Emerging Folk – Laughter Lines, Haley Harkin, Nicki Wells, Frank Rabeyrolles

Laughter Lines is ironic to Keep Score.  The songwriter chronicles the rising divorce rates during the pandemic, adding his own vulnerabilities of having been married at the onset of the crisis.  His anxiety is presented in a charming and playful manner, adding relatability to this spiraling narrative.  That attribute shows that he’s more than just a clever agent.  Keep Score is beautifully produced with stylistic intention and sonic prowess. The artist matches the smart mix with a solid vocal performance.  His voice is genuine and believable, quivering with worry in the verse sections and exploding with emotion in the revelatory bridge.  

A damn good listen no matter how you swing it, Keep Score is also an important period piece.  Lyrically it elegantly recalls how regular folks processed these changes, how we adapted and mentally configured our new existence.  That detail is emphasized in lyrics like “We missed trash day again.  Rinse and repeat.  Surviving the week.”  

Fans of punk inspired indie folk artists like Elliot Smith and Alex G will connect with Laughter Lines melodic inclinations and stylistic flair.  We hear major crossover potential. 

Hear Keep Score now on our Emerging Folk Playlist

Haley Harkin

Haley Harkin returns with a new full length record To Heal Her Too. It’s the follow up to last years breakout folk release To Heal Her. The new record erupts with the spiritual folk of Beauty.  A scraped guitar rings with harmonious texture.  The vocal flows like a mantra as a puttering drum adds to the songs hypnotic affect.  This is the intoxicating folk you seek.  You imagine stumbling upon Harkin behind layers of Gypsy sheer, bent upon the altar of her divine wisdom and medicinal song.  With just a few lines she reconfigures your psyche while infuriating your desire with her elite seduction.  Now that you’ve been properly reconfigured, you can absorb these works distraction free. 

Beauty reels you in, and the vibe evolves with an indie folk appeal on the subsequent Teacher.  Altogether the 11 dynamic works that make up the new record highlight her prolific dazzle.  Eloquently produced, she scans the spectrum of folk instrumentation, employing an array of strings and percussion throughout.  At the focal point is her urban draw, slightly rusted with an emotional vibrato that she dictates strategically.  This earth folk has flashes of Ani DiFranco, Anais Mitchell, and Joni Mitchell mixed throughout.  Harkin would make perfect sense as an addition to Righteous Babe.  She’s due for a breakout on the national folk fest scene where these Earth tones can help you escape life’s new electric conundrum. 

Haley Harkin is currently featured on our Emerging Folk Playlist

Songwriter Nicki Wells is a rare talent who pulls from a unique set of influences and inspiration.  That sentiment is showcased on her new release I Have Longed To Be Here.  Exotic melodic inclinations are attributed to the influence of Indian Classical and Bulgarian Folk.  There’s an instinctual ancient reverence to Wells sound.  It gives her works an ethereal spiritual affect. 

I Have Longed To Be Here unfolds like a tribal lament, one that knows the horrors of this world and all that’s sacrificed to resolve them.  It both honors and heals our flawed history.  

Nicki Wells hangs long seamlessly endless notes ripe with pain and suffering.  She pulls from some deep unconscious reservoir of suppressed memory.  Its as much a song as it is a call to action, or empowering reclamation as the songs title suggests.  Stylistically, with a chamber flair it bridges the gap between the exotic experimental musings of Bjork and  the ethereal ambient works of Enya.  The companion video features peaceful and dramatic footage set deep in the mountainous countryside.  It was created and edited by Ananya Tanttu.  

Nicki Wells is currently featured on our Emerging Folk Playlist 

Frank Rabeyrolles has been on our radar for the last year, and for good reason. The imaginative songwriter is innovative with a nostalgic flair that graces the history of 60s psych pop.  That treasured era that documented psychedelics first influence on music has since evolved with mainstream watered down convention.  Rabeyrolles recovers that classic feel donning new clothes and melancholy cool colors.  After dripping singles with buzz potential, he arrives in full on his new 10 track collection Boat Songs.  The histories of Donovan and Syd Barrett are heard on tracks like Even Space.  They collide with indie updates reminiscent of Mac Demarco and Kurt Vile on catchy moments like I Wish and Surfing to Nowhere.  He can also be elusive and dreamy like on Post of Post.  

Like musical melatonin these jams bring an emotional sedative that’s sneaky groovy.  These grooves have pick-you-up jive in contrast to the cool compositions, guaranteed to hit harder in concert.  Presented in this manner, its the perfect soundtrack to cruise to on an afternoon beachside bike ride or even more appropriate, on a lake boat drive.  

Frank Rabeyrolles is featured on our Emerging Folk Playlist


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