[TIFU] Chapter XIII

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.

Alexander Wren – Green! Green! Green!

A Ft. Wayne, Indiana native, Alexander Wren grew up under the influence of an Epiphone-playing wedding-singer mother and a Hank Williams-loving father, churchgoing ‘salt of the earth’ people who taught him to follow his heart. They introduced him to the glories of Ray Charles, Blind Willie Johnson, Billie Holiday and Eric Clapton, among other blues, gospel and soul stirrers.  Alexander began picking at his mom’s guitar before he was knee-high to a cornstalk, followed in middle school by classical voice lessons. After the release of the debut EP “The Good in Goodbye” in 2016, and the following “Assorted Love Songs (2018). After touring even during the Pandemic, Alexander managed still to release three singles last year, and now debuts his first single of 2021, the incredible “Green! Green! Green!“. The track that breathes traditional featuring a deep guitar vibe and a strong and up-front vocal register is not only well-vibed and very easy to listen to but also manages to transpose the barriers of Americana-Folk and sound fresh, relaxed and positive. And while he sings “everybody loves the colour green” we feel in harmony with the earth, more than with any other sensibility campaign. And for that reason, only the earth thanks Alexander.

Alex Siegel – Mabery Road

An ode to the seaside alleyways of Alex’s hometown, “Mabery Road” expresses an emotion very hard to capture with just words. Alex Siegel’s chilled, cathartic style makes space for the listener to feel and let go. Not a fully folk track, but one that merges chillwave elements and draws back from some of the 80s synth-based sound, this is gorgeous incorporation that makes it a perfect modern folk track. He states: “I wrote this song, Mabery Road, for the side street where I used to ride my bike and wind down to the beach at sunset. Seeing the ocean and mountains come into view always gave me this wide-open feeling mixed with something bittersweet and nostalgic (which pretty much sums up how LA makes me feel) It’s hard to put in words but I tried to express it in this song. I wrote it in mid-2020 when I was visiting New York and since then have moved into a new place in Venice, set up a home studio, got even more into cooking, and scored my first short film.

Chris Ho – Everything is Endlessness

There are some tracks that get lost in the midst of it all and that we tend to forget its greatness until we get our hears (or ears) again on it. It’s clearly the case with Chris Ho’s latest track “Everything is Endlessness“, a track we should have premiered and definitely written about earlier, but that due to the immensity of tasks that nowadays we all have got lost somewhere in our time. We are glad that even though time does not go back, songs stay there for us to get back to them. And we can fully appreciate them for as much and how long as we please. In the end, everything can actually make sense even when some time is lost, and the track also talks a bit about that: “Life can feel both excruciatingly endless and mundane at times, but at the same time so incredibly short and fleeting. We’ll probably never know the true nature of reality, and it seems like the deeper we look into it, the more strange and ambiguous it gets. All you can really do is move along, push past your existential woes, get lost in those moments of joy, and, if you’re really desperate, just go ahead and embrace those ‘ dances like nobody’s watching’ cliches“.

Definitely one of the greatest folk tracks we’ve listened to all year. And nothing gonna change that. Not even the huge amount of times we will listen to this in the following months.

Corentin Ollivier – Someone Great (LCD Soundsystem Cover)

Trying to cover LCD Soundsystem takes courage. Trying to capture that feeling of nostalgia and eagerness to live that James Murphy’s band manages to employ in their music is very hard. Doing it in an acoustic fashion makes it an almost impossible task to accomplish, but it’s something that Corentin Ollivier does not seem fazed about, as his latest single is exactly that: an acoustic rendition of the New York’s band epic, “Something Great”.

In his rendition of what the artist describes as his “his favourite LCD Soundsystem song“, Corentin is just able to capture the essence of the original tune – its sense of nostalgia, its eagerness to move forward into the future – with just his voice and guitar. It just works in a way it perhaps shouldn’t, but every moment of it is asking us to drown in this beautiful rendition of one of the best tunes of the 2000s.

Corentin’s rendition is part of his upcoming EP, “Some More Pieces”, due to be released in January 2022 on Clignancourt Records – Grand Musique Management. The EP is made out of 7 tracks “that evoke memories, melancholy, loss and denial” and it’s the follow up to his 2021 LP, “Into Pieces”.

