Francis & Boyd
Bellowhead may lead the folk world in how many band members they can fit onto a stage at once, but coming close are seven-piece Francis & Boyd and they certainly don’t waste any of their number. They have a wonderful traditional feel that has the potential to fill any large venue with their powerful sound and blow the doors off a smaller one, and lyrics and vocals that weave and work with the music at such a fundamental and emotional level. Despite their numbers, they can slide effortlessly from a full, explosion of music to a soft, controlled ballad with remarkable ease and make the bonding of a group of musicians look like the easiest and most natural task in the world.
Based – London
Find them at – soundcloud.com/francisandboyd
Listen to – Beware The Knowers
Now I won’t lie, I had the same reaction to Connor Bannister as I did when I first saw Rae Morris live. Both have amazing hair. But back to business. Connor is an 18 year-old singer from Lincolnshire and has that amazing talent of creating songs that are at once so genuinely moving and effortlessly heartfelt. Each song has a depth of layers and it is no surprise that even Lucy Rose has shown her appreciation for this guy, calling his song Father ‘honestly beautiful’. And it is his honesty that is his winning quality, because when you strip down music to its essentials, just someone with their guitar, and get stuff like this out of it, then you start to question why you would need anything more.
Based – Lincolnshire
Find him at – soundcloud.com/connorlbannister
Listen to – Open Gates
From just a few listens to Evie Woods’ music, it is already apparent that this girl is capable of making a soundtrack for any mood. The first track I came across, Dust, has such a free and easy vibe to it and a riff that wouldn’t sound out of place in Bombay Bicycle Club with its slick, rolling sound; but as I went on I discovered a soft side and a side of real, natural beauty that comes with a blend of a confident singer/songwriter and like-minded, talented musicians. Evie released her debut EP last October and has already gained a respectable following in her part of the world, and with upcoming dates across the country she is sure to carry on gaining more with her intricate and beguiling acoustic collection.
Based – Bristol
Find her at – www.eviewoods.com
Listen to – Dust
With a great mix of old country vocals, soaring, twanging guitars and a toe-tapping rhythm, Reichenbach Falls are a wonderful reintroduction of honest old heartfelt folk, and also a refreshing reminder of how easy making real, good music can seem. Their new EP ‘I’ll Never Go Anywhere Without Her Now’ has four songs just full of old country grace and new-age poetic beauty. Each song feels like it has a story behind it, and the plethora of talented musicians they have involved certainly don’t go to waste in the making of this elegant, wistful collection. Reichenbach Falls are a band with an obvious talent for making meaningful music sound effortless.
Based – Oxford
Find them at – www.reichenbachfallsmusic.com
Listen to – The Best I Could