Folk

Artist: 
There Is No Mountain
Label: 
ORG Music

There Is No Mountain’s album Luna sounds like they listened to a whole lot of the Shins when writing this album because many melodies sound similar to something the Shins would write but with more bland vocals, and more impressive sounding guitar riffs.

 So is it a good or a bad album? In my opinion this album is just nothing special.

The album is just ok.

Sounds Like: 
The Shins
Sounds Like: 
Fireships
Name: 
Kyle Morris
Date Reviewed: 
02/02/2016
Artist: 
Valley Shine
Label: 
Independent

This EP from Valley Shine may be short, but in five songs they manage to show great promise as an up and coming group. For lovers of folk music and indie pop, this album is a great pick, but don't look here if you're searching for anything intense. Valley Shine is sweet and sunshiney in all of the best ways. I'm looking forward to future records from this group!

Sounds Like: 
Edward Sharpe
Sounds Like: 
The Head and the Heart
Sounds Like: 
The Lumineers
Name: 
Jacqui Kientzler
Date Reviewed: 
01/27/2016
Artist: 
Cass McCombs
Label: 
Domino Recording Company

I normally do not enjoy indie pop/rock these days, but I found myself pleasantly enchanted by A Folk Set Apart: Rarities, B-Slides, & Space Junk, Etc. by Cass McComb. The trend of blending genres (especially rock, indie, folk, country, punk, etc.) became popular in the Pacific Northwest during the 90's, where McCombs first began creating music. His upbeat guitar and vocals are pleasantly opposed by quirky country tidbits, punk solos, and some unforeseen psychedelic noises.

Sounds Like: 
Beck? but way better
Sounds Like: 
Real Estate
Name: 
Taylor Ducklow
Date Reviewed: 
12/17/2015
Artist: 
The Stollers
Label: 
Loving Mind Records

Stationary Sun is a calming folk rock album by The Stollers, two brothers. The album is really easy to pop in and play if you want a relaxing atmosphere. Has a some tenor sax and flute which complements their songs really well. Most of the songs sound pretty similar, but a couple of the songs stand out. Loredana (Track 4) has a very smooth melody throughout the song and the wispy voices bring it all together.  You Can Come Home (With Me) is an awesome song.

Sounds Like: 
Kind of Simon and Garfunkel
Sounds Like: 
Sawyer Fredericks
Name: 
Gustavo Ruffo
Date Reviewed