Emerging Folk – Ben Arsenault, Katie Fry, Farrow and The Peach Leaves, Arny Margret, Young Coal

Ben Arsenault is vintage Country Soul on his new single Hold On To You.  With a classic croon he leans into an acquired accent.  His voice suits this Cowboy waltz with its melancholy affect and remorseful narrative. Unassuming, but believable, we were drawn into his voices exotic and classic presentation.  The lyrics are also sentimental and relatable.  We’re all guilty of holding on too long from time to time.  Check out the companion music video to catch the full vibe.  

A wandering lapsteel paints a conceptual desert sunset, dressing the melodic atmosphere and gluing the music together.  Paired with the organ they bring hefty nostalgia to this Nashville ballad.  An old soul, only the dirty guitar chords and updated mix find something in common with the alt-country of today.  

Overall Arsenault nails a classic feel, connecting with revivalists like Melissa Carper.  Arsenault aims for a different era, but has the same M.O.  His sound connects with the classic works of Townes Van Zandt and Merle Haggard.  With an indie sensibility and the sad Cowboy appeal he also connects with recent releases by Justin Townes Earle and in a more mainstream light Tyler Childers.  

Hear Hold On To You now on our Emerging Folk Playlist.

Katie Fry gave us back that summer feel on her delightful new single Somewhere Far Away.  A seasonal purveyor, Fry offers a melodic summer escape fit for any time of year.  Paired with a soft sound design, the carefree narrative only accentuates the songs vibe.  Fry helps you feel free in the moment, peeling away your anxious layers with every inspired lyric.  “Riding bikes with my best friend until the road, it dead ends.  We go out every night until we hear our Mother’s call at dinner time.”  So blissful, these cherished memories.  Immortalizing them in song like precious keepsakes you can return to it at any moment, to bring you back to that youthful safety.  

Produced elegantly with a picture perfect mix, a voice this sweet has mainstream potential.  It borders between Nashville and the general singer songwriter movement in the same way that Sheryl Crow or Kacey Musgraves found early success between both worlds.  Katie’s talent is undeniable, with the innate ability to captivate any coffeehouse or command a full band.  Her voice has a subtle sultry appeal, just enough to help a small city girl shine through in the big industry.  The Sacramento native should fit in just fine in her native California.  Her music brings classic Laurel Canyon appeal.  That vibe is an NPR delight, and Fry would be smart to set her sites on the World Cafe, where these indie country vibes are well received. 

Hear Somewhere Far Away now on our Emerging Folk Playlist

Farrow and the Peach Leaves promote the release of a new album by dropping the new single All Blue.  The progressive Americana hit flaunts the bands collective party spirit.  Passionate classic country vibes recall the essence of The Allman Brothers.  It’s that trademark bond, that Brotherly spirit, that shines through on All Blue.  At the root of their sound is vocalist and songwriter Graham Farrow Knibb.  His raw and rusty voice brings authenticity, injecting a rugged feel that suits their reckless style.  All Blue remembers a time when music still flowed like the Mississippi River, untamed and willing to adapt in jest with the energy and spirit of the moment.  It offers a chance of in concert improvisation, a detail that gives the group attractive festival potential.  

Did we mention that these dudes just slay?  A highlight is a really impressive lap steel performance that is more than the typical atmosphere slide work we often see with indie folk.  The collective players dig into their instruments, drawing inspiration from Knibb’s passionate performance.  It’s a raucous rocker that we’d love to take in live.  With alt country appeal and classic rock flavor Farrow and The Peach Leaves fit in to that stylistic realm known to The Marcus King Band and The Revivalists.  

Dig into All Blue now on our Emerging Folk playlist.  

Arny Margret is genuine on her new single whatever it means.  Presented to us with a beautiful live companion video, the performance is offered bare and in the moment.  It succeeds at accentuating her natural talent and intoxicating vocal presence.  Putting voice to visual body brings an element of surprise, so young but mature in her delivery she shines like a songwriting and performing prodigy.  

Her carefully calculated guitar work and vintage feel are equally captivating.  Hats off to the engineers who captured her so elegantly, bypassing the pop filter so every texture of her voice could shine through.  She approaches the microphone masterfully, backing off and using pro dynamics like a 20 year troubadour on their well travelled path.  This is the elite songwriting and vocal presence known to Brandi Carlisle and Gregory Alan Isakov.  Watch the video and hear the song now on our Emerging Folk Playlist

Young Coal is ethereal on Ideulogy (Faith is a gun).  An interesting play on words like the duality of the song itself, Young Coal presents an atmospheric indie folk feel with stomp and holler moments interjected into its picked up sections.  Undeniably spiritual with sweeping psychedelic echoes that reimagine chamber church folk as a dreamscape with modern intellect, it connects with the early celebrated works of Fleet Foxes.  We also hear melodic similarities to Lord Huron.  Ideulogy is immersive, conjuring images of evolving worlds with is progressive movements. 

With a heavy lyrical narrative that chronicles the magic and mystery that is theology, it flirts with the idea that this cloaked knowledge, basked in metaphors, is no happy accident.  That theoretical opiate of the masses, meant to relax our complicated fears as we grow into threats of enlightening through trial and tribulation.  Boasting that it was recorded in The Room in the Abyss, it’s all by design.  Young Coal knows exactly where their music exists, and their nailing the sentiment. 

Lose yourself to Ideulogy (Faith is a gun) now on our Emerging Folk Playlist.  

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