folk posts

Jessica Fichot

Monday, June 22nd, 2009 by Julija

chanson française // folk popjessicafichot600

French chanson tradition, Chinese folk motifs, Continental jazz and Latin notes are interwoven together into a colourful collection of songs on Jessica Fichot’s debut album. The versatility of her debut Le Chemin (2007) mirrors her multicultural and multilingual background. Often accompanied by piano and accordion, recalling the rhythms of waltz, polka and cabaret music, Jessica’s elegant songwriting evokes the images of 19th century Parisian coffeehouses and dance halls. “1,2,3” is a fine example of her inventive songwriting, clear vocals and a distinctly French instrumentation.

Delightful arrangements from the heart of Paris.
Jessica Fichot – 1,2,3
Jessica Fichot – Le Grenier
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Allie Moss

Sunday, June 14th, 2009 by Julija

folk // singer-songwriter

Some of you might have seen Allie Moss performing with the lovely Ingrid Michaelson. Her debut EP Passerby (2009) reveals Allie to be a strong and promising singer-songwriter on her own. The extremely captivating “Corner” displays Allie’s songwriting skills as well as her sweet vocals and clever phrasing, setting the tone for the rest of her EP. From bittersweet to soft and melancholic, Passerby is a solid and well-crafted collection of folk-pop songs.

Gorgeous melody carried by pitter-patter production.
Allie Moss – Corner
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Rachel Goodrich

Thursday, June 4th, 2009 by Kyle

acoustic // shake-a-billy

A ladybug from Miami’s South Beach can play the kazoo and charango while singing ~ who knew!? Well I’m sure glad to have finally found out, because Rachel Goodrich presents a pleasantry unlike any other. She grew up perceiving music as a seemingly essential ingredient for life, which may be what allows her to welcome any sound-making thing into her arena; dancing and tinkering in astounding whimsy. Quirky yet smooth, she meshes this inventive inventory into a joyful jubilee – donning theatrical highlights amidst her casual rhythms and rhymes that hearten emotions like new rays of sunshine. (thx, Ben)

Because a ladybug played kazoo.
Rachel Goodrich – Dope Song
Rachel Goodrich – Light Bulb
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Mélissa Laveaux

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 by Julija

folk // acoustic blues // world

Soul, folk, jazz and creole influences shine throughout Camphor & Copper (2008) — the first full-length of self-taught guitarist and singer-songwriter Mélissa Laveaux. On her debut album Mélissa displays impressive musical range and clever lyrics. Mélissa’s folk-blues arrangements, catchy hand claps, whispery vocals and her unique percussive finger-style guitar will be appealing to the fans of Ayo and Aurgasm featured Asa. Of special quality is Mélissa’s sharp and powerful cover of Elliott Smith’s “Needle in the Hay”.

From world music rhythms to brutally honest blues.
Melissa Laveaux – Needle In The Hay
Melissa Laveaux – Koud’lo
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Audie Darling

Friday, May 8th, 2009 by Kyle

country-folk // singer-songwriter

Venturing from home in Nashville, Audie‘s sound grew dear as she followed charms winding their way through mountain trails and Parisian boulevards before encountering musical kin in Portland. With helpful newfound friends, a tickle of entrancing hymnals was then culled from her memory; forming a delicate, haunting echo in your heart that asks where you’ve been. Were you calling out quietly in the night for a friend? Or swinging in tire swings on dwindling summer days… an occasional ring to your ear of someone you knew and should maybe say hello to. Do clairvoyant clarinets introduce another scene? Stringing you along as hammers unlock dissonance and banjitars herald kind nudges anent upright bass. Jeering ghosts fleshed out with hindsight; twilight’s mist dispersed upon reason; her songs usher in an elusive, captivating treasure to collect and hold tender forever.

An audio darling.
Audie Darling – Warn Out Shoe
Audie Darling – Little Bird
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Lucy Schwartz

Saturday, April 11th, 2009 by Michelle

indie pop // singer-songwriter

Lucy Schwartz, whose songs range between stripped-down ballads, jazz-inspired pop and indie folk, is that rare combination of talented songwriter and skilled performer. Lucy’s debut album, Winter in June (2007) offers a glimpse of this young singer-songwriter’s burgeoning talents. The delightfully catchy “I Don’t Know A Thing” is a shockingly self-aware admittance, delivered with a carefree shrug and smile. Lucy continues to surprise, displaying raw vulnerability as well as youthful exuberance in her songs. “Gone Away” is a tender and aching ballad, delicately crafted with a sensibility that belies her young age. Keep an eye (and ear) on this one.

Sweet and lovely pop gems.
Lucy Schwartz – I Don’t Know A Thing
Lucy Schwartz – Gone Away
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Josh Ottum

Sunday, April 5th, 2009 by Julija

indie pop // experimental

Josh Ottum, a Seattle-based musician and songwriter, has been making his tiny-bedroom-music for 4 years before composing his debut album Like The Season (2007). To put it in his own words, Like The Season is a twelve song journey into the hallways, bedrooms, dining rooms and garages of popular music. Josh’s “The Easy Way Out” evolves from sweet, coherent and easy-on-the-ears harmonies to a rhythmically driven complex production. With layered arrangements of multiple drums, repetitive piano, catchy horn lines and quirky phrasing Josh builds “The Easy Way Out” to a charmingly dynamic indie-pop song.

Whimsical songwriting, complex instrumentation.
Josh Ottum – The Easy Way Out
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 by Julija

swedish folktronica // experimental

Fredrik, a six-piece Malmö-based ensemble, embodies some of the finest Scandinavian experimental pop aesthetics: captivating melodies, rich layered arrangements and complicated charming instrumentation evoking the sound of Sigur Ros and Efterklang. Without overloading the compositions, Fredrik builds layer upon layer of atmospheric, melodically overpowering and somewhat mystical soundscapes. The title track of the album “Na Na Ni” ranges from warm waves of melancholy and hypnotic repetitive chanting to haunting harmonies.

From quiet to powerful experimental arrangements.
Fredrik – Na Na Ni
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Sunday, February 1st, 2009 by Andrew Ladd

global // folk // jazz

Gaida is one of those (*yawn*) dime-a-dozen singers who also makes a living as a speech pathologist, and has a similarly dull list of cities that she’s called home: Damascus, Kuwait, Paris, Detroit, and now, New York. Barely worth mentioning, right? In the meantime, she’s received classical voice training, recorded a couple of tracks for Jonathan Demme films, and at the end of last year dropped her first full album, Levantine Indulgence, a spooky mix of traditional Arabic and Syrian sounds, plus her own, jazz-like vocals, and the occasional hip hop beat for good measure. She’s currently shopping for a distributor; until she finds one, the full album is available at her shows, or via MySpace message.

Sultry voice, spicy instrumentals.
Gaida – Almaya
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Theresa Andersson

Sunday, December 7th, 2008 by Julija

folk // singer-songwriter

Recorded in New Orleans with fellow Swede, producer Tobias Fröberg, Theresa Andersson’s album Hummingbird, Go! (2008) delivers a distinctive Swedish pop sound alongside a soulful southern vibe. Well-crafted retro-pop number “Birds Fly Away” showcases Theresa’s multi-instrumental skills as she uses everything from the looping vocals, violin, catchy hand claps to the funky drum sample of Smokey Johnson. DIY to the extreme, in her song “The Waltz” Theresa actually plays water-filled soda pop bottles in her kitchen.

Incredibly fresh, quirky folk melodies.
Theresa Andersson – Birds Fly Away
Theresa Andersson – The Waltz
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