Photo by Martin Luke Brown (PR)
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.

August Green – Corner of My Eye

August Green, a talented writer/producer, embarked on a journey to the serene countryside in pursuit of tranquility. Nestled in the archipelago of south Sweden, he established a makeshift studio within a converted boat house. While balancing his time working part-time at a curtain company, he devotes the rest to crafting music that is profound, optimistic, and unassuming. With a remarkable talent for discovering beauty in everyday life, August Green weaves stripped-down acoustic arrangements that intimately connect with the listener. Through his friendly inviting and comforting voice, he communicates directly, creating a heartfelt and captivating experience.

Seamlessly fusing traditional elements with intriguing electronic drums and synths, August‘s latest single “Corner of My Eye“, presents a unique sonic landscape. Delving into the complexities of life, the song explores the challenge of perceiving positive aspects without fully embracing their beauty. A beautiful journey to embrace and enjoy.

Family Stereo – Matter

Family Stereo, the musical project of North London singer-songwriter Blake Watt, unveils a captivating blend of tender bucolic folk and shimmering indie-folk in his homemade pop compositions. Influenced by the likes of Elliott Smith and John Martyn, Blake’s young age belies his subtly poetic songwriting style, where lyrics take centre stage. The debut EP, “Matter,” features the enchanting single of the same name, which has gained over 70,000 streams through word-of-mouth praise.

In “Matter” Blake explores themes of helping someone through a difficult experience and finding meaning in the actions we do for others, beautifully expressed in the line, “and I promise I’ll be friends with your friends” this heartfelt track captivates listeners with its tender introspection and subtle layers of emotion, showcasing the artist’s distinct musical approach.

Jacob Westfall – Bad Boy

Hailing from Nashville, Jacob Westfall has established himself as a respected figure in Portland’s music scene, often accompanied by a talented ensemble of local musicians. Through genuine songwriting, commanding vocals, and meticulous arrangements, Westfall weaves tales of personal experiences, encompassing themes of travel, love, and personal development within a tapestry of alternative soundscapes, rock & roll energy, and folk authenticity, all presented in a compelling pop-oriented package.

Bad Boy” embodies a captivating indie pop anthem that playfully reflects on the aspirations of youth while celebrating the growth and wisdom gained over the years. This marks a departure from Jacob Westfall‘s usual style and explores influences ranging from Harry Styles to Future Islands while maintaining the heartfelt essence of their folk songwriting origins. The song’s unexpected bridge adds a powerful twist that demands attention.

Martin Luke Brown – see you later x

Martin Luke Brown, a self-taught multi-instrumentalist from Leicester, made his mark in the East Midlands music scene before relocating to London for university. Despite early success and a major label deal, he struggled with his identity as an artist, leading to mental health struggles. Taking a break in 2017, Martin became a prolific collaborator, working with numerous artists and co-writing over 100 songs. During the 2020 lockdown, he found solace in creating music for himself and rediscovered his love for the craft. This journey of self-reflection and therapy culminated in his debut album, Damn look at the view !” which showcases a blissful, west coast-inspired sound. Martin embraces simplicity and authenticity, exploring themes of childhood, nostalgia, and mental health. Through his music, he invites listeners to appreciate life’s simple moments and seize the joy they bring.

see you later x” is his latest track and “It’s about all the times I’ve said goodbye without really realising it…the potent significance of something that I’m totally unaware is happening as it’s unfolding. Be it the kids I shared a classroom with for years, an ex-girlfriend, my nan. I’ve been through a lot of goodbyes in my life and most of them I’ve been completely unaware of. It catches up with me sometimes and this song is just about that, kind of a thank you to everyone that’s played a part”.  

Scalawag – HeyDay

Scalawag (already featured here), aka Teo Saefkow, is a captivating multi-instrumentalist with a unique blend of genres and distinctive vocals that transport listeners into a realm of imagination. With his prowess in playing the trumpet, saxophone, percussion, bass, ukulele, and guitar, Scalawag‘s sound is an enchanting fusion reminiscent of Hozier, Paul Simon, and a young Leonard Cohen. Growing up in a creatively inclined household in Smithers, B.C., Teo’s musical journey began early on, influenced by live performances and festivals. From playing various instruments in school bands to refining his vocal technique at Studio 58 in Vancouver, Teo embarked on a solo career as Scalawag, releasing his first self-produced album in March 2019.

Delving into the depths of self-reflection, Scalawag’s latest track, “HeyDay” is a poignant exploration of rediscovering one’s true self. From the forthcoming release, “Sehnsucht” the song poses the question of what it takes to reclaim a sense of identity amidst the overwhelming grip of negativity. Through heartfelt lyrics and a desire for connection, Scalawag candidly expresses the yearning for someone to uplift them from the veiled sadness they adeptly conceal.

Steven van Betten – Mother

Steven van Betten, a Los Angeles-based songwriter, has a penchant for storytelling and capturing the essence of everyday life. Growing up in the rural desert community of Blue Diamond, Nevada, he draws inspiration from his experiences playing guitar amidst rocky canyons and exploring the scorching sun-soaked landscapes. Steven fronts bands like Fell Runner and co-founded School of Song, where he collaborates with notable artists such as Phil Elverum, Miya Folick, Luke Temple, Lomelda, and Meg Duffy. While his music can be linked to folk legends like Randy Newman and Townes Van Zandt, Steven pushes the boundaries with his experimental approach and draws influence from modern artists like Luke Temple and Sufjan Stevens. With a knack for evoking emotions, his songs can elicit both laughter and tears, consistently delivering powerful and moving performances.

Steven van Betten‘s latest single, “Mother” is a deeply personal and introspective track that delves into the challenges of finding one’s path. Inspired by a difficult day, Steven found solace in a conversation with his mother, which led him to write the poignant lyrics for the song. The single art showcases an empowering image of his mother, a professional bodybuilder in Vegas during the late 1980s, highlighting her strength and fierceness. With heartfelt lyrics and a relatable theme of seeking direction in life, “Mother” resonates with those who have experienced moments of uncertainty and relied on a mother’s love for comfort. This single offers a glimpse into Steven’s upcoming debut LP, “Friends & Family” set to release in July on Future Gods.

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