Jacksonport – Silver Bullet

There is no silver bullet. But there are roses on the wall, and on this second track from Jacksonport’s sophomore album “Scenes From Bellevue Park,” those are friends- Bridget Kearney (Lake Street Dive), Hannah Read, and Staci Foster (Whippoorwill), harmony vocals. Ted Taforo (Spoon), sax, and Julian Pollack (J3P0, Marcus Miller), keys. Jacksonport is drip releasing this album song by song, and “Silver Bullet” is the warm welcoming celebration. From WtMM part we can add that since we first listened to this track 11 days ago it always felt like an energetic breeze that always goes by like a bullet but always, ALWAYS, leaves us wanting more, and very happy. Isn’t that what great music is all about?

Jason Wade – a Think Piece

a Think Piece” was described as the opening track from Jason Wade’s upcoming record entitled “Ode to Silence“. The singer-songwriter that writes, plays and sings about his own thoughts (like a proper Folk composer) is not afraid to expose himself to more personal feelings. Also the frontman of the rock band Lifehouse and a member of the indie band ØZWALD, the musician goes deeper in his self-titled project and this track is the perfect showcase of just that. Heavily (deeply) and gorgeously written the track is sad-like but does not feel more than a proper melancholically light melody that easily turns into an indie-rock vibe and much has to do with the stylophone solo in it. There are more than a couple of bits of Americana in this folk track, and the way we also feel the presence of past-long acts such as Nick Drake and War on Drugs on it is just the icing on the top of a great track.

Jen Miller – Please Come Back To Tennesee

“‘Please Come Back To Tennessee‘ is a song about my own pattern of moving whenever I had a bad heartbreak. Then, from the hindsight that comes with the town, being grateful to have found someones and some things to come back to in Nashville over and over again. It’s beautiful to want to stay somewhere”. The track is part of the latest EP released by Jen Miller (listen to the EP here), an American music producer, songwriter and recording artist we’ve talked about before. Her passion for songwriting and the intensity she put into her songs are what sets her apart the most, and this latest track finds the perfect merge between folk, pop and even bits of rock. Continuing to be inspired by artists such as Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, and Prince, Jen’s sound is hard to pin down or box up, but her steadfast soulfulness and ingenious, quirky wordplay engage audiences around the world with listeners in Australia, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States (and here, Portugal as well).

Jill Lorean – Kneading

Jill Lorean is the new project of Jill O’Sullivan (Sparrow And The Workshop, Three Queens in Mourning) in collaboration with Andy Monaghan (Frightened Rabbit) and drummer Peter Kelly. Incorporating elements of many genres from folk and lo-fi to post-punk and underground rock, Jill Lorean is a unique beast that inhabits its own world where Jill muses on nature, relationships, love, hate, motherhood and memory over frenetic, hypnotic drum beats and playful, subversive bass and guitar lines. They say “Musically we were trying to colour in a black and white photograph, kind of bring the dancehalls of the 1950’s to life in our own way“. “Kneading” is a power track that mixes folk with indie rock, and a track that is “inspired by someone close to me who, due to circumstance, spent her life baking and raising a family on a small island while another person in a much different landscape had the life of a Hollywood star“. Storytelling in its nature, this is also a track to party rock to and that owns nothing for acts such as Courtney Barnett.

Orlando Hotopf – Growing Pains

If the movie genre ‘Coming of Age’ had an official soundtrack, this song would probably be it. It’s about that time of life when emotions were bigger and the world felt immense and small at the same time, waiting to be conquered by you. Feeling too big and too old for your own room, experiencing the first love, the first heartbreak, and everything in between. A song about a time that has passed but still feels so fresh“. Orlando Hotopf is a Stockholm-based singer/songwriter from London and “Growing Pains” is his second-ever single. The track that features guest vocals from Stephanie Fraser is a beautiful merge of Folk with a natural acoustic vibe that feels constant and incisive in its message. There is a beautiful guitar around it, and a sensible main vocalist that always feels honest and sensible with some words even sounding harder to pronounce than others, giving a proper edge to the track.

Tomo – Before The Dawn

Tomo is an indie/folk singer-songwriter, based in Bristol, UK. Taking inspiration from a wide range of influences, including Radical Face, Shane Macgowan, Leonard Cohen and Charles Bukowski, he has recently released his debut EP, ‘Wayward Son‘. Lyrical content is particularly important to Tomo, and he combines powerful, literary lyricism with emotive musicality to produce a very engaging and atmospheric act. On September 24th, Tomo releases his latest single “Before The Dawn“, an intimate take on nocturnal anxiety, utilizing a slightly lo-fi production style to reflect the rawness of emotion.