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.
Annie of the Canyon – You Don’t Know You Like I Do
Annie of the Canyon is calling out an almost-lover in her latest song “You Don’t Know You Like I Do“. Pairing her 70s folk scene vibe with a modern lyrical flair, Annie brings something fresh to the current music and songwriting scene while still paying homage to the era that inspires her. There is a light psychedelic vibe in the track that we like a lot, and that draws us to names like Neil Young in a mix with modern acts such as Lorde’s latest effort. Very smooth, well sung and with a solo that truly sounds like the icing on the cake!
Cristóvam – Golden Days
Cristóvam is an already very well known artist in Portugal and more particularly in the Azores region. During the Pandemic lockdown, he released a track that was almost a national anthem in Portugal. But the thing about him is that his music speaks louder than a country, with a tender Folk sonority that speaks louder for every Folk fan around the world, especially because of the blend between Pop and Folk! “Golden Days” is one of his latest tracks and is described by him as “one of my favourite songs on the record and probably the one that’s more fun to play too. I sort of stumbled upon this guitar tuning that sounded really good and I just couldn’t stop playing with it. I was feeling a bit nostalgic when I wrote it and the whole thing came together pretty fast. Lyrically, It is about looking back to when you were just 18 and trying to get back whatever it was that made life so easygoing and exciting. It’s about searching for a way to break your routine and light that spark once again.”
doppelfinger – quite alright
From sonorities that resemble more classic acts like Damien Rice or Jose Gonzalez, we don’t hear a lot more any longer. And the ones we do can’t typically capture the intensity in the songwriting. dopperfinger is for that reason a rare case of new folk intensity perfectly aligned with simplicity and vulnerability. “quite alright” is the opener for doppelfinger’s debut album entitled “by design“ released this year. A track that finds in the finger-delicacy of the guitar chords the start, mid and end of the sonority, and that makes the listener travel around emotions and contemplations with his gorgeous vocals and storytelling. Singing about dark themes of arrival and healing the track talks about acceptance, appreciation and enjoying life as it comes with the people we have around us and all their ways of being.
Family of Things – Slingshot
In the press release it is said that after Brad Barnham endured a terrible breakup with the woman he thought he would be with forever, he wrote “Slingshot” as a way of dealing with sadness, loneliness and getting through the pain. It’s a curious thing though. If you listen to the track where he features Aime in the second vocals, at frist you wouldn’t notice its vulnerable charge. The track blends and ludibriates pop with folk, engaging the listener from the start with the gorgeous-groovy guitar and piano melodies, in almost a John Mayer kind of way. Once the vocals come on we feel the vulnerability but there is still a sense os strength and power. It’s probably that way the song was composed in order to work as a balsame for the blues. It’s evident that the more we get to the end the more light the track sounds, and the more light-up the lyrics get. When we get to end we feel we are in pure joy and light-hearted. An incredible and very welcoming experience for every single listen that will put is ears on this.
Ferris & Sylvester – This Is How My Voice Sounds
Between much-loved singles like “Sickness” and “Flying Visit“; the hymn-like “Darkness I Feel“, Ferris & Sylvester have released their debut album “Superhuman” this year! A perfect track that emanates the album sonority is the gorgeous “This Is How My Voice Sounds” which was released with an accompanying video recorded live in London. This is a musical union that plays into symbiotic harmonies and life lessons as they wrestle with light and dark, and everything from existential crises to the vulnerabilities of allowing someone to get close to you. With an almost classic Folk approach but also infused by the acoustic guitar, there is sensibility and humanity all over the place.
Jude Moses – So Far From Home & Kokoro
After their debut album in 2015, Jude Moses are back with a full EP in 2022. Entitled “The Beauty” this is a great collection of alt-folk meets alt-rock EP that reminds us of a sonority somewhere between midlake, fleet foxes or Munford and Sons. From this EP we highlight two songs: “So Far From Home” and “Kokoro“.
About “So Far From Home” they say: “This song was written on a friend’s guitar. A friend that sadly took his own life a week before. Parallel with that loss, a similarity was found through the eyes of Samwise Gamgee of the Lord of the Rings. Sam telling Frodo “You will live forever”, maybe not among us, but in our stories and songs”. This is a heavy but hopeful song that was born with the back half switching to 10/4 time and softly jamming to “so far from home”. Its mammoth size gave us goosebumps at times, with the song providing this numbing feeling throughout, very sensible and gently mixing those folk tones with an indie rock atmosphere.
