As winter draws nearer, and the days become shorter, what you really need now is the soothing touch of some of the newest and best folk acts out there. So get the fire going, put your feet up, grab your cup of tea and settle in to those long evenings with this selection of great new music…
It’s always difficult to stomach the success of fellow graduates from your university, but fellow-Royal Holloway survivor Kelly Oliver has certainly made me check my envy in turn for appreciation. As well as showing a great deal of talent as a songwriter and musician, being able to create a tale that could match any traditional folk story, she also proves that simple dedication and self-belief can translate to success. Having already played the likes of Cambridge Folk Festival and Folkstock, there is no doubt that her fanbase will continue to grow with the release of her debut EP. Her light guitar sound and warming harmonica melodies are just the tip of the iceberg, and with a voice lifted right from the zenith of 60s folk, she’ll have no problem fitting in to the scene.
Based – Stevenage
Find her at – soundcloud.com/kellyoliver
Listen to – Far From Home
I never know what I’m going to hear when I first check out these new bands, and it is a welcome surprise when I come across a song like Andrew Ferris’ Smile, which, despite its sometimes morbid ideas, is a song of uplifting, heartening, passionate folk rock. His debut album Yellow Lorry touches on so many styles and inspirations that it is obvious Ferris has dedicated himself to the creation of this record for some time, and put all he could into it. He switches easily between endearing twee and politically aware tracks, whilst always dipping in and out of contagious positivity and charming sadness. Andrew Ferris is certainly a musician that can lift you out of a bad mood, and even change your outlook for the better, so, basically, he is a must for fans of good music and happiness.
Based – Austria
Find him at – andrewferris.com
Listen to – Smile
The Michael John McGlone Band
If great folk music is something that comes from the soul, then The Michael John McGlone Band are certainly making some great music. With Michael’s voice gruffly spinning tales of love to the sounds of pure toe-tapping, high energy folk music, the combination of lyrical tales and a real resolute passion for the genre show that The Michael John McGlone Band is not only capable of creating a powerful sound, but also one tinged with melancholy and an emotional flair. These things bring this group out from the crowds of regular folk bands and into a more refined collection of genre-ignoring musicians, who, from the sounds of it, are in it for the pure enjoyment. After a listen to his back catalogue, this is the sort of music that will make you want to seek them out live and have a good old hoedown.
Based – South London
Find them at – michaeljohnmcglone.co.uk
Listen to – I Like My Whisky Like My Women
Folk music may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Sweden, but acoustic pop duo OurTime are certainly trying their best to make it so. With Jonathan adding his touch of light, atmospheric guitar melodies and Linda providing her soaring vocals, which, as well as matching his mood perfectly, are so dizzyingly pleasant that they have a feeling of serenity, they create the kind of music to which you can close your eyes and just let soothe you. Their debut EP No Heart came out in 2012, and they have since began to flesh out their sound, but there is no doubt that they will continue to create the same soul-relieving tunes. OurTime are certainly a band to get into and drift off to during the oncoming winter nights.
Based – Stockholm
Find them at – ourtime.se
Listen to – No Heart
Now, naturally when you put four talented musicians together, you are going to end up with some good music, and this is certainly true of Darvra’s Wave, a group of experienced traditional musicians who, with their genre-transcending capacities, have created an album of hugely enjoyable celtic folk music, fit for die-hard fans and modern music-fans alike. Despite being steeped in history’s charm, Darvra’s Wave are a band that promote the love of music and the joy that can be brought forward through it, rather than tailor to a certain contemporary market. With each member being successful in their own right, the album is full of wonderful complements, spins of mythology and an innovative progressive feel to a traditional sound. Forget what you know of celtic music, because it’s about to be brought around again with a whole new feel.
Based – London
Find them at – darvraswave.com
Listen to – Joy To You