Emerging Folk – nelleke, Ruby Waters, Eyði Horsdal, Steven Taetz

We lost ourselves in the dreamy melancholy of hotel song, the new single from nelleke.  A smart composition, it’s accessible but rare in its resolutions.  The progressive contrast builds the conceptual drama.  Beauty meets turmoil in the unassuming outro.  Admittingly a “bipolar story,” the two musical worlds are cinematic music poetry.  The writing reminds us of cult gems like Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake. 

Modern indie pop breakouts are cited in the press release as similar artists.  But for now, nelleke appears to be in an elite compositional class.  Perhaps a byproduct of her studies at Berklee, or by some amalgamation of influence and upbringing.  Lyrical clues offer a sense of the complications, all left available to the onlooker, a naked vulnerability you enjoy cautiously.  It’s a testament to her genuine delivery and innocent affect, you want to tell her its magnificent, but you wonder if its worth the hurt it took to get here. 

Enjoy hotel song now on our Emerging Folk Playlist

Ruby Waters is intriguing on the new single Heather.  Her raspy sultry delivery draws you in, and the compositions unfamiliar design enhances the curious appeal.  The melodic vibe is enticing, but the overtly honest and unfiltered lyrics absolutely sold us.  It comes within the first 30 seconds, the kind of unexpected quip that makes you turn your head and think to yourself, “did she say I what I think she said.”  She does it charmingly though, it doesn’t appear rude, its more so an element of her truth, adding to the substance of this narrative.  “Maybe I should go to bed, I can masturbate instead, Or whatever passes the time, And wipes you from my mind.  I miss doing cocaine with you, Wish I could just go back in time, And rack each of us one more line, But the bag is all gone now.”

With some R&B flavor it reminds us of Remi Wolf and Sia, but dressed in a folky arrangement of bare acoustic and voice.  That shouldn’t disqualify her from the alternative R&B designation, rather, it gives Waters her own space to flourish. Recently she’s been embraced by the folk festival circuit, but we believe some crossover fans should follow.

Dig into Heather now on our Emerging Folk Playlist. 

Eyði Horsdal is haunting on his new single Foolish Blue.  The charming performance feels harmless, the kind of sensitive soft affect that awards him babysitting inquiries.  The sweet song turns to sad boy serenade out of the first section as a dooming daunting chord change introduces a temperament shift.  That initial Daniel Johnston vibe turns cold, overwhelmed by the clouds of reality and knowing.  That was Johnstons magic trick, his special ability to see around it.  Horsdal isn’t so lucky, he shares in Johnston’s melodic presence but sees deeper into the dark throes of life.  

Musically we also found evidence of piano numbers by John Lennon and more recently Badly Drawn Boy.  It’s akin to piano music that has little to no derivative from the blues, more linked to show tunes and later adapted in modern pop.  Its a pretty mid show soliloquy, center stage under the unforgiving spotlight, alone and without the cloak of a dance troop or choir crowd.  Just Horsdal, his voice, and some electric samples to illustrate the frantic chaotic electric atmosphere of our times.  An old soul forced to push through the pain of our modern experience.  

Enjoy Foolish Blue now on our Emerging Folk Playlist. 

Steven Taetz is classic on his new single Late Bloom.  With swagger and slicker attitude the revivalist crooner settles elegantly beneath this vintage Nashville groove.  An atmospheric pedal steel offers the work conceptual time and space.  There are modern sensibilities in the crisp mix, and eclectic details like the Freddie Mercury style call and response coming out of the bridge section.  Mostly it recalls the works of Chris Isaak and Roy Orbison, groovy crooners with rare voices and elite emotion.  

Bloom engulfs you with slight vibrato.  The picture perfect vocal showcases his stylistic intonation, a detail known to the classic crooners.  So often misunderstood for their lack of flagrant modern runs coming out of lines, the approach in those times was different.  Taetz embraces that classic intellect, and he does it convincingly.  

Enjoy Late Bloom now on our Emerging Folk Playlist


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