Folk music is an honest depiction of the human experience and never tries to tie a bow around life. Instead, it sheds light on its inevitable reality — the good, the bad and the ugly (many times with a harmonica and some grumbling vocals in between).
Fook is typically driven by complex, detailed lyrics that cause us as listeners to relate and give into the words being sung. It also focuses heavy on instrumentation. OH and of course SOUL.
Though folk isn’t the most popular genre of music, like it used to be in the 60s and 70s, it doesn’t mean it’s not alive and well and pushing to be heard. Folk artists old and new, known or undiscovered, deserve to have their experiences be heard and felt…and so we bring you the #Top5FolkArtiststoListentoThisFall
1. The Quahogs
Coming from Providence, Rhode Island, this foursome knows how to blend genres seamlessly. With influences ranging from Bob Dylan to The Animals to Nirvana, this group offers listeners a unique listening experience full of folk, rock, blues and country. The lead singer, Steve Delmonico’s growling raspy vocals paired with the undeniably impressive lead guitarist, Steve Donovan, creates a truly energetic and memorable experience. Take note of these guys, because their music warrants recognition.
Sounds like: Bob Dylan in his early folk/country days
2. I’m With Her
This trio — Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan — can be recognized for their beautiful harmonies and sweet, calming vocals. New York Times described the group as one, “… that could be sweetly ethereal, or as tightly in tandem as country sibling teams like the Everly Brothers, or as hearty as mountain gospel.” Their incredible chemistry and blend of country-influenced vocals on their singles allude to a very promising debut album, “See You Around” releasing this February.
Sounds like: HAIM mixed with The Dixie Chicks
3. Skye Steele
Skye Steele is a Brooklyn-based composer, violinist and impressive songwriter. His 2017 album, All That Light, stands out immediately, for every song is jarringly different. Take his highly energetic, full-of-life track “Back in the Valley” and compare it to his hauntingly moving song, “At the Waterfall” and you’ll understand why his music is an important listen. He embodies the true ethos of the folk genre, pulling in various emotional realities.
Sounds like: A folky version of City and Colour
4. Nate Cozzolino and the Lost Arts
This is a band that truly knows how to play with instrumentation and make their listeners feel their sorrow or joy. The lead singer, Nate, uses particular enunciation of his “ragged” vocals that matches the rhythm of his accompanying band beautifully. Another plus? Their recorded music feels so intimate and personal, that you honestly feel like you’re sitting in their local bar and they’re playing…Just. For. You. while you listen.
Sounds like: the raspy god, Trevor Hall
5. Sean Kiely
New Jersey-based Sean Kiely sings understatedly on his debut album, “Your Logo, My Logo” proving it comes naturally to him. His soft vocal charm matched with his honest lyrics creates a listen experience that feels wholesome, yet undeniably nostalgic. Sean himself defines his craft as, “an intimate collection of alternative folk songs examining lyrical themes of love, death, confusion and awe within our modern American culture.”
Sounds like: The Avett Brothers
Fresh Folk Finds playlist: