“Broken March’s” primary melodies pull from folk influences, with piercing ethereal synths recalling Nick x Nati’s combined experience in electronic production.
Anya Hinkle effortlessly delivers conversationalist country blues on “Why Women Need Wine”. It’s a musical eye roll that takes on the patriarchy.
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.