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.
Deathcruiser – Nigth on Fire
Deathcruiser, a.k.a Adam Roth, describes himself as a spiritual being, having a human experience while waiting for alien abduction and I (José) think that most of us are a bit on the same line. Well, in his latest track “Night On Fire” he takes the perfection of mixing pop music with bunches of Folk infusion and bits of Rock and Americana and makes it a very tempting target for any sort of intelligent life out there. There is huge electricity in the track (a bit like a War on Drugs song), and Nashville’s singer-songwriter certainly takes the sonority into the feel-well side of things. This is one of those tracks that can easily make the Folk genre turn viral. The song is also part of his debut EP, just released (on July 20th).
Erik Penny – Last Forever
Erik Penny grew up in El Paso, Texas, where the mix of classic rock, alternative, country, mariachi and early ‘90s grunge filled his head and ears with everything he wanted to pour into his songwriting. He moved to Berlin in 2008, where he started to tour and record more and more (including support slots for Milow, Madsen, and the legendary Joe Cocker), and released 3 full-length albums from 2010-2014. In 2016 he returned to school in 2016 to become a music therapist in the middle of the first Corona lockdown. Also during that time, he worked slowly on a new album, “Monument“, which saw its release in July 2021.
“Last Forever” is his latest track and his first release of 2022. A song that deals with the temporary nature of modern life and the yearning for something more permanent, more sustainable, deeper…something that lasts forever. Love, family, community, passion. For us is a great track that showcases years of songwriting and production of an artist that feels the power of music in all its contexts. A beautiful merge of alternative with alternative Folk, that incorporates great retro elements with modern breezes.
Frankie Morrow – Sunflowers
“Sunflowers” is one of the latest tracks released by Frankie Morrow. The track’s lush instrumentation features double Bass from Nick Pini (Laura Marling, Nick Mulvey) and was produced and arranged by Frankie. There’s a brilliant sadness in this cheerful sunflower which represents heartbreak. The track begins slowly at first, creeping gradually through the memories and emotions of time spent with another and, eventually, to the joy of accepting what is, what isn’t and being happy all the same.
Raffles – HP Heartbreak
Raffles wrote “HP Heartbreak” in Jan 2020, so there are obvious reasons why it’s had something of a delayed release, but the timing to be excited about it is the proper one. This is his first song that came together with their pal Josh jamming out the chords rather than by himself, and the result is a really fresh and welcome addition to what he describes as “a modest discography“. It’s also the first track of the project which features live drums and piano. In sum a great complete folk track that even though sounds exactly what we would expect of a Folk track, still has lots to be excited about. Or should we say, to be calmed about?
Neuhaus – Danza
NEUHAUS is the solo loop project of Yves Neuhaus who surrenders to the fascination of live loops and celebrates the constant repetitions and overlays and creates sound worlds with violin, double bass and drum machines. Not only does he loop the melodies of the violin and the deep lines of the double bass, but he also uses various percussive possibilities of the two instruments. The musician completes this sound with natural live percussion and electronic drum beats.
After his debut album in 2019, he is back with “Danza“. A track that once you listen to, you’ll have a hard time (or a good time) getting rid of it in your mind. In this gorgeous instrumental neo-folk track you should, as a listener, surrender to cheerfulness for once and let yourself consume by some not probable fun dancing. The track wants nothing more and nothing less. With a dance groove and a cheerful theme, Neuhaus invites the audience to get up from their chairs and get moving. So: get up, swing your hips and let the music drive you. A happy “YA Ya Ya”!
Nick Leng – Spirals
Nick Leng released his newest LP, “Spirals” a couple of days ago via SOTA Records and the title track “Spirals” is an incredible track that easily fits around our year’s favourites until now. About it, he writes: “Some songs can be finished in a day, some take over a year or two. “Spirals” was definitely the latter. So much experimentation went into making this one. Countless nights staying up at night figuring out all the parts. ‘It’s my baby,’ I often tell friends when I show them this one. It’s very special to me because it has a lot of my personality in it, as well as a story of me finding love again.“
There are many reasons why we consider it such a great song: first of all this is not the typical Folk track. It encapsulates Folk elements with alternative pop bits and a huge amount of originality in the singer-songwriter category. The track is ever-changing from start to end, but also always dreamy, well-felt, deep and hooking gorgeous. There is a sense of lightness around it that is inexplicable, and the power it transmits manages to somehow feel nostalgic but also disrupting and energetic. Just incredible!
