Category: folk

Jain “Come”

Jain is one of the most exciting new artists I’ve heard in a while. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter has an extraordinarily multi-cultural upbringing under her belt; she’s lived in Dubai, The Republic of Congo, Abu Dhabi, and currently resides in France. Not surprisingly, you can hear all of these flavorful, diverse influences peppered throughout her debut album Zanaka. Jain’s life-long obsession with drums/beats is especially showcased in the infectious single “Come.” One listen, and you’ll find that her unique vocal style and phrasing mixed with her rhythmic aptitude catapults her clear out of the typical female pop-singer crowd…and I love that!

Maggie Rogers “Alaska”

Though the banjo doesn’t typically lend itself to the mellow, lilting sounds of gentle vocals and soothing melodies, Maggie Rogers has found a way to accomplish just that. Her work is vastly inspired by dance music and sounds found in nature – a combination which marries inherently rhythmic beats to flowing, striking sonic qualities. The three standout tracks from her former Bandcamp release Bloody Ballet (now removed from the internet) are “Resonant Body,” “James,” and “Drift.” The current and quite remarkable new single “Alaska” is available to stream and download now.

Christof “You Left It Too Long”

I’m very excited about the new single “You Left It Too Long” from Dutch singer-songwriter Christof. I’m obsessed with the groove of this tune and the fantastic clarity of Christof’s vocal delivery. He opened for Bear’s Den on their last U.S. tour and I’ve followed him ever since. His new EP “Montreal” comes out May 27th and if this single is any indication as to how the rest of it sounds, I’m in!

Seramic “People Say”

There is very little out there about the mysterious (UK-based?) band Seramic. I love the gospel vibes of this track, complete with choral call and response. Hopefully they will release more music soon, but in the meantime, snuggle up to this warm blanket of a tune!

BEST OF 2015!

Happy Holidays everyone!
I’ve never made my year end lists public, but this year I’ve decided to shake things up. I present to you my personal best of 2015, both songs and albums. The songs can be streamed here if you would like to listen (honorable mentions included at the end):

Albums (in no particular order):
Wolf Alice – My Cool Is Cool
Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
Alabama Shakes – Sound and Color
Chris Stapleton – Traveller
CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
Rayland Baxter – Imaginary Man
The Bohicas – The Making Of
Beirut – No No No
Jason Isbell – Something More than Free
Blitzen Trapper – All Across This Land
Everything Everything – Get To Heaven
The Tallest Man On Earth – Dark Bird Is Home
Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams
Ryan Adams – 1989, cover album (Taylor Swift)

Songs (also in no particular order):
“Uptown Funk” (ft Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson
“Talking Body” – Tove Lo
“Here” – Alessia Cara
“Genghis Khan” – Miike Snow
“Mountain At My Gates” – Foals
“Lydia” – Highly Suspect
“Coltrane” – Amasa Hines
“Your Loves Whore” – Wolf Alice
“Where You At” – The Bohicas
“Getting Ready to Get Down” – Josh Ritter
“Nobody To Blame” – Chris Stapleton
“Heartbreaker” – Daniel Wilson
“OctaHate” – Ryn Weaver
“Electric Love” – BØRNS
“Leave A Trace” – CHURCHES
“Dreams” – Beck
“Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots
“Trip Switch” – Nothing But Thieves
“Snakeskin” – Deerhunter
“Adventure of a Lifetime” – Coldplay
“Ship To Wreck” – Florence + The Machine
“Sedona” – Houndmouth
“Pretty Pimpin'” – Kurt Vile
“Spring (Among the Living)” – My Morning Jacket
“Snake Eyes” – Mumford & Sons
“Dunes” – Alabama Shakes
“Brazil” – Declan McKenna
“Gibraltar” – Beirut
“Forget You In LA” – Poema
“Yellow Eyes” – Rayland Baxter
“Empty Handed” – Christof
“Color Decay” – Júníus Meyvant
“Death with Dignity” – Sufjan Stevens
“How Could You Babe” – Tobias Jesso Jr.
“Dark Bird Is Home” – The Tallest Man on Earth
“Between Me And You” – Brandon Flowers
“Hello” – Adele
“Everglow” – Coldplay
“Flagship” – Jason Isbell

Honorable Mentions:
“Outcast” – Mainland
“Mystery” – Boxed In
“Roman Holiday” – Halsey
“Forest Fires” – Axel Flovent
“No Room In Frame” – Death Cab For Cutie
“Borderline” – Tove Stryke
“Hold Me Down” – Mansionair
“Moona Festival” – Polyenso
“Love Grow Cold” – Blitzen Trapper
“Where The Night Goes” – Josh Ritter
“Spring / Sun / Winter / Dread” – Everything Everything
“The Way It’s Always Been” – Brandon Flowers

Declan Mckenna “Brazil”

At just 16 years old, Declan Mckenna is already making big waves in the U.K. He recently won Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition and earned himself a spot on the main stage of the festival. I love how much personality his voice carries. It’s very effortless and raw, but deliberate, all the same. “Brazil” is extremely bright and sunny and will find its way into your repeat pile.

Rayland Baxter “Yellow Eyes”

Been a fan of Rayland’s for quite some time now. But it wasn’t until this song (and this whole album, really) that I really jumped fully onto the band wagon. The instrumentation –and specifically the delicious, rich guitar tones threaded throughout – is remarkable. It’s been a while since I’ve lauded a local Nashville artist, and he more than deserves the praise. Buy or stream his album Imaginary Man when you get a chance. It’s well worth your while!

Axel Flóvent “Forest Fires”

There are so many amazing artists coming out of Iceland lately – my most recent find is 19 year-old Axel Flóvent. He has a tender falsetto similar to that of his Icelandic peer Ásgeir, and also a touch of Nick Mulvey’s calming tone. “Forest Fires” is the most captivating track he’s released thus far. Fingers crossed for a second EP (or full length) to come this year!

Júníus Meyvant “Color Decay”

Icelandic-born Júníus Meyvant’s resplendent tune, “Color Decay”, offers a rich and textural palette of sounds. I love how the strings accent and add warmth to the beginning of the track. The horns come in and brighten it up, while his wise, raspy vocals deliver an Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros) kind of friendliness. Currently, this is his only song available, though word is that he is finishing up a debut album this year.

Christof “Empty Handed”

This is a lovely number by the Dutch singer-songwriter Christof. He recently opened for the awe-inspiring Bear’s Den and certainly made a big impression amongst the local audience here – I can imagine he is being received equally as well in every other city. I liken him to a European Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) with a touch of Jeff Buckley. While “Empty Handed” is most definitely the standout single, I would recommend checking out his entire EP.