Photo by @dylanfriesegreene (IG) on Bess Atwell
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 Bacon & her Oshen – Secret Broken Heart

In the heart of Ann Arbor, Michigan, resides the prolific storyteller and folk-rock Americana singer-songwriter, Annie Bacon & her Oshen. Bacon, a nomadic spirit, brings her diverse life experiences from Maine to San Francisco into her music, weaving a tapestry of emotional complexity. With her latest offering, the fourth LP titled “Storm“, released on June 14, Bacon embarks on a courageous exploration of grief. Through her soulful melodies and raw lyricism, she navigates the turbulent waters of broken hearts, death, and the erosion of identity.

At the helm of Bacon’s musical odyssey is her poignant single, “Secret Broken Heart”, released on the same fateful day as “Storm“. The track serves as a sonic manifesto, blending elements of folk-rock with Bacon’s ethereal vocals and evocative storytelling. Against a backdrop of soaring guitars and lush harmonies, Bacon unveils the hidden scars of self-sacrifice and concealed anguish. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The Cranberries, and Brandi Carlile, she delivers a haunting ballad that resonates with universal truths. “Secret Broken Heart” transcends mere musicality; it’s a grogeous reminder of the invisible battles we all face, concealed beneath a facade of stoicism. As Bacon bares her soul on Storm, she invites listeners into a realm of unfiltered emotion, where vulnerability reigns supreme and healing begins with the simple act of acknowledgment.

Bess Atwell – I Am Awake

In the rolling hills of the British countryside, singer-songwriter Bess Atwell weaves tales of introspection and self-discovery through her hauntingly beautiful compositions. With vocals that glide like silk over a moonlit lake, Atwell invites listeners into her world of ethereal soundscapes and introspective lyricism. Having emerged from the vibrant indie-folk scene, Atwell’s music resonates with a depth and authenticity that is as captivating as it is powerful.

Her latest single, “I Am Awake”, taken from the album “Light Sleeper“, released under Lucy Rose’s Communion imprint Real Kind Records, further reveals her artistic evolution and unwavering commitment to exploring the depths of human experience. This is a mesmerizing blend of indie-folk and pop, showcasing Atwell’s ability to seamlessly meld soulful melodies with introspective lyricism. The track’s lush instrumentation, characterized by delicate guitar lines and atmospheric soundscapes, creates an immersive sonic experience that is both intimate and expansive. Atwell’s raw and emotive vocals serve as a guiding light through the song’s winding pathways, offering solace and catharsis to those who find themselves lost in the labyrinth of their own emotions.

Birgit de Priester – One by One

Birgit de Priester, formerly known as Mia Porter, is a distinguished songwriter and producer from the Netherlands. Her musical style reflects influences from Tom Waits and Lou Reed, while also drawing inspiration from the mystical folk of Aldous Harding, the stoic indie pop of Cate Le Bon, the narrative warmth of Andy Shauf, and the raw songwriting of Adrianne Lenker. De Priester‘s dark, sensual vocals complement her art-pop sound, which is characterized by groovy rhythms, mystical storytelling, and playful arrangements.

With the new album “Made 4 Fun” in the horizon, her latest single, “One by One“, further showcases the exploration of themes of transition and letting go, capturing the delicate moments of feeling the first sunlight after a period of introspection. Through her music, de Priester carry us into a safe, warm cocoon while gently guiding them towards new beginnings.

Erisy Watt – Anywhere With You

Erisy Watt, the LA-based, Nashville-raised singer-songwriter, is a dynamic force in the contemporary folk scene. With her new album not either or but everything, produced by Luke Temple, she pushes the boundaries of the genre, blending the intimate storytelling of 60s folk with modern, eclectic sounds. Erisy’s journey from Portland to LA, punctuated by personal upheavals and global travels, infuses her music with a unique depth and authenticity. The recording sessions, held in a cozy Long Beach studio, were described by Erisy as a dream, where creativity flowed freely among her and her talented collaborators. This album reflects her evolution, offering a spectrum from earthy to cosmic, and highlights her ability to connect disparate experiences into a cohesive artistic vision.

The track “Anywhere With You” is a captivating introduction to Erisy Watt’s upcoming album. This single encapsulates the essence of Erisy’s transformative year. The song, enriched with lush instrumentation and heartfelt lyrics, captures the exhilaration and vulnerability of embracing life’s uncertainties. The accompanying official video, directed by Justin Kohlberg, adds a visual layer to the song’s narrative, drawing viewers into Erisy’s world. The release, alongside a strategic promotional campaign, sets the stage for what promises to be a defining moment in Erisy’s career, showcasing her ability to blend personal storytelling with universal themes in a way that resonates deeply with listeners.

HD Bradley – Forever and Tonight

Chicago-based singer-songwriter HD Bradley crafts his music with a keen sense of storytelling and a deep emotional resonance. Rooted in the rich tradition of American folk, but sounding echoing into more Pop-ish vibes, Bradley’s sound blends heartfelt lyrics with intricate guitar melodies, creating a unique tapestry that is both intimate and expansive.

“Forever and Tonight” marks a significant evolution in HD Bradley‘s musical journey. Originally conceived as a straightforward folk tune, the track has transformed into a lush, guitar-laden exploration of his experiences with OCD. This dreamy, immersive piece blends his struggles with his art, offering listeners a deeply moving and relatable experience. The song’s release heralds a new chapter for Bradley, showcasing his talent for creating profound, resonant music that speaks to the complexities of the human condition. As the first new material in several years, “Forever and Tonight” is a powerful reminder of Bradley’s place in the contemporary folk landscape.

