Happy New Year everyone! The festive season is now over and it’s no longer acceptable to overeat, drink in the mornings or stay in your pyjamas all day…apparently. Instead we’re all back at work and desperately trying to stick to that diet. However, for those of you who resolved to listen to more great new music like I did, here’s January’s Thank Folk For New Bands…
Although they only released their debut album last November, it’s fair to say that Stylusboy, made of Steve Jones and Rachel Grisedale, have already started making the most of their folk careers, supporting the likes of Newton Faulkner and gaining BBC6 Music’s Tom Robinson as a fan. The real success of Stylusboy comes from their tireless dedication to their music. Their songs are timeless and brushed with the authentic, quiet beauty of English folk music, but the fact that they can just as easily play online gigs in their kitchen as festival stages shows that whatever their audience, they’re just glad to be playing music. This is a band who can inject you with a real feeling of relief in knowing that modern folk music is heading in the right direction.
Based – Coventry
Find them at – stylusboy.co.uk
Listen to – Staring At The Sky
It’s vital in this business to have some sort of distinction to make you stand out, and Little Dusty have that neatly provided in their frontwoman who, with her at once distinguishing and effortlessly pleasing vocals, balances the musical talent with fluid lyricism and character. The tracks themselves are like short wafts of a summer breeze in that they just seem to wash over you with a warm satisfying sensation. The mood they set at the outset is incredibly consistent, and before you know it you’ve listened to their entire back catalogue, in a silent appreciative daze. Though they may seem twee on the surface, there’s a real lyrical power rippling underneath, one that I think could become very powerful as their audiences become bigger.
Based – Bristol
Find them at –soundcloud.com/littledusty
Listen to – Swimmer
All The Luck In The World
Sometimes it only takes a couple of seconds to know whether you are going to enjoy a new piece of music, and this was the case with Brighton based Irish three-piece All The Luck In The World. From the opening of their instrumental piece Low Beams I was hooked. The 19 year olds specialise in a full, suspenseful sound that seems to rise, fall and pulse so naturally that you just get swept away with it. For such a young band, and one who are already enjoying Youtube-based and commercial success, you can sense their love for the craft, and, rather than being mature for their age, I would say that the three-piece are simply applying their energy where it matters. And it is certainly working. Look out for their album on February 3rd.
Based – Brighton
Find them at – soundcloud.com/alltheluckintheworld
Listen to – Your Fires
Now, this band has already had a brief mention in the past Thank Folk For New Bands, but I feel that with their upcoming new EP it is certainly worth telling you about them again. This six-piece doesn’t waste a single ounce of their numbers with full harmonies and carefully created, melodic music. The effect of a group singing in sync really isn’t lost on them, as they delve in and out of harmony at just the right moments. Rather than the expected ‘wall of sound’ approach, they weave in and out of delicate rhythms, each member playing their own little part, to create something alive and beautiful. This coupled with the fact that they can just as easily create something emotionally rich as joyfully uplifting, means that this group certainly have something that could reach a variety of people.
Based – Stafford
Find them at – soundcloud.com/high-house
Listen to -Cold Hearts, Machine Parts
Side Saddle is the folk-pop alter-ego of New Yorker Ian McGuinness, and ahead of his debut EP The Postcard, he has recently released his first single Reverie. Now a lot of things can spring to mind when you are given ‘New York’ and ‘folk’ to go on, but Side Saddle definitely bucked the trend for me. The soaring harmonies, twee melodica riffs and uplifting rhythms seem perfectly suited to the traditional scene in the UK, but along with a few Americana blues guitar riffs, Side Saddle certainly has something fresh. He seems destined to be part of that movement that has its roots in traditional folk, but its career in commercial pop. And this is by no means a bad thing, because with music this charming, it doesn’t matter what the label is.
Based – New York
Find him at – soundcloud.com/sidesaddle
Listen to – Reverie