From twangy civil war chimes to modern songs of protest, love, and sadness set across both acoustic and electric soundscapes, the American folk scene’s makeup has changed drastically since laying its foundations back in revolutionary times. However, as a genre meant for bards to weave their tales and stories and convey them with utmost intimacy folk’s roots have largely stayed the same despite the rise of Greenwich village folk, Dylan going electric, or the Mumfordian movement of recent times.
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UK based onDeadWaves is the musical project of James Chapman (Maps) and Polly Scattergood. The duo released their debut album of dreamy rock (onDeadWaves) earlier this year on Mute. Subsequently the band found themselves with some spare time and a lot of caffeine on a late night where they recorded their take on Pink Floyd’s classic “Comfortably Numb”.
On the eve of its US release tomorrow, we have the premiere of Terra Lightfoot‘s new album, the stellar Every Time My Mind Runs Wild. Back in May, we said, “Love the Alabama Shakes and Brittany Howard? Then get ready to adore Terra Lightfoot, a roots rocker with a powerful voice and a badass Gibson SG that she plays with consummate ease. Yep, she could be your new rock ‘n’ roll hero. Drawing from rock, soul and blues, Lightfoot is a monster talent that will be gracing the world’s largest festival stages in no time.”
See for yourself, as Lightfoot honors her roots music influences—Maybelle Carter, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Leadbelly, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding,Nina Simone and Billie Holiday—with complete mastery while remaining very much her own artist, a true original with a long career ahead of her.
Post-rock trio Esben and the Witch will release the album Older Terrors November 4 via Season of Mist. The band has just issued the track “Sylvan” to celebrate the record’s impending arrival. With passages that range from spare and haunting to loud and frightening, the 13-minute tune serves as a perfect taste of the whole album. Vocalist Rachel Davies sings with an uncommon ease and grace, further establishing herself as one of the most remarkable voices in any genre. Drummer Daniel Copeman plays with both taste and passion, while guitarist Thomas Fischer creates intricate but subtle layers that strike the perfect balance between darkness and light.
Last year, we said of Liz Longley’s debut album, “Longley’s clearly ready to seize on stardom, and this album provides all the proof that’s needed.” Fast forward to 2016 and Longley is back with her sophomore effort Weightless, which is packed to the gills with instantly memorable pop rock songs, many of which could be chartbound. Longley’s songwriting is top notch, full of relatable tales of life and relationships and Weightless is the sort of Lilith Fair inspired album that speaks to Longley’s love of ‘90s music. “I grew up listening to music of the ‘90s, and this record feels more like the Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette in me,” Longley says. “All those powerful chick singer-songwriters I grew up loving.”