Passion and soul were discovered in abundance with Hammerhands, the new single from E.W. Harris. There’s a subtle dose of alternative country, but in essence it’s vintage rock and soul. An indie heart with classic sensibility, the record conjures memories of Wilson Picket and Otis Redding. It should also connect with fans of Chris Stapleton, Ray LaMontagne, and Nathanial Ratliffe.
The soulful vibe combines a combination of the blues and Southern hymnals, brought into the world of rock by Ray Charles and adapted by the masters throughout the 60s and early 70s. The vibe was lost on soul’s painful pop evolution in the late 70’s, a problem that still infiltrates R&B to this day. But E.W. Harris takes us back to the golden era. The performance is authentic, with his own acquired tremolo and tambre. Lively in the moment guitar work brings breathe and bounce. Atmospheric keyboards paint the desert sky where the organ would be. A slow shuffle lays the rhythmic plots of this indie shuffle.
We translated the lyric design of Hammerhands as a working mans lullaby, a middle class epic for the laboring class. Ironically, the press kit suggests we were way off. A much more complicated sci-fi concept drives this unassuming project. Dressed with classic soul sensibility, it can become whatever you want. Regardless of intention, we think it’s a masterpiece.
Hear Hammerhands now on our Emerging Folk Playlist
GIYA is a revelation on foggy hearts. Slightly disconnected and depressed, the story of foggy hearts is painfully familiar. The artist admits that she “wrote it after one of those moments where you look up, and everyone around you is either drinking themselves to death, or finding some other way to distract themselves.” The new social abnormal is a horrorshow for us introverts. Is there anything geniune anymore? GIYA wants to know, and she dresses her S.O.S with melodic beauty.
foggy hearts is built on a thin atmospheric layer that rests like it lingers for eternity. The main guitar is thoughtful and intriguing, with catchy tags that hook you and bring enough variation to keep you in it. The artists voice is smoky, full of depth and inherited wisdom. The vibe falls somewhere between Norah Jones and slower selections from Feist. It’s indie, but elegant.
GIYA could easily captivate with just her voice and her guitar. The subtle samples and sonic treats added are used tastefully, and never take away from the true essence of the performance. An unexpected drum accompanied by a keyboard join for a rhythmic break out of the bridge section. It’s a climactic moment that brings this feeling full circle. The moment is resolute, and GIYA is finite as she mutters “we start the weekend on a Monday.”
Find yourself in foggy hearts now on our Emerging Folk Playlist
The internet. It’s still an experiment in progress. The experience so far deserves commentary like you can finally see the end, the new release from artist apocalypse l8r. Recently they offered up two short songs as a commentary on how the internet has changed attention spans and other aspects of our lives. Musically it’s slightly curious but not inaccessible. There’s subtle clues to what musical inspirations may have influenced the artist in their writing, but the conceptual aspect suggests more diverse inspiration.
“Do you wanna know what I see? Looking at the world that’s over me?” There’s a hint of the existential, like an observer on the outside looking in. The artist recognizes that there is something odd about it but they don’t entirely admonish it. There’s a melancholy to the melodic design, a suggestive disappointment about how it all worked out.
The sad kid vibes have some stake in the classic works of Elliot Smith and Daniel Johnston. The elegant production recalls the bedroom pop of Badly Drawn Boy and Ween. Historically there’s some evidence of Brian Wilson and his limitless exploits. Short and sweet, the experiment proves one thing for certain, we were definitely left wanting more. It selfishly fits elegantly on our playlist as a beautiful vibey piece between almost any number.
Hear You can finally see the end now on our Emerging Folk Playlist
The wandering heart of Geoff Gibbons has been Waitin’ on a Train. A troubadours tale, the new single rings with the classic aura of outlaw country and southern rock.
A bygone vibe hijacked by the big label machine and it’s relentless promotion of 90s Country pop. But the classic vibe is timeless, and it’s been thrust back into the spotlight with revival acts like Brandie Carlile and Ryan Adams. There’s even full group acts like Trampled By Turtles and Old Crow Medicine who’ve built major platforms on an old time sound. Geoff Gibbons adds a nice entry to the movement with the new record. It has the melodic intellect of The Wrecking Crew, with lyrical traits that draw up visions of those first Western epics.
An Americana gem by way of Canada, Over his career Geoff has shared stages as an opening act for legendary artists such as Emmy-Lou Harris, T-Bone Burnette, David Crosby, Levon Helm and Rick Danko to name a few. A worthy contemporary to these icons, his projects convey an equal attention and understanding of these musical movements. That front row observation suggests he may have picked up a few tricks from the masters… or maybe they took some influence from his canon? It’s hard to tell when he’s dropping tunes as good as Waitin’ on a Train.
Get a taste now on our Emerging Folk Playlist.