Folk

Artist: 
Peter Oren
Label: 
Western Vinyl

Peter Oren's album Anthropocene is a singer-songwriter album that honestly sounds like Randy Newman playing guitar. The album is pretty folk heavy with typical Americana type lyrics. The influences like Arthur Russel and Bob Dylan. Anthropocene definitely has Bob Dylan influences but it is not even on the same level as Bob Dylan. This album is ten tracks long and all of them sound like the same track. While it is very pretty, I felt there was nothing to give substance to this album. One cannot argue that this album was well produced, pretty, and overall calming.

Sounds Like: 
easy going folk music
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
11/15/2017
Artist: 
Pandas & People
Label: 
Pandas & People

With their newest self-released album Out to Sea, Pandas & People showcase their solid indie-folk rock foundation. For me personally, it borders on country rock, but it’s a really unique sound. All of the tracks are cohesive in that it doesn’t just sound like seven singles put on an album.

Sounds Like: 
The Northern Empty
Sounds Like: 
Mumford & Sons
Name: 
Caitlin Fung
Date Reviewed: 
11/06/2017
Artist: 
Holy Moly & The Crackers
Label: 
Pink Lane Records

Based in the UK, Holy Moly & The Crackers is the most diverse-sounding band I’ve ever heard. They incorporate rock and alt influences into folk, which you would think doesn’t work, but they make it happen! Their overall sound is so diverse and unique, it really sets them apart from any other music group. All of the tracks on Salem are moderate to fast paced and has a really good beat, making it very catchy. What really makes this album fun and interesting are the different musical instruments they utilize in addition to the traditional guitar melody.

Sounds Like: 
ZZ Ward
Sounds Like: 
Alabama Shakes
Name: 
Caitlin Fung
Date Reviewed: 
11/06/2017
Artist: 
Mac DeMarco
Label: 
Captured Tracks

Mac DeMarco is back at it again with This Old Dog, which was releaased on May 5, 2017. Mac stays dear and true to himself with every single track in this album. He has mixed his folky vibe with his usual heavy synth sound to create an all encompassing, feel-good album.

Sounds Like: 
HOMESHAKE
Sounds Like: 
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
Name: 
Arielle Devorah
Date Reviewed: 
10/23/2017
Artist: 
Gold Star
Label: 
Autumn Tone

This is classic melancholy alt-country. The vocals are weary and long for something, and the guitar sways and wobbles like any good country album. Most of the songs express themes of alienation and loneliness. Overall the record is very good, but is definitely something you only want to listen to when you're depressed and manically driving around at night. My complaint would be that there isn't really a repreive from the depressing overlay on the entire record--"Sonny's Blues," sounds kind of poppy and upbeat, but not within the conext of the album.

Sounds Like: 
Jeff Tweedy
Sounds Like: 
Sturgill Simpson
Sounds Like: 
Paul Westerberg
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
04/11/2017
Artist: 
Old Time Assault
Label: 
Unsigned

Old Time Assault, a clawhammer banjo group from St. Louis, Missouri has recently released their first major album, Caxtons. Caxtons is certainly an ode to folk music and its rugged roots. This banjo-centered composition has a very acoustic feel throughout. With music approaching a point in which it could be considered overwhelming, the appeal becomes prominent. It would be especially useful for easy listening on an afternoon in the house or a quiet moment.  Take time to appreciate the rugged and uncut features of the vocals and instrumentation.

Sounds Like: 
Mumford and Sons
Name: 
Nick Ziolkowski
Date Reviewed: 
03/09/2017
Artist: 
Alison Krauss
Label: 
Hokker, Inc.

This record was a good listen, but at times the easy-listening feel of the record got boring. Not that it's bad by any means--however, the album did not have much variation and I don't think it did a good job of highlighting Krauss's versatility. It's still a classic country record though. If I found this album in my grandparents' records in between Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline I wouldn't be surprised. Krauss's voice is also flawless. She has one of the best voices in all of country music, and this didn't change on Windy City.

Sounds Like: 
Patty Griffin
Sounds Like: 
Dolly Parton
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
03/08/2017
Artist: 
Ryan Adams
Label: 
Blue Note Records

This was insanely good. After listening to it in its entirety, I immediately listened to it two more times. I might stay up late and listen to it again. The album is classic Ryan Adams, and he bears his alt-country troubador soul over the course of the twelve tracks. The album is his breakup album after his divorce with Mandy Moore. The songs have a lonely, alienated feel and this record would be good to listen to while driving at night.

Sounds Like: 
Jason Isbell
Sounds Like: 
Jeff Tweedy
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
03/07/2017
Artist: 
The O'Reillys and the Paddyhats
Label: 
Metalville Records

The O'Reillys and the Paddyhats are by far one of my favorite reviews of the year. I've always carried a love for Ireland and the sounds of folk-punk/ rock that it pushes out continuously. Being a huge fan of Dropkick Murphys, I picked this album up just to see if it carried a tune, and lo and behold the tune carried me away instead.

Sounds Like: 
Dropkick Murphys
Sounds Like: 
Flogging Mollys
Name: 
Kenny Bartz
Date Reviewed: 
02/15/2017
Artist: 
Gone Beyond Gone
Label: 
Slow Down

This album surprised me at how good it is.  It's a mix between electronic and folk music, which does not seem like it would work, but it really does in this album. I'm going song by song, becuase all of the songs sound slightly different and all deserve attention in their own ways!

Sounds Like: 
The xx
Name: 
Sidney Whitmire
Date Reviewed: 
02/08/2017
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