Beautiful melancholy vibes kick off Remember The Lines, the new album from Who Are You Lutra Lutra? A finger stroked guitar introduces the soft affect of the singers voice as he ponders, “The people on the hill have a better house, I know, I saw them on the TV having what I would never have, and they just look good.” An upright bass infiltrates the sadness. A vibey guitar alternates between sweet leads and sliding swells, toned to perfection, preferring the bell like hum of the neck pickup. An unexpected solo piano breaks into the puzzled arrangement with swift melodic lines. This is Lutra Lutra, she is beautiful, flowing, mysterious.
The band stays true to this elegant design for most of the record, offering different iterations of mood and presentation. They flash elements of adventure in the spirit of Junip, like on Dazzled and Gone. They show subtle nods to traditional folk, like on Cloudscapes. They offer a glimpse of what a full band arrangement might sound like, adding alternating drums on Emptiness. The result is cinematic, closer to an acoustic Explosions In the Sky than suspected indie folk. They can be contemplative, like on Words, recalling works by one of their influences, Damien Rice. The album is bookended by You Don’t Know More and Remember The Lines. On these tunes they adopt the credo of Working Man’s Poet, recalling the melancholy folk of Gregory Alan Isakov.
Fans of these aforementioned artists and more will get lost in the introspective appeal of Who Are You Lutra Lutra? This is deep folk for contemplative souls. It’s presented beautiful, soft, true to its front porch roots. It evokes visions of the artists huddled around a bottle of spirits beneath dimly lit rays of candlelight, patiently working their way through these elegant tunes, always respecting the songs sacred making, each player coloring around the lyrical details with expressive color. Arranged beautifully, its a masterful work for these underrated new indie folk masters.
Dig into the whole album, get started with You Don’t Know More now on our Emerging Folk playlist.
Tess Liataud caught our attention with her new single On The Cusp. The alt-country vibe displays the artists crossover potential. With a sweet, accurate voice Tess can hang with the best in indie country. She brings this slight twang with a flare of attitude. Her voice is full of charm and swagger. Combined with the beautiful guitar work, altogether this tasty vibe is bittersweet.
Vibing somewhere between Lydia Loveless and Brandi Carlile, Tess parades Springsteen and Hansard as influences. In the tradition of these classic writers, she knows how to craft a pretty melody that drips hints of nostalgia while retaining elements all its own. With call and response group vocals there’s also a hint of the indie folk vibe known to The Head and The Heart.
A travelled musician, the work shines with the intellect of an artist who’s been around a crowd or two. Liataud’s voice has conviction. Her confidence cuts through the mix, as these words meld into the bands elegant design. Produced masterful, the tasteful arrangement hits all the right cues, leaving space for the spirit of the song to shine brightest, and for Tess to be able to embrace her true self in song.
Lyrically, On The Cusp poetically explores introspective revelations. Liataud knows how to sift through our complicated existence and pull out lyrical gold. Like Springsteen, these sentiments are relatable, but less travelled. Tess has a penchant for reimagining familiar tales with inventive poetic imagery. “Wide-eyed, on a cusp of a mental break, through the eyes that we’d once known. Thinking ‘bout the last time I wrote about you. Sorry I’ve been blue.”
Enjoy On The Cusp now on our Emerging Folk playlist
The tides of life are high and low on Waves, the new album from Adam Greenall. Kicking it off with the infectious stomp and holler vibes of I Believe In You, Greenall opens with a proper pick me up. Stomp and holler as a genre was reinvented by acts like Shovel and Rope, The Head and the Heart, and Lumineers. Generated from underground movements by cult artists like Hoots and Hellmouth, Greenall embraces the spirit of these artists with a catchy single that’s sure to grab you right out the gate.
Greenall changes it up on I Told You That You’d Save My Life, trading in the stomping drums for a more flowing approach. He brings out the harmonica and recalls classic works by Petty and Neil Young. Transitioning to the emotive Sunset, Waves sacred meaning is fully realized. “Everybody wants a light on the way in.” Sunset embraces traditional folk vibes with an element of praise. Born out of southern churches and plantation hymnals, an instinctual song that never gets old. Greenall offers his personal touch to this classic feel. The spiritual troubadour, Adam Greenall embraces his deeper meaning in song. “Everybody needs a reason to hold on, everybody’s lost.”
Like a night on the town after the Sunset, Greenall presents his most indie pop iteration on Life Came To Waste Me. Staying true to this design, The 9 songs that make up Waves alternate between upbeat and introspective. It should appeal to fans of the aforementioned Lumineers and Mumford and Sons as well as deeper acts like Bonnie Light Horseman. Greenall displays both flashes of folks new popular update as well as a more traditional songwriting style in the spirit of early Dylan. The eclectic songwriter presents himself in many different ways, but always remains inspiring. There’s a glimmer of hope to riding these Waves.
Enjoy Sunset now on our Emerging Folk playlist.
Jacob Rountree shines on his new single Vertigo. Supported by his fantastic band, Vertigo is presented with atmospheric under layers that derive a dreamy vibe, lifting the organic foundation of Rountree’s picked guitar and expressive voice. Jacob’s vocals are rich, weathered, and ripe with personality.
A a songwriter, Rountree employs unconventional chord voicings with pop sensibility. Ethereal harmonies by Leah Dobby should connect with fans of Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear. The arrangement is innovative and progressive. Vertigo is an evolving journey. In the spirit of Jose Gonzalez it embraces an Eastern ethos, with Arabic style leads and Indian hand percussion from exotic drummer Marcus Bendon and percussionist Jacob Rountree. It’s all held together by the bass expertise of the expressive Jacob Rountree as well!
Vertigo recalls the native psychedelia of Lord Huron and Local Natives, a vibe first introduced in pop by the Jim Morrison and The Doors. Rountree embraces this mind-altering ethos, as Vertigo plays out like a hypnotic desert trip.
Vertigo is just a sneak peak of the bands upcoming record As I See It, due out June 3rd. Both Rountree and his band of merry innovators have been getting recognized in their native Boze, and even got to open for one of our favorites, Future Islands. This recognition should win the attention of the indie community, as Jacob Rountree is a buzz artist on the rise.
Dig in to Vertigo, now on our Emerging Folk playlist.