Album | John Bramwell – The Light Fantastic
For Folk's Sake | New folk music recommendations
by Tom White
6d ago
The former I Am Kloot mainman’s second solo album is an unexpected departure from the sound which has made his name, and no less enjoyable for it. “I’ve not got much to say but I thought I’d say it anyway,” Bramwell sings to open ‘It’s Just You’ and indeed, the lyrical content was largely spontaneous in origin and often seems vague and throwaway – certainly in comparison to Kloot’s strongest work, though his fascination with the sky and stars remains resolutely undimmed. The interest instead comes from hearing him explore a wider range of musical styles, with a new emphasis on light ..read more
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Album | Hurray for the Riff Raff – The Past is Still Alive
For Folk's Sake | New folk music recommendations
by Mark Buckley
6d ago
In a recording studio in Durham, NC just one month shy of losing their father, Aylnda Segarra – the songwriter behind the monicker of Hurray for the Riff Raff – committed to tape the most personal album they’d made to date. Segarra is helped along the way by a host of friends including Conor Oberst and S.G. Goodman helping out on vocals at various points. It’s also a marked departure from their much acclaimed previous release Life on Earth. Whereas that album focuses on how to survive and maybe thrive in a world deep in crisis, The Past is Still Alive finds the songs rooted in family and comm ..read more
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Album | Grandaddy  – Blu Wav
For Folk's Sake | New folk music recommendations
by Pete Bate
1w ago
Grandaddy main man Jason Lytle has always had a country heart, notwithstanding the skateboarding and DIY punk origins of his band’s taped-together indie rock.  Their sixth album is the one on which Lytle gives in to pedal steel and the inspiration of roaming across Nevada listening to ‘The Tennessee Waltz’. That’s not to say Blu Wav (where bluegrass meets new wave) isn’t immediately recognisable as a Grandaddy record. It’s still characterised by Lytle’s keening vocals, synth swooshes and slow ride-cymbal rhythms. But largely gone is the familiar up-tempo guitar-and-drums chug o ..read more
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Album | Frontier Ruckus – On the Northline
For Folk's Sake | New folk music recommendations
by Anna Murphy
2w ago
In their first album since the acclaimed Enter the Kingdom in 2017, Michigan’s alternative folk trio Frontier Ruckus – comprised of singer-songwriter-guitarist Matthew Milia, banjo player David Jones, and multi-instrumentalist Zachary Nichols – return in full force with On the Northline. According to frontman Milia, “The Northline was inspired partly by the North Country of upstate New York – where the Thousand Islands pepper the St. Lawrence Seaway – and where my dad’s side of the family somehow landed from Sicily in the early 1900s”.  This theme of memory and the past is a red thread t ..read more
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Album | Itasca – Imitation of War
For Folk's Sake | New folk music recommendations
by Bob Fish
2w ago
In the four years since Itasca’s Spring the world has changed completely, so there may be no antecedents for Imitation of War. It is an electric album, but one with a delicacy unlike anything else heard this year. It exists out of time even as it has a sense of places and pathways dating back 50 years or more. Swirling and swaying it hints at everything from Fairport Convention to the Grateful Dead, without quoting them and displaying a sense of softness and simplicity difficult to match or master.  The guitar patterns of ‘Milk’ weave a spell while Kayla Cohen sings of sai ..read more
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Album | The Miserable Rich – Overcome
For Folk's Sake | New folk music recommendations
by Ian Parker
2w ago
Tough times can overcome you, and they can be overcome. Every story is different, but the chances of finding a way through are much stronger with the love and support of family and friends. And that was the backdrop for the reforming of the Miserable Rich, who are back with their first record since 2011. Overcome was born out of personal tragedy – the band first reformed to play at Kit Fest, a charity festival put together by frontman James de Malplaquet following the death of his baby boy Kit – and collective need as the band grew closer and stronger as they helped one another through lockdo ..read more
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Album | Itasca – Imitation of War
For Folk's Sake | New folk music recommendations
by Bob Fish
2w ago
In the four years since Itasca’s Spring the world has changed completely, so there may be no antecedents for Imitation of War. It is an electric album, but one with a delicacy unlike anything else heard this year. It exists out of time even as it has a sense of places and pathways dating back 50 years or more. Swirling and swaying it hints at everything from Fairport Convention to the Grateful Dead, without quoting them and displaying a sense of softness and simplicity difficult to match or master.  The guitar patterns of ‘Milk’ weave a spell while Kayla Cohen sings of sai ..read more
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Album | The Miserable Rich – Overcome
For Folk's Sake | New folk music recommendations
by Ian Parker
1M ago
Tough times can overcome you, and they can be overcome. Every story is different, but the chances of finding a way through are much stronger with the love and support of family and friends. And that was the backdrop for the reforming of the Miserable Rich, who are back with their first record since 2011. Overcome was born out of personal tragedy – the band first reformed to play at Kit Fest, a charity festival put together by frontman James de Malplaquet following the death of his baby boy Kit – and collective need as the band grew closer and stronger as they helped one another through lockdo ..read more
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Album | Chatham County Line – Hiyo
For Folk's Sake | New folk music recommendations
by Mark Buckley
1M ago
Since rising from the ashes of previous band Stillhouse a quarter of a century ago, Chatham County Line have been presenting their modern take on the bluegrass tradition to a devoted fan base across the world. Hiyo is their 11th studio album and sees the back expanding their horizons and fleshing out their sound with synthesisers, drum machines and more electric guitar than they traditionally do. This is first evident in second track ‘Magic’ which shimmies its way into your ears fast on the heels of ‘Right on Time’. If the opening song (and lead single) manages to lure you into a false securi ..read more
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EP | Basia Bartz – Out of the Woods
For Folk's Sake | New folk music recommendations
by Anna Murphy
2M ago
A whisper of wind through the trees, leaves rustling underfoot, a crackling fire, the smell of dirt after the rain. Mother Nature is a thread that weaves through Out of the Woods, a collaboration between Polish singer-songwriter Basia Bartz and British folk guitarist and producer Ben Walker. The instruments these songs showcase take us across the world to the musical places Bartz has visited, using not only the violin but also drums, bass and piano. Themes of traditional Polish folk music are also a key element and the EP is performed almost entirely in Bartz’s native Polish tongue. It is a w ..read more
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