Abigail Dowd’s Beautiful Day finds its roots in the hardships that she and her husband had faced dealing with six house floods in a year.
For Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno, preserving tradition is paramount. Their debut LP is a hearty nod to the string bands and country-folk of old.
The track holds a special place in Barnett’s heart. He tells PopMatters, “This song means a lot to me. It encapsulates my process of letting go of New York City, where my closest friends and music community were.”
The artists in this year's list all use their music to create a sense of unity. Whether it is the acknowledgment of shared oppression, or in contrast, the visibility of identity, Best of Folk Music 2020 is defined by its ability to form a musical common ground.
In 2020, Americana artists empathetically dealt with the things that bind us together and keep us apart. The albums on this list encourage hope for the future based on a belief in the human spirit.
A deep reflection on breaking up, Nashville indie rock/Americana outfit Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" is the most personal track from their new album, Home Team.
The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.
Indie-folk brothers Fransancisco dedicate their take on Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" to all mothers who have lost a child.
Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.