Emerging Folk – Sylvan Weekends, Freyr, Pocket Fox, pri abrol

We got drawn into the compositional surprise of Symmetry, the new single from Sylvan Weekends.  The song has swift movements.  That variation is its first striking feature, a catchy detail that will keep an unfamiliar listener.  The calculated guitar pushes the tempo forward as the percussive cadence of the vocal design injects additional energy and drama.

The contrasting layered vocals offer depth and harmonious width.  His voice is rich and textured, while hers blends elegantly within it.  The combination of clever songwriting and an exquisite arrangement make this an indie folk must.  Stylistically it bridges the gap between the Lumineers and Bon Iver.  It reimagines the limitations of “stomp and holla” with a unique cadence that’s equally dramatic and energetic.  Sylvan Weekends are innovative within an acoustic first package, using the studio to accentuate their compositions best features. 

Hear Symmetry now on our Emerging Folk Playlist.  

Freyr is gorgeous on their recent Abandoned Places.  A solid single at its essence, it enhanced by a dramatic music video featuring bright cinematography and convincing performances by its leads.  The quick cuts parrallell the music’s intelligent design.  Clever implementations of call and response are both valuable to the narrative and aesthetically compelling.  There’s a calm fury to the sound of Freyr.  A quiet storm that brews and stews within. This is how we imagine Kings of Convenience might sound if produced by Bon Iver. 

The arrangement is elegant.  Slightly produced, but spacious enough to give every instrument and voice its space in the mix.  During 2022 the Scandinavian alternative artist traded Sweden for Germany.  Living out of various Airbnbs for nearly five weeks, he conjured up initial ideas on his laptop in a state of perpetual motion physically, emotionally, and spiritually. To capture the energy of this season, he decamped to Altea on the coast of Valencia in Spain. Working out of the Farkosten studio, he recorded with producer Mattias Eklund [Devin Townsend, Lisa Miskovsky] during a handful of sessions. 

Check out the video and hear Abandoned Places now on our Emerging Folk Playlist

Pocket Fox caught our attention with their new full length release Birch Leaves.  Elegant innovative folk, it has one foot in the past and one in the present.  There are organic offerings to balance the indie folk inspired moments featured throughout.  Songs like the title track and the subsequent Books and Stuff.  They feel more connected to folks first breakout movement, that of the 50’s and 60’s, than more recent indie first releases.  Pocket Fox understands the legacies of Pete Seeger and Joan Baez and have some purveyor appeal.  That should win them favor in the roots festival circuit.  

There are also immersive harmonies, like on Patterns. A feature that could connect them to indie breakouts like Darlingside.  Their secret sauce is in how they embrace each others unique presence.  A diverse set of voices, they trade off leads effortlessly.  It gives the collective record a cinematic affect, a sort of imaginative theatre. It suits there progressive nature, emphasized on songs like the aforementioned peppy Patterns and stand out Bones.  The entire record is interesting and never derivative.  It’s packed full of surprise and a strong listen front to back. 

Pocket Fox is currently featured on our Emerging Folk Playlist

Pri Abrol has struck gold with her newest release. Cereal evokes a feeling of comfort reminiscent of a hug from a long-missed loved one. The simple instrumental arrangement gently carries the listener along while a tale of love and loss unfolds. The ethereal, flowing vocals blend effortlessly to immerse the listener, and keep their focus on the story being told. This is Pri’s first single since her 2022 album ‘say my name’, and we can tell there is much more to come.

Cereal is a song for rainy days, sleepless nights, and remembering better times. The soothing vocal performance alludes to femme folk masters like Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, with the ever-shifting harmonies of Belle and Sebastian. If Pri Abrol has been flying under your radar, now is the time to fix that!

Hear cereal now on our Emerging Folk playlist.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s