Emerging Folk – Varsha Thapa, MIHI NIHIL, Marlene Oak, Phillip LaRue

Varsha Thapa is haunting on her ethereal Damaged Planet.  Her siren delivery soars with exotic presence and eastern flare.  She conjures an instinctual melodic elegance, reclaimed from music’s ancient origin.  A beautiful, untamed arrangement adds to the rare attraction. 

Damaged Planet remains approachable without resigning to radio convention.  Fans of Jessica Pratt and Weyes Blood will instantly connect with its vibe commitment.  Varsha Thapa captures an elusive sound sought by all, but only delivered by the spiritual chosen.  

Damaged Planet is featured on our Emerging Folk Playlist.  

MIHI NIHIL is inspiring on their recent So Please.  This canyon Alt Country rocker recalls the classic soul inspiring touch of The Allman Brothers with a contemporary flair known to icon Carole King and some back country Creedence a la Lucinda Williams. It’s more Nashville than Hollywood but it bears evidence of every highway in between. 

It’s Soul Rock Americana served hot.  It could just have easily been The Band or Neil Young.  It nails the sentiment without sounding derivative.  An instant classic in its own right, MIHI NIHIL belongs on tour with My Morning Jacket. 

They describe So Please as a soulful gothic-country ode to The Clash.  Joe Strummer and crew deserve such a passionate epic homage.  Flying far under the radar, you’d be lucky to catch MIHI NIHIL in some dusty LA dive they call home.  Where the rust turns to gold and the beers are served cold.  Sounds like a dream. 

Hear So Please now on our Emerging Folk and Indie Country Playlist. 

You should not overlook Marlene Oak and the majesty of Big Time.  An expressive, dreamy indie folk release, it bears evidence of Joni Mitchell with the updated indie spirit of Kathleen Edwards.  The instrumentation is dense and the arrangement is thoughtful.  The lyrical intention is meaningful and an important detail of her art.  Marlene describes Big Time as a song about finding joy in the simplicity of life.  An important sentiment for a generation looking to reconnect after an upbringing of electric distraction, Big Time is about keeping what matters to you close, instead of focusing on what everyone else wants for you. 

Hear Big Time now on our Emerging Folk Playlist.


Phillip LaRue is royal on his gorgeous Indigo.  The calculated inflections bounce lively from his textured guitar.  The tempered wood bends with warmth and acoustic brilliance.  The textured underlayer gives Indigo organic roots from which to flourish.  His voice and songwriting, somewhere between the blue eyed soul of David Gray and the campfire charm of the Head and the Heart.  Like both, he brings crossover potential with undeniable indie cred.  That dynamic detail offers the Nashville based songwriter NPR attention.  Indigo should be on the fast track for indie folk fresh finds. 

Hear it now on our Emerging Folk Playlist.  


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