LA based artist BAYWUD combines passionate soulful vocals with infectious melodies and country sensibility on his new single Damn You. The artist can evolve from a Joe Cocker like growl to a Sam Smith falcetto. Like Ray LaMontagne, he sounds wholesome and unique. He sings with incredible control and confidence, and it sounds effortless. He pairs his impressive vocal talents with an affinity for catchy songwriting, and he does it all with feeling.
BAYWUD delivers a performance full of both scorn and beauty, embracing the contrast bred from those feelings within. A song about loss, but not without a hint of admiration for having experienced this love. That’s why it’s so hard to come to terms with the result, because “she just wasn’t ready” never sits right. In a world where timing is everything, BAYWUD is hitting all the right notes. A generation unsure about their time and place in this new manufactured world can connect with the authentic message in this song. It’s just hard to find something real in 2021, everyone’s confused and scared of love. Like so many, BAYWUD is a victim of their misconceptions, one of the last true romantics in this dying world of love.
If you’ve ever felt love or just want an idea of how much it can hurt, you might just fall for Damn You. Hear it now on our Emerging Folk playlist.
August River Band comes to us from Brisbane, Australia. Their fresh take on indie folk is upbeat and soulful. Their new album Thank You Pain spans a range of emotion and cadence, as the band showcases their affinity for combining country rhythms with indie songwriting aesthetic. The hard hitting drums and calculated fiddle are reminiscent of early DMB. Like Mumford and Sons and Counting Crows, singer Eev Ferrieira embraces the raw timbre of his voice and manipulates it with melody and soul. The rumble and rusty texture is as much a combination of his tattered soul as it is a reflection of years spent in disillusion. The singer explains that he recently left behind a decade of “insane religious devotion.” That experience and this new freedom are the bedrock for themes within their new album.
They describe their new single, Mr Sky, as their “happy song in a hurricane.” An instant indie folk classic, Mr Sky combines their singular personalities with their breadth of influence. From the performance to the mix down, the recording is tight and full of authentic energy. The mix is crisp and clear. They don’t need to use effects to lift the feeling. They capture the meaning of this song with raw passion and precise execution. Eev delivers the lyrical message as the band rally’s around him, and through the music collectively they speak to us. Ferriera is like a caged bird unleashed, carefully embracing his newfound freedom. He proclaims, “Destiny I’ll be there, I know it’s been a while, but we’ll go dancing tonight.”
Hear Mr Sky now on our Emerging Folk playlist
ANU makes gorgeous, cinematic piano based music. His music is soothing and soulful. It is full of sensitivity, highlighted by his producer Edd Sargisson’s careful touch on the ivories. He recently released a new EP titled In This Heart. With just a piano and his voice he can create dreamy soundscapes, and build cinematic netherworlds within his songs. At times it is slow and contemplative like early Bon Iver, but ANU is more progressive in his writing. The songs evolve like small soundtracks in their moments, as you imagine emotive scenes playing out before you. These are sacred songs meant for those most cherished moments: birth, love, death, and the meaning of it all. All of this comes together on the sensual Death Lullaby. ANU hangs vocal notes to leave time for processing. He gives you a chance to fill in the scenes with clips from your own experience. The movie of our lives, playing out before us in blurry visions, whatever memories have locked on to our unconscious, revealed to us repeatedly in difficult revelations.
Leaving you with two repeating phrases; “Resting in Love” and “Time to lay down,” before one last breath ends this Death Lullaby. Absorbed by the infinite, Anu then offers the climactic Forever.
Anu wrote this regarding his new release:
These sounds, this heart, this flowing water, belongs not to us, for we are carried by it, where we are going remains a mystery,
Together may we remember
And so it is, and so it was written. As Anu speaks his truth, reflected in the soul of his songs, now eternal in the fabric of time. Hear Death Lullaby now on our Emerging Folk playlist.
Australian band The Kindly Ravens pay tribute to folk’s roots on their new single Bittersweet Lie. Other than a trailing shaker, the band brings a bare string arrangement complete with fiddle and banjo. This band is tight. The members know how to compliment each other and leave space between the music. Everybody digs in without overplaying. They have the full folk sound with a hint of bluegrass, comparable to Old Crow Medicine Show and Trampled by Turtles. On this track they are lead by a strong female vocal with a sweet voice. Her voice is tender and soothing. Her cadence; like a lullaby.
The power of traditional folk resides in the revolving melodies. They pull you in, like a meditation. They draw up visions of overcoming adversity, finding love, and moving by the beat of your own drum. Folk will always be rebel music. It was unadulterated as an alternative to symphonic music, embraced and loved by the lowest class. Then, pulled from the underbelly to be admired by systematic elites, vicarious spectators who reveled at the authenticity of it, unable to find something genuine from their lives of greed and power.
The Kindly Ravens would sit well in the festival circuit. They have stomp and holla appeal, and they cast a wide net with catchy melodies that get in your head. It’s familiar, but unique. Like the saloon scene in a western movie, where the song rings a bell, but you just can’t place it.
Hear Bittersweet Lie now on our Emerging Folk playlist.