their latest track entitled Carolina.  Playing a gorgeous and lingering voice with folk-Celtic elements, a captivating raw banjo, and a beautiful slow progression, this is a folk track for every music lover, but especially one for the dreamers. The track goes by like a breeze and urges into several listenings. We listen to it with eyes wide open or with eyes closed, and a distinct feeling emanates from both experiences. Just like when we are dreaming awake.

Wayne Graham – What For?

Photo by Melissa Stilwell

“Launched in 2010 by brothers Kenny and Hayden Miles, Wayne Graham make articulate, wide-ranging Americana that nods to — and also reaches far beyond — the band’s southern roots”. The bit taken from Wayne Graham’s press release made us anticipate a track coming from the back roots of folk in its Americana variations. Still, it did not make us anticipate how much What For sounds like slow love and honesty and makes us wanna love more, and sit or dance at the sun with the ones we love close by. The simple and honest (and cute) video lingers on the spiritual side of the track too. Helping everything sound (and look) easy, beautiful, and without unreal pretentious to be anything else than great and meaningful music. Meaningful because it speaks for itself, without the need to be explained, just to be heard. Time and time again.

All these songs (and all previous songs feature in TIFU) are also featured on our folk playlist. Follow it on Spotify: