Folk

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
Artist: 
Gone Gone Beyond
Label: 
Human Experience Creations

This album is just really really beautiful and just simply instrumental and relaxing. The vocals that appear occasionally are just splendid and I love how soulful they are. This feels like less rpm and more singer/songwriter coffee shop music – but better. It’s really hard to explain because this album feels like an experience. With touches of rpm, alt, and world, this album feels relaxing and plays like a beautiful story book. The simple touches of world drums add to the beat and make it more melodic.

Sounds Like: 
folksy rpm album with earthy vocals
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
02/08/2017
Artist: 
Jim James
Label: 
ATO Records

Jim James is one of the people who carried the American folk tradition into the 21st century. With projects like My Morning Jacket and the supergroup Monsters of Folk, it would be easy for him to rest on his laurels at this point. However, he has started a promising solo career, and his solo releases take his music in a new, exciting direction. Eternally Even is very psychedelic, but contains James's signature mellow-folk style.

Sounds Like: 
My Morning Jacket
Sounds Like: 
Dr. Dog
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
01/27/2017

Raw

Artist: 
Keller Williams
Label: 
Freeky Disc

Keller Williams is a jam-band phenomena, known for using wild effects to make his one-man sound come off as imposing and grandiose. However, on Raw, he drops all of that for a solo, acoustic record that truly shows off his musical talent. In his sets with String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Umphrey's, you can see a wide variety of music styles manifest themselves in different forms. Raw is aptly named because that is what the record is. Most of the record is really good.

Sounds Like: 
Greensky Bluegrass
Sounds Like: 
Yonder Mountain String Band
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
01/26/2017
Artist: 
Makar
Label: 
Self-Released

With an album like this the album has to be good! It takes courage to use chiller font. The songs on here are all pretty similar but at least they're semi strong.  The vocals are really charming and the bass lines are really licky and tight. There's nothing too special about this but overall it's a laid back and enjoyable listen.

Sounds Like: 
every electric indie folk band
Name: 
Betty Yu
Date Reviewed: 
12/02/2016
Artist: 
Kadhja Bonet
Label: 
Fat Possum

Kadhja Bonet’s debut album, The Visitor, has a very other world, beautiful, sci-fi feel to it. After listening to it two times, I kind of got a little bossa nova vibe—but in a super light sense. I did some research and Bonet was trained in a classic style of music and she can play a ton of instruments. She plays most of the instruments on this album, wrote every song except the melody on one track, and SHE PRODUCED IT. Dope. Dope. Dope.

Sounds Like: 
soundtrack to a lucid dream
Sounds Like: 
angels singing in space
Sounds Like: 
bossa nova
Name: 
Alessandra Posada
Date Reviewed: 
11/10/2016
Artist: 
Arkona
Label: 
Sound Age Productions

Vozrozhdenie was Arkona's debut album, and was recently re-released by Sound Age Productions. Not wholly a bad decision, because for a debut album, Vozrozhdenie does well in encapsulating Arkona's sound. The album begins with more windy and synthetic sounds, clean vocals accompanying those, but progresses into their heavier and more well-known metal sound. Masha Scream of course presents beautiful female vocals as well as her surprising ability to growl like a demon.

Sounds Like: 
Korpiklaani
Sounds Like: 
Fleshgod Apocalypse
Name: 
Kenny
Date Reviewed: 
11/09/2016
Artist: 
Carina
Label: 
Moon Studios

July 28th by Carina is hard to place on the music spectrum. The string instruments mixed with organs and drums carry a country-esque vibe, but the vocals are breathy and jazzy in a way that is definitely not country. Perhaps "blues." I suppose this is in the realm of coffee shop music, but it's got enough varied instrumentations to be more complex than a simple singer/songwriter with a guitar. 

Sounds Like: 
Gail from Bob's Burgers when she sings in that one high school reunion episode
Name: 
Hannah Isaac
Date Reviewed: 
10/26/2016
Artist: 
Holy Sons
Label: 
Partisan Records

An atmosphere of flowing alternative that takes a laid-back approach. Like a sunset lit drive, in some place or another, probably the desert or nearby forest and plains.

Sounds Like: 
Grails
Sounds Like: 
Arbouretum
Sounds Like: 
Father John Misty
Name: 
Nathan Gosnell
Date Reviewed: 
10/26/2016