Silver Lining – Your Everything
We may say that delicate Folk is what the band Silver Lining know how to do best. Based in Norway, and already counting with a lot of experience through other two projects (The Northern Belle; Louien), their sound mixes original Folk sonority with bits of Americana that feels both relaxing, inspiring and like listening to a beautiful story where we can imagine settings of poetic desert areas. “Your Everything” is one of their latest singles and the opening track from their 2022 new (and second) album entitled “Go Out Nowhere” (listen to it here).
The track starts slowly with their already typical acoustic sonority elapsed with the delicate vocals (by Stine Andreassen and Live Miranda Solberg) that sound effortless while they take us away to other places in our minds. We also listen to Halvor Falck Johansen’s back vocals that provide the gorgeous male contrast to strategic moments of the melody. It’s in the electric acoustic guitars that most of the song’s instrumental power comes lies, in a disarming simplicity that sometimes even gives space to a Cappella moments. The track recalls the haunting soul and melodic precision of bands like Neko Case, First Aid Kit and Laura Marling. They say “It’s a song about all the insecurities one can face when first falling in love with someone, maybe creating problems that aren’t there, imagining what their life was like before you met them”. A track that comes from people that like to think, probably more, than they needed to. A song for the ones who love to introspect. Like me (José).
The Bombhappies – Boléro
Emerging from Karlstad, Sweden in the mid-1990s (more exactly 1995), but still going strong as a band, The Bombhappies is – for their hardcore fans – a (very well) hidden gem in alternative rock music. Sonically speaking, the band strum the chords of many bands on the early 90s US college rock scene, beat similar rhythms as the heroes of 70s Swedish progressive rock, and finishes that off with 80s British post-punk influenced melodies.
In their last track “Boléro” we finally managed to discover these guys (shame on us for not being there earlier). They do sound like retro rock, but they also fit so perfectly in our Folk song that is actually crazy. The track is filled with gorgeous moments – beautiful moments for both inner and exterior contemplation – and the simplicity of a track that consists of only one melody and one rhythm, repeated over and over again, with different orchestrations, actually made us fall in love. It’s curious enough that the track sings about a relationship that goes in circles, over the years. Everything is repeated over and over again. And we gladly replay this over and over again too.
The North Atlantic – Wait For You
This is a first for us (and I think for most of you). In a time where music is being delivered to us in a lot of different channels, and discussion is happening regarding how those platforms pay (or lack payments) to artists, The North Atlantic, a collection of musicians who have written, produced and played for some of the biggest names in the industry, are playing their own game and offering their first single through their website thenorthatlantic.co. Entitled “Wait For You“, this is the first song from their debut EP, written and recorded while they took a break from the industry. It has gentle acoustic guitar and drones in the verses building to layered harmonies, driving guitars and atmospheric drums. Finding a place to express themselves away from the gaze of the industry they are releasing pseudonymously playing only for the select few that find them.
We can say “Wait For You” reminds us heavily (and positively) of Bears Den type of music, with some bits of pop. There are gorgeous acoustic guitar hooks, growing vocal elements, and an only-crescendo feeling of being embraced by the track. Gorgeous and honest lyrics and a sense of Folk atmosphere where we can almost sense a breeze while listening to it. We love everything about it. Below, you’ll find a short teaser of that gorgeous magic they do. We encourage everyone to follow their website and support their music by buying this track.
Victoria Finehout-Vigil – Swallow
Victoria Finehout-Vigil is a Brooklyn-based pole-dancer gone singer-songwriter that focuses on writing ambitious and heartfelt folk tracks. Featuring Kit Conway as a guitarist and Colin Fraser on piano, her influences from bands such as Fleetwood Mac don’t play a too bigger role in her sonority, that sounds honest, intense and very much vocal based. “Swallow” is her debut single (the last couple of months she released two tracks) and a track she describes as a “slow-burn, built with resonating harmonies and layers of guitar, culminating in a deep based and cavernous vocals to feel like you have been momentarily transported by a siren song“. Hauntingly intense and beautiful from the first moment, we feel hooked by her vocals and love how she makes a Folk track sound dramatic and confronting to the listener:
“It’s about longing to be with someone you can’t be with. A representation of a moment in time that you must swallow and let go of because it’s not yours to have. It’s a fruit you can’t eat.”
All these songs (and all previous songs featured in TIFU) are also featured on our folk playlist. Follow it on Spotify: