Emerging Folk – Mattias Lies, Kate Ellis, Alex Pankov, Kat Flowers

Swedish folk artist Mattias Lies calms a coming storm on his new single Light & Ease.  Included on his new album Turning Points, the single is a classic folk style novella, executed perfectly by his soft touch on guitar and believable vocal performance.  There is a warm vintage tone to the recording, produced like a time machine placing it in the mid 60s golden folk period.  Fans of Bonny Light Horseman and Angelo De Augustine will enjoy Mattias Lies and his ability to make familiar folk sound new.  

   Mattias eloquently describes what inspired the new record; “I have become friends with my inner shadows and accepted that they’re a part of me. In fact, if I had closed my eyes to their existence I would never have come to the realization of who I am and the turning points in life would have been far fewer. Blind spots have become visible, the perspectives have broadened, the world is a bit more colorful than before.”

  Within Light & Ease there is a beautiful turning point in the music.  It is when the ethereal strings and violin fade in half way through track, after Mattias pleads “all prejudice and greed, will never set me free, that is what I believe.”  A high point on the record, the introduction of the strings begins to release you, and burdens are lifted from your spirit.  Like a folk Shaman, Mattias spreads his message through song.  Hear Light and Ease now on our Emerging Folk playlist.  

Kate ellis

On her new release Wonderland, Kate Ellis uses her music to spread a powerful message. She hopes to raise awareness for environmental sustainability and inspire change and action.  Ellis collaborated with contemporary artist Geraldine van Heemstra, a member of the Wilderness Art Collective. The music video for Wonderland follows Geraldine Van Heemstra over a single day as she fills a sketchbook with a series of watercolour paintings, translating the raw energy of the elements into art by immersing herself in the landscapes. 

  The Wonderland project aims to give a musical voice to the environmental rallying cry for urgent government action to protect our planet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in November.  

  The third single from Kate’s forthcoming album Spirals, Wonderland is a swirling folk anthem complete with a full band arrangement.  Kate’s voice quivers with fragility and emotion as she paints a lyrical picture of a dying planet.  “My heart’s aching, every inch of me is shaking, see the beauty that we’re breaking, a Wonderland.”  

  Like the Folk greats, Kate is using her music to spread an important message.  Her effort is supported by her fantastic talent.  Kate has an ear for perfectly placed harmonies.  The full band arrangement is on point, with guitars and mandolin playing off of her each other like pieces in a puzzle.

  The music is on point, but most importantly, we can all learn a lot from Kate’s words and wisdom.  We support her effort, and we endorse her movement.  Hear Wonderland now on our Emerging Folk playlist

Alex Pankov

After completing his duty in the army of Israel, where he was in special forces, Alex Pankov started releasing music under his own name.  Armed only with his guitar, like a resourceful soldier Pankov uses every facet of the instrument to create a musical storm.  He uses the guitars body as a drum to add tempo to the music.  He uses harmonics to create aura and atmosphere.  He plays with fire and intensity, pulling emotion from the vibration of the strings.

  Alex admits, “Recently I heard too many situations of suicide and I felt that I have to send some message and throw my songs to help people with the pain in life.”  With just his guitar and a wonderful musical arrangement, Alex reminds us that Life Is Beautiful on his new instrumental Never Give Up. The epic 5 minute solo guitar piece leads to sounds of birds singing in the distance as the song slowly fades.  The correlation of the birds singing amidst the natural acoustic music Alex provides brings serenity and grace.  A beautiful piece of music from the new guitar master.  Hear Never Give Up now on our  Emerging Folk Playlist.

Kat Flowers

  Australian songwriter Kat Flowers shines on her new single Pretty Things.  Her gentle vocal lines and melodic guitar work are interwoven with personal stories crated into touching songs.  

  Kat struggles with our superficial realities with lines like “And if my hair is pink and my skin is soft will it make life feel that way?”  A voice for a Tik Tok generation yearning for authenticity.  

  The constant wellness advertisements and self help narratives that clog our feeds weigh on Kat’s soul.  She sings, “If I bury myself in the things that I love will it help me sleep at night, or will the weight of their presence just cause more tension because I’m holding on too tight.”   

  In her writing, Kat shows she knows it’s time to let go and let life happen.   She lends a voice to a modern generation of corporate consumers who exist without ever knowing what life was like without a cell phone, without the reality of living out your days as a commodity preyed on by advertisers and professional “influencers.”  

  A self proclaimed student of artist’s with no boundaries like Hozier and Milk Carton Kids, Kat is looking beyond the superficial.  “Pretty” is a dirty word made to make you small.  There are bigger and better things to this experience.  Kat gets it right.  Hear Pretty Things now on our Emerging Folk playlist.  

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