By way of Sayulita, Mexico we are gifted Charlie Higgins & Sunset Station. A talented storyteller with Americana flair and classic appeal, Higgins pens an original with his charming Suzanna. A tail of two paths drawn from the same soil, Higgins examines life’s ironic curiosities. Whether it be fate or misfortune, perspective failures will always ponder another’s suspected success. But the concept is flawed, as success is subjective.
“Suzannah” tells the story of a re-encounter at a Canadian dive bar between a guy and a girl “born in the same town, in the same hospital, just two years apart”; she’s travelled the world and made a name for herself, while he’s your classic failure to launch. But there’s plenty of room left to roll, and Higgins character seems fine to revel in his peers exciting history. Perception and the attitude you carry gives this story charm.
Higgins and band present it with melodic inclinations known to Springsteen and production flare akin to Van Morrison. Like Van the man, the slow groove has New Orleans swagger to match Higgins street wise draw. Charlie sings like he’s been around a time or two, with more unassuming tales to tell about our collective experience. In a world void of fresh substance, Higgins scores some buried treasure.
Enjoy Suzanna now on our Emerging Folk Playlist
Francis Eden get backs to her roots with her new single Keeping Time. The crisp bright snap from her expressive acoustic has classic appeal. The tone is drawn from the tonal canon of Neil Young and analog vinyl acoustic dreams. Eden enhances the full affect with a rare raw delivery, a new candid alteration in jest of her recent Fool’s Gold. Digging deep and dressed in fashionable indie spirit, we found correlations to acoustic works by Big Thief and the punk inspired folk that she parades as an inspiration.
Eden’s guitar work is in the moment, embracing little tempo hiccups in lieu of digital temptations. The quality is ironic and assumingly by design considering the song’s title. Angelic backing vocals are a moment of contemporary contrast to the otherwise abstract work. Keeping Time is meant to serve as a figurative token, offering some solace to the broken. You absorb it in the way that you absorb a heart wrenching art film. Eden exposes her vulnerability in contrast to her other work. She shows herself to be a multi-leveled, more complicated artist than suspected. With only a couple cuts to her catalog, she has our full attention.
Enjoy Keeping Time now on our Emerging Folk Playlist
Anxiety Club is blissful on their sentimental new single Old Dreams. There’s a classic appeal to the bare introductory design of piano and voice, as the singer passionately croons this tale of reflection and contemplative closure. In our new era of melodic supremacy, Old Dreams separates itself with lyrics and charm. It’s undeniably authentic, the same genuine appeal that attracts music lovers to Daniel Johnston. It’s also clever and in the moment in the spirit of John Lennon, and how his solo catalog always sounded purposefully intimate and candid. There’s also evidence of modern indie melodic shifts heard in recent updates by bedroom pop songwriters like Badly Drawn Boy.
The recording is slightly noisy, giving it a vintage quality. The artist suggests that it’s deliberately lo-fi, though we found it to be more of a period piece with mixed qualities. The voice is crystal clear and bright, meant to accentuate every layer of the singers sincere delivery. An elegant offering of strings and chamber vocals in the songs closing half are the only production twist that’s wanted, or needed. The production does help take Old Dreams from the demo space to the needle. Hopefully it won’t be overlooked for it’s vintage presentation, as it is one of the best straightforward songs we’ve heard this year.
Enjoy Old Dreams now on our Emerging Folk Playlist
We were smitten with Somebody for the Winter Time. The new single from Thomas, Howe, and Kear conjures memories of folks last mainstream run. It embodies the sixties appeal of summery vibes and flower power aesthetic without delving into the fire-pit of cheesy contemporary slop. We can still embrace some hippie bred folky goodness if it feels bred from the same cloth as The Mamas and the Papas or the Carpenters. These were song masters that made simple musical ingredients sound magical. Part of it was an attestant of their inherent talents, and Thomas, Howe, and Kear share that trait. The group harmonies on the new single settle like they’re cut by the masters. The lyrical sentiment is simple and direct, and in this presentation it’s believable and sexy in the spirit of Joni Mitchell and how she snuck innuendo into her musical poetry.
Somebody for the Winter Time will please fans looking for a true folk revival. It should connect with artists like Bonnie Light Horseman and Darlingside. Though the comparisons offer suggestions as to where to group this, Somebody for the Winter Time is like nothing we’ve heard out of the indie folk space. It’s rare to hear a true folky gem that sounds this fresh.
Hear Somebody for the Winter Time now on our Emerging Folk Playlist