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.
Aaron Espe – Free
Listen to Free by Aaron Espe and try not to be transported to any other place on earth but the place you are now. Right there Free is a beautiful musical experiment to undergo. If you take a listen to the track while watching the gorgeous illustrated video (with lyrics) you will have another completely different experience, and you will feel like travelling around the World and do everything you can’t do now: to breathe in the World. The Nashville-based singer/songwriter has achieved with Free a beautiful soundtrack for daydreaming. And we don’t have to say how much we need dreams these days?
The track is taken from Aaron’s upcoming EP Rock & Roll Man, out February 12, 2021, and resonates with the joy of being a father, and the extreme sadness of a friends’ death. Aaron calls “Free” a children’s song for grownups. He says, “I was trying to tell my own kids that it’s what’s inside of them that is limitless. Sure, I do think they can become whatever they want to become, for the most part. But the ‘outer stuff’ is less important than the ‘inner stuff.’”
I, The Mountain – Coal Mine
One may think of The Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men when first listening to Coal Mine. If you give it time you’ll see its originality. I, The Mountain do the kind of folk but feel both like a calling and both like a tale. Storytelling vocally a song about isolation, lost love, and hope, they manage to explore the true and raw folk spirit with this. There is even space for the beautiful and humming-potential guitar solos that take the song to the desert until the vocals bring it back like some soulful cowboys of modernity. “Coal Mine tells the stirring tale of a Cape Breton miner and the love he almost had”. Great stuff!
Jenny Kern – Coming Back For Me
After four articles and becoming one of our favourite Folk artists nowadays, Jenny had already travelled to Lisbon to perform 3 intimate gigs promoted by WtMM and more recently an online show during the first quarantine in our platform #AtYouHome. So it’s not with surprise that we feature her newest single Coming Back For Me in this first TIFU of the year. Jenny Kern sounds happier, not only her voice became more clear and uplifting, but her compositions and arrangements are stepping up: she seems to be dealing with confidence and maturity the fears and insecurities from the past as her music gains power. New Year, New Life, and Coming Back For Me sounds like a door opening and letting the light come in.
Jessie Reid – Whole Heart
Just like the previous artist, Jessie Reid is also part of our favourite folkers and was one of the last ones performing at our WtMM Balcony Show. Her technique as a guitar player is the most stunning quality and combined with her purest and delicate voice makes her an artist able to mesmerize anyone. Whole Heart is probably the most “sang” song of hers and the woods and rhythmic section turns it maybe more pop-ish, reminding a lot of Ben Howard as a female version. Whole Heart is not as complex as others like Time Goes By, for instance, in terms of guitar’s composition, but it sounds more embodied than ever while the melody keeps sounding quite mysterious and softly touching the celtic influences.
Kate Gratson – Clockwork
It’s time for us to welcome Kate Gratson and her Clockwork to our blog! A vocal-driven song, that works perfectly as her welcome card. With only 24 years old, is an endless well of talent, being singer and songwriter, composer, producer, and cellist, the Brooklyn-based artist owns a voice with a great range and power which eventually turns it the most notorious element in this song. Kate sings about time and love and how both things influence each other. “Cause I can’t tell if time is pushing me away (…) And I Can’t wait to get a hold of your lips (…) Am I too late for you, did I miscount?” Are some lines that show how fragile love is especially when time flies and runs away from our hands. In this case, no, you are not too late, Kate, you are just in time for us.
Mira Lu Kovacs – Stuck
“Do you know the feeling when you want to cry, but there are just no tears coming out of your eyes? Have you ever experienced having the exact right word on the tip of your tongue, but your lips just don’t manage to say them out straight?” Stuck the hauntingly beautiful latest track by Mira Lu Kovacs impersonates that feeling, and resonates in our brain and body like few. A track that talks about release and relief might be everything we need when we are repeatedly forced to stay inside four walls, or even when we are breathing out loud in the cold. Actually, Stuck gets us stuck in it every single time we listen to it. The main reason is Mira’s vocals. Ranging from Feist to Gargabe with every little thing in between, very hard to put out or forget. Thank God.
Neev – Excuse Me
Sometimes all it takes is a voice that sounds like the conscience. Neev is certainly one of those voices. Tender, embracing, but also serious and dramatic, the bass tone almost takes our breath away. Excuse Me is their latest track and sounds the most delicate Folk can sound. The Scottish singer-songwriter has a classic formation and those strong arrangements are delicately expanded by the natural capacity to compose with her voice. The acoustic-electric guitar provides beautiful vocals with a silky electric ambience that speaks directly to the soul. A bit like Daughter used to do but naturally folk like it’s coming from a tender forest of memories.
Solly – She Can Run
“The passing of my dog, Wrigley, inspired this piece. Wrigley was my grandmother’s dog, but my family had to take her in when my grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I wrote the song in a night with my guitar, the night that I got the phone call (I was in New York for school, while my family lives in LA)(…) the tune is just as much about the passing of my grandmother as it is the passing of my/her dog. My grandmother passed a couple of months after her dog. The song is about freedom from suffering, running through open fields, and love. It is also about the mental freedom that can be achieved when you truly trek out into the world alone”. It’s rare that we take such a bunch of text from a press release, but it’s so much more than that, we had to include it here.
And what can we say? We listened to She Can Run more than a couple of times until we read what it was actually about. And it’s about the most beautiful things in life, a dog, and a grandparent. About how they are related, and about how they relate (or much more than relate) to the grandson. Love is love, it hurts like hell sometimes because we just have to treasure the memories, since so much is not present anymore. She Can Run is a beautiful ode to love, written, composed, and produced with folk and electric folk elements, delicately composed to keep making sense, time, and time again. It takes us to a sort of nirvana that helps us lead positively with life. And by that, I mean, it’s a perfect song.
Spring Reverb – E-Z Mistakes
Spring Reverb is a project about taking the best out of a homemade recording project. Based in Portland, Devan Kochersperger writes and composes and produces his folk-infused tracks like a soft-hard lullaby, a whispered and distant but deep voice that tells us tales of life and love. “I’ve always been someone who felt like their life was defined and guided by their mistakes. Forgetting to take the trash out, missing that exit on the turnpike, taking out $100,00 in student loans in this economy. The list goes on and on. In the end, I guess the only difference between a coincidence and a mistake is whether or not you can sell it to yourself. Instead, this song is me selling you a few of my mistakes.”
E-Z Mistakes is the name of the track where he spells out his soul on small mistakes that feel huge at certain times. We can relate to this, probably more than what we would like to admit. Small mistakes are made on a daily basis perhaps. Letting music come right in and wash our soul seems a beautiful way to make peace with ourselves.
All these songs (and all previous songs feature in TIFU) are also featured on our folk playlist. Follow it on Spotify: