Emerging Folk – Tobias Arbo, Freddy Armstrong, Sonofdov, Lake Palmer, Kris Woodbird

Tobias Arbo is dreamy on their inventive new single Saudade.  The prickling arrangement tickles your auditory senses, as the stereo design pitters and patters with melodic percussive plucks.  The puzzled design creates an acquired harmonic range, bubbling beneath his soft tempered vocal.  A soft trumpet brings classic charm.  The overall arrangement is serene.  We find strong evidence of inventive soft indie icons like Sufjan Steves and Beirut. 

Tobias Arbo is the artist project of the Swedish musician and songwriter Tobias Ekelund Saudade is the first single on the EP, due for release in spring 2023 via CRC Records. Tobias recorded the EP with producers Linus and Hannes Hasselberg in a tiny 17th-century house-turned-studio in southern Stockholm. When production was finished, he recruited producer Zach Hanson to mix, who is well-known for working with acts such as Bon Iver, Waxahatchee, and Sylvan Esso. Those correlations should award Tobias consideration, but its not just a foot in the door.  He’ll be walking right through with songs so mesmerizing. 

Say you heard it first.  Hear Saudade now on our Emerging Folk Playlist.

Freddy Armstrong and Wednesday’s Wolves team up on the new single IYWT.  The tonal palette and measured precision is wondrous.  It lifts the dreamy composition to cinematic heights.  The progressive whiplash of the arrangement accentuates the drama. 

IYWT is more of a sonic art piece than a song, embellishing a unique acquired vibe, unanimous in how its blends the tonal spectrum.  It’s most enticing feature is the haunting vocal performances and how they compliment each other.  It’s the closest thing to a duet in the vein of cinematic indie, with soulful intention that blends like Hozier mixed with Fleet Foxes.  The vibe is legit, with enough melodic catch to break through.  Full of compositional variation and surprise, you could spin it on repeat and just baske in its mystique.  

Enjoy IYWT now on our Emerging Folk Playlist

Sonofdov polishes the vintage rust on his intoxicating new single Carbon and Gold.  The melodic design rings with nostalgic presence, that timeless appeal known to 80s Springsteen and more recently Ryan Adams.  The Springsteen sound was derived from a combination of the classics.  Indirectly it’s connected with folk and hymnals.  Intentionally it mirrors rockabilly.  Springsteen admits its all infiltrated with the ethos of 60s Rock. 

Sonofdov carves out their own space within this tradition.  The presentation is both haunting and seductive.  The lyrics are wise, slightly abstract but approachable and adaptable.  In the spirit of Springsteen, they call for simpler times, and honor a less superficial existence, where our life journey was more genuine and less complicated.  It laments the corporate machine with a poetic cloak.  “My streets are overgrown with carbon and gold, starving for mercy, do as we’re told.  Dive into my ocean, the bitter cold, I’ll make you a believer if you sell your soul.”  

Vibe into Carbon and Gold now on our Emerging Folk Playlist 

Lake Palmer caught our attention with their new album Vagrants.  The expansive 11 song release projects a prolific standard, as a band prescribes to the classic songwriters ethos.  The recordings are appropriately lively, sharing in the authentic genuine appeal.  The raw presentation is all akin to their punk ethos, a perceived underlying influence reflected in the folky angst and attitude.  It’s raw, but not ragged.  The band is tight, pumping through upbeat opening numbers Take My Life and Givin Up

On the outset it connects with early Wilco and more upbeat selections from Bright Eyes.  Songwriters who share in those punk roots, redressing it with alt country appeal.  The melodic intention and inherently catchy appeal recalls The Replacements.  The sentiment is embellished on aggressive performances like Spit On My Face.  

The alt country americana moments are bright and littered throughout, most prevalent on singles likes My Girl, Meet Me At The Station, and Solid Ground.  That flavor connects with releases by Avette Brothers and even early Mumford and Sons with its stomp and holler appeal.  But Lake Palmer always hits a little more aggressive and pissed.  

The eclectic stylistic flow suits the albums design, it keeps the record fresh.  Certainly they could have given in to modern pressures to release most of theses as singles in advance of the album.  It’s just not what their about, and it shows in the bands tight energetic nature.  Lake Palmer came tonight to burn it down.

The whole albums slaps.  Get started with Givin Up now on our Emerging Folk Playlist

We marveled at the hypnotic appeal of I Would Appear Like This, the new single from Ukrainian based songwriter Kris Woodbird.  His drunken delivery is rightfully intoxicating, as he rambles his way through the composition with incoherent charm.  The presentation feels in the moment, almost improvised from an emotion inspired tangent, as if he hangs over his guitar after a long night at the pub, soothing himself to sedation.  It could get overlooked as rudimentary but you’d be undervaluing its purity and subtle genius.  In that manner its shares traits with the work of Daniel Johnston. 

Woodbird, however, is less quirky than Johnston.  His works sound more derived from the legacies of Springsteen’s Nebraska or Gregory Alan Isakov.  It’s a sad man’s serenade, with a performance that illuminates the soul of a man and all it’s complicated vulnerabilities.  It’s also not an accident.  Woodbird is an indie artistic journeyman whose dipped between eclectic stylistic worlds.  He knows what this folk brings, and he honors it’s intention by letting it be received in this raw unforgiving manner.  

Enjoy I Would Appear Like This now on our Emerging Folk Playlist


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