Around this time of year, when each day threatens the start of the snow, and the ever-growing temptation to never leave your bed takes on full effect, the music scene comes alive with endless releases and bands powering home on their tours to make it back for Christmas. We here at Thank Folk For That have compiled a little stocking full of great new artists to make sure your festive playlist isn’t all Wham! and Mariah Carey…
Miss Irenie Rose
Something we’ve been hearing a lot more of in popular folk music lately is the warm, traditional sound of a proper Scottish accent. The Scottish music scene is currently bursting with dark, whimsical artists, one of which is Miss Irenie Rose. Hailing from the Isle of Lewis she has dedicated her time to playing as much as she can on the island, and in doing so she has caused quite a stir in the Scottish scene, catching the attention of, and being highly recommended by, Rachel Sermanni. She has only released one EP and I could only find a handful of songs online, but it feels as though you’re listening to songs that span a whole career. Her style is so flexible and confident, but so intimate in their simple truth and her raw talent. I think Miss Irenie Rose has a lot waiting for her off the island.
Based – Lewis, Western Isles
Find Her At – facebook.com/missirenierose
Listen To – Rascal
There has never been such a fruitful time for female singer songwriters in the genre than now, and this success means that you need two things in abundance to succeed: talent and tenacity. Sophie Jamieson has both of these things, and her hard work is certainly showing. Her constant gigging within the London folk scene led to her being included in Folkroom Records’ second anthology, and the attention she has been gaining from London radio stations is cementing her name as one of the capital’s most recognised new acoustic acts. Her greatest talent lies in creating an atmosphere, her songs, though just a girl and a guitar, have such a depth and resonant strength to them, that they seem to pull you down into a world of their own. With the promise of a debut EP next year, her foothold in the London folk world is sure to get even stronger.
Based – Cambridge/London
Find Her At – facebook.com/sophiejamiesonmusic
Listen To – Dinah
Main Section Mayhem
Main Section Mayhem are band that describe themselves as ‘acoustic chaos’ and don’t fail to deliver it. Just looking through their tracklist, which has songs such as Stealin’, Salty Dog and Raise A Ruckus, it’s obvious that this is a band that is not only proud of their deep American sound and style, but one that is embracing the good old-fashioned rhythm and blues lifestyle of playing music and drinking alcohol. It’s refreshing to hear a band that is so truly doused in the American spirit and bring every part of their Alabama life to their music. Their album could just as easily soundtrack a drive across the states as it could a bar fight, and the complete no holds barred energy they have is almost enough for me to throw over my desk, drain my alcohol cupboard and find the nearest hoedown.
Based – Birmingham, Alabama
Find Them At – mainsectionmayhem.bandcamp.com
Listen To – When I Get Home
Having started out as just a bedroom project, Oh Stockholm! has certainly escalated into something bigger and better. Lead singer Mike was joined by Anna on violin, and then they were joined by Sam on percussion and the whole melodic, wistful outfit was born. They have a dry charm to them, and make the same kind of pleasant, coming of age folk music that Noah & the Whale were making on their debut album, and Oh Stockholm! have a beautiful purity to them, making them a band that you would happily bring home to meet your mother. This really is a band who shows how much you can do with just a guitar, a violin and percussion; the enchanting music they make doesn’t come from complicated arrangements, but from playing together and singing songs that mean something to you. Beneath their innocent exterior, it’s obvious Oh Stockholm! have a deep musical soul.
Based – Birmingham
Find Them At – facebook.com/ohstockholmmusic
Listen To – Grandma
Whilst listening to Fields Of Sleep, a track from Scattered Few’s debut album A Dozen Sirens, which came out early this year, I was confused. Firstly, I couldn’t understand how the members, Jena and Andy, had managed to create such a comprehensive, exciting and engaging track between the two of them, and secondly, I wasn’t sure how a band with all the beautiful, simple arrangements of The XX and vocals like a British Lucy Ward has passed me by until now. The soft, but controlled and warming, vocals of Jena blend so easily with the endless guitar riffs, which pulse through each track, and together they create more of a full, darkening atmosphere than a collection of songs. Listening through their album makes you want to experience them live, where you could really feel the way the mysterious ambience would leave you open-mouthed and fully soothed.
Based – Reading
Find Them At – scattered-few-acoustic.co.uk
Listen To – Fields Of Sleep