Jonsjooel – Goodbye Ah

Jonsjooel is a Finnish artist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist whose music transcends genre boundaries. Initially known as the frontman of Lake Jons, Jonsjooel has built a reputation for his versatile songwriting and production skills. He started his musical journey as a jazz drummer, but his current work seamlessly blends elements of folk, jazz, and electronic music, creating a unique and experimental sound. His debut solo album, Lullabies for Younger Self, released in October 2024, is a poignant collection of songs inspired by his late grandmother. This album, marked by its intimate and reflective nature, encourages listeners to embrace self-care, forgiveness, and compassion, echoing the enduring support Jonsjooel received from his grandmother.

“Goodbye Ah”, the latest release from Jonsjooel, showcases his talent for crafting evocative soundscapes and introspective lyrics. This single delves into the profound theme of signs, urging listeners to pay attention to the subtle cues and intuition that shape our understanding of the world. With its intricate melody and thoughtful lyrics, “Goodbye Ah” invites listeners on a journey of self-discovery and heightened awareness. As the first single from his upcoming EP, this track is set to be a standout addition to his discography, offering a moment of deep reflection and connection.

Luke Sital-Singh – Hold the Lightning

In the bustling realm of modern folk, Luke Sital-Singh stands as a a great and one restless spirit that fuels creativity. Hailing from the UK, Sital-Singh is a singer, songwriter, and producer whose work reflects the dynamic pace of the world around him. His 2023 EP, “Strange Weather“, released under the Nettwerk label, showcased his ceaseless energy and commitment to his craft. With a growing catalog of soul-stirring tracks, including hits like “Call Me When You Land” and “Nothing Stays The Same“, Sital-Singh has garnered millions of Spotify streams and critical acclaim. His latest endeavor, “Dressing Like A Stranger“, further solidified his status as a musical force to be reckoned with, earning praise from NPR, Forbes, and Melodic Mag.

Today, Sital-Singh unveils his latest sonic offering, the captivating single “Hold The Lightning”. Teaming up with rising songwriter/producer Jack Hardman, Sital-Singh delivers a rolling, soft-rock anthem that diverges slightly from his signature indie folk sound. Despite its upbeat, jovial tone, “Hold The Lightning” carries a touch of cynicism in its lyrics, offering a fresh perspective on life’s complexities. Describing the track as the anchor of his upcoming album, Sital-Singh acknowledges its pivotal role in shaping the album’s sonic landscape. With his limber, soulful vocals leading the charge, “Hold The Lightning” serves as a compelling preview of what’s to come from this prolific musician.

Melanie MacLaren -Heaven Is

Melanie MacLaren stands out in the modern folk music scene with her nuanced delivery and evocative guitar playing, capturing life’s complexities as if life itself were penning her songs. Hailing from Nashville, Melanie combines a tongue-in-cheek sensibility with a timeless folk style, creating compositions rich in classic finger-style guitar, distorted traditional instruments, and ambient soundscapes. Her lyrics, both haunting and humorous, reflect a sentimental cynicism that resonates deeply with the Gen-Z audience. Since releasing her debut EP, “Kill My Time”, in 2022, Melanie has achieved remarkable success, including collaborations with Dublin songwriter Lorkin O’Reilly on the duet EP “Tadpole Emporium” and her critically acclaimed solo EP “Tourist”. With millions of streams and extensive tours across the US and UK, Melanie is poised to continue her artistic journey with a live-to-tape EP and a new project produced by Max Helgemo in 2024, promising a fresh, energetic sound without losing her signature style.

“Heaven Is” delves into the myths and imagery surrounding the afterlife, questioning the narratives we’ve been taught and confronting the unknown. With a contemplative yet bold approach, Melanie explores the disillusionment that comes with deconstructing these myths, ultimately acknowledging the profound uncertainty of what happens after death. The track’s ethereal soundscape, marked by her distinctive blend of traditional and modern folk elements, creates a reflective atmosphere that draws the listener into a meditative state. As the lyrics ponder our collective lack of understanding about the afterlife, “Heaven Is” invites listeners to embrace the mystery and inevitability of departure, both for ourselves and for those we love. This track, featured in the upcoming folk-based compilation, showcases Melanie’s ability to weave deep philosophical inquiries with her captivating musical craftsmanship.

Michelle Jia – Last Chance Camp

In the hazy corridors of folk-infused melodies, Michelle Jia emerges as a luminary storyteller, weaving her narratives through the tender tendrils of acoustic balladry. Hailing from Toronto, Jia’s journey as a singer-songwriter reflects the nomadic spirit of exploration, encapsulating the mystical allure of landscapes and the unbridled essence of self-discovery. Her debut album, “To Name The Wind,” stands as a testament to her artistic ethos, crafted during a transcontinental odyssey across the United States. Penned amidst the whispers of rustling leaves and the vast expanse of open roads, the album breathes with the pulse of the Great Lakes Region’s independent music scene.

Within the tender strains of “Last Chance Camp“, Jia’s evocative storytelling reaches its zenith, a poignant reflection on love’s fleeting grasp and the wistful yearning for what could have been. Conceived amidst the hushed serenity of a Wyoming RV park, the song captures the ephemeral beauty of a moment suspended in time. Drawing inspiration from the ethereal harmonies of First Aid Kit, Jia’s vocals soar with an emotive resonance, echoing the bittersweet ache of missed opportunities and lingering regrets. Produced by the deft hands of John Mark Hanson, the track emanates a raw, unfiltered intimacy, each note imbued with the warmth of a whispered confession. Recorded amidst the eclectic ambience of the Jazz Deli in Hamtramck, Michigan, and polished to perfection in Toronto, “Last Chance Camp” stands as a shimmering track with the essence of human emotion.

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