We’re concluding this beautiful August with our select Indie Folk Radar that will bring about a pleasant touch of organic instrumentation, open admiration for substantial narratives, and production of a different caliber than what you might be expecting from the usual upcoming artist. The following ten records deserve your intense concentration and close study of all the sonic elements they bring to the table. Grab a glass of wine, sit back, and let the music guide your senses into the deepest realms of your imagination!
10. Owl and the Crow by Kramies
Glad that you’re home/ I just heard you through the phone/ Used to stumble through this town/ It’s hard to stick around, are the opening lines of the number 10 record. The words very much represent the certain gloomy grandeur that is omnipresent from start to end both in the acoustic baseline and the narrative portrayed in a top poetic vein by Kramies. Owl and the Crow is an Indie Folk piece full of mellow vibes that dazzles the audience via sincere vocal delivery and mystical visuals. Rather perfect for the moments you need a neutral song on your playlist to help you be in the present moment.
9. Sweet Wine by Ese Peters
Oh, look at that! We did mention a glass of wine in the beginning! One bright morning/ I’ll take you by the hand/ One bright morning/ I’ll take you by the hand/ Who knows/ Where the story may go/ My hands are strong, breaks the silence the warm voice of Ese Peters. There is a raspiness behind it that makes the song that much more alluring and comforting to the soul. When you’re seeking Indie Folk to accompany you on your morning strolls and breathing in the sunset while sitting atop a bridge, Sweet Wine is the song you turn to. It is so simple, pure, and endearing that it becomes rather hard to part ways with. A replay or two is in the cards.
8. Rowdy On by Steve Pointmeier
And there goes that one song that is more vivacious than anybody was expecting it to be! You know I am here/ And I know what you need/ Come on, come on/ There is no better time than now/ Get your rowdy on/ Sing a party song/ Keep on dancing til the beer is all gone, draws in the public with his calm yet assertive voice, Steve Pointmeier. The title clearly points to the core essence of the song but the production is such a sight to behold to the ears that you end up smiling like an idiot a couple of seconds in because of how great it is! While you may consider it both Country and Indie Folk, Rowdy On by Steve Pointmeier displays a ravenous appetite for the classic instrumentation and good ol’ tavern-like fun vibes.
7. Here We Come, America by Paul Petruccelli
Looking for the blissful record that takes you to a sublimely quiet, tranquil, and harmonious land? Your stop is named Here We Come, America by Paul Petruccelli. The naturally raspy voice of the singer idyllically renders the moods of the song abiding by a calm and chilled-back music dynamic that is hard to come by in the Indie Folk sphere. Could have bought a map/ Then how would we get lost?/ Could have asked directions/ But to where?/ Here we come, America. The beautiful lyrics reminisce of Dark Pop more so than Country or Folk. We will definitely keep our eyes on the name of Paul Petruccelli.
6. Someday, Maybe by Sofi Gev
I am alone in this house/ The pipes keep me awake/ You left your boots out/ Winter collages by the door/ …/ I wear your heavy coat/ The scent of your cologne, vividly imprints the image of a cold winter in the mind of the listener, Sofi Gev. The Indie Folk gem lands so genuinely and austere that one feels like reading the diary of the singer witnessing her loud thoughts. Its sonic format is unadorned relying heavily on the singer’s lead track. Bonus feature: there are some brooding violins adding serious oomph to the instrumental and overall mood that need to be consumed in a separate play of their own.
5. sniglar by Arny Margret
The artsy one! We love how each list brings forth the classic archetypes of musicians every single time! Waking up is getting harder than it did before/ Dishes from yesterday and all my clothes are on the floor/ Oh I start to miss you more with every time/ I see you somewhere else oh no it’s fine/ The rain made a river in the field/ She’s killing snails with a stick/ Then points them at me/ Running through the field, invokes Billie Eilish the Indie Folk singer named Arny Margret. While of course, the artist shines in her own right, for the usual music consumer of mainstream channels, the easiest way to explain what sound to expect from sniglar is: imagine if Billie Eilish had natural hair and did Indie Folk music. Pretty badass, ay? The song oozes a raw ambient, a pure heart, and a tenacious voice able to fill the room despite it being in a low-whispered tone.
4. Front Porch Swing by New Church Street Music – John Lee
The most crystallized use of the fiddle and banjo! Front Porch Swing by New Church Street Music – John Lee is advertised to the public as “a dance song, with a lot of swing, perfect for line dancing! Featuring John Lee and Nashville insider, Monty Allen, on vocals.” What we love about this record is its portrayal of how close Indie Folk, Country, and Americana come together! I know baby that it won’t be long/ You’ll get here and get your red dress on/ …/ The house starts rocking when the front porch swings/ Hats start moving, it’s a beautiful thing/ Lord have mercy when we making a scene/ The whole house rocks when the front porch swings, to give you a taste of the feel-good mood of the song. Front Porch Swing grants an insuperable positive, uplifting acoustic treat to the public that will be appreciated by all people of all ages who are into Folk music and its sister genres.
3. Story to Tell by Ryan Thomas Smelle
So profound in wording and yet so lighthearted in delivery. That ladies and gents, is Story to Tell by Ryan Thomas Smelle. I have a story to tell/ About the things you know so well/ That you keep hiding away/ Everyday I cry/ About these things not knowing why/ I wish I could wipe these tears away. The Indie Folk showpiece is rooted in loss, grief, and the normal anger that comes with it: “I wrote this song in May of last year after saying goodbye to my four-legged buddy unexpectedly. The version I released at that time was rough, but necessary for me to get out. With compassionate encouragement from others, I have re-recorded this song, allowing the song to tell its own story. It’s never easy saying farewell to a pet and I hope this song/video brings some solace.”
2. Misty and Cold by Beau Lucas
A man called on your phone today/ He hung up my mind just wondered/ You’ve been acting kinda strange/ I need a rock to go crawl under/ Love feels like raindrops all misty and cold/ My heart’s growing weary after what I’ve been told/ That’s the last straw you’ve taken from me, glitters with sadness the unmistakable voice of Beau Lucas. The choice of words typifies “a woman who is sleeping around while her husband is at home taking care of their children,” as per the artist’s description. Misty and Cold is ironically enough, literally the sonic transposition of those same two words in an Indie Folk language.
1. Hard to Love by Justine Blanchet
Who would have thought that Indie Folk can be amalgamated with the attitude of a Pop diva? Welcome in, Hard to Love by Justine Blanchet! Here you go again/ Calling at 1 am/ You’re either lonely/ Or you’ve been drinkin’/ And part of me wants to pick it up/ But I’ve been strung along long enough, sings with confident allure, Justine Blanchet. If Dua Lipa’s New Rules was to have a Folk counterpart, this is the record we’d point you to. Hard to Love holds together the obviously lost time and hidden future hopes from a non-committal partner while simultaneously delivering on all expected fronts, from flawless vocals, excellent mix and master, relevant and relatable lyrics, to the very glamorous art cover for the single. Just wow!