“Kokoro“, is the Japanese word for when your heart, spirit, soul, and mind are all together. A “oneness”. Jude Moses’s new album really dives into the “oneness” we have with this planet and its people and creatures. “Kokoro” is the opening track and one that truly feels happier and inclined toward the type of Folk vibe that can drive us from sad to happy in no time. With two very distinct parts is also not short of surprising.
Laura Eliott – Better Off Alone
“Better Off Alone” is the new single from indie/pop singer-songwriter Laura Elliott. Laura says on the track, “I wrote Better Off Alone after my first heartbreak coming out of high school. It was a way for me to process and put words to my feelings, which kickstarted my love for songwriting. It’s basically me reflecting on the end of the relationship and cutting contact with that person, navigating life without them and missing them but knowing that chapter is closed. I think it’s easy to remember the good memories and idealize a person, but you have to remind yourself of the reality of the situation and why it’s healthier for you to be on your own. This one is extremely special to me since it was the first time I discovered how much I love writing music, it was one of the first songs I wrote“. From start to end we enjoyed the track’s melody and the delicate vocals, very folky and very chilled but still melancholic.
Lizzy Dutton – Lullaby & When Summer Ends
“This song was recorded in Chilmark, MA, and was written in Marin County, CA.“. The simplicity of the form of the only PR that accompanied the track reflects the simplicity of the track itself. “Lullaby” was only the first song from Lizzy Dutton and a track that we’ve listened to many months ago immediately falling for her. A track that feels as natural and as tender as simplistic, and that is proof that great tracks don’t need to push out of the boundaries of the self, just need to be honest and beautiful. Simple and tender folk, with a gorgeous voice and a lot of feeling.
From the standout debut EP she released this year entitled “Amnesia” we also want to stand out “When Summer Ends“, a track where she also plays the piano and achieves gorgeous melodies with a second vocal. The track grows from start to end and talks about the end of the Summer invoking memories and making promises of change and being a better human being. Once again the sensibility and vulnerability is beyond any description we can give and somewhere between the type of dark folk vs inspirational folk we need in order to breathe better each day. With her touring around California to present her EP, we can only be jealous of our American readers.
Paul Cook & The Chronicles – Chin Up
Paul Cook is a singer-songwriter and musician from London, UK. In his project Paul Cook & The Chronicles he delivers gorgeous folk tracks! “Chin Up” was their second release of the year, and is a missive from a friend bearing unwanted truths and a hand on the shoulder urging you back into the world. From the start the folk-much guitar and the simplistic approach sound honest and captivating. There are definitly some retro sonorities that get us back to 70s and 80s classics but still able to deliver a modern storytelling. Probably could described as the perfect folk sonority, or as a reflective and bittersweet slice of west coast influenced indie.
Robert Taira Wilson – To The Motion
Music, when honest, is usually very easy to sound great. Robert Taira Wilson’s sonority blends from Folk to Pop so easily we feel there should be a genre just for what he does. “To The Motion” was released 3 months ago and got us by the chin mostly because of the way vocals and acoustic guitar are combined in a honest and nurtured storytelling. The intimate production works like charm making it hard not to love the simplicity and the heartfelt songwriting.
Simen Mitlid feat. Benedikt – Channels
Hailing from the small town of Os, Norway, singer-songwriter Simen Mitlid crafts lush, Nordic indie-folk. We had the opportunity of talking about him more than 3 years ago and the only thing left for us to understand is how he has yet to go viral. After the critically acclaimed 3rd album “Birds; Or, Stories From Charlie B’s Travels from Grønland to the Sun, and back Again” (2020), Mitlid has been spending his time producing and writing for other artists like Lokoy, Siv Jakobsen and Benedikt to name a few. Now after a short break, Mitlid is back with a new solo LP entitled “Social“. “Channels” is the 3rd and last single from that LP and a stripped-down indie ballad featuring Simen’s friends and label mates Benedikt. “It’s a track about the challenges related to changing the channels on your TV and in your mind” he says, and it’s a gorgeous genuine folk that gets as deep as you wanted it to be for you as a listener, we say. The gorgeous vocals on top, with the harmonies between the two vocals, are among the most beautiful things we’ve seen in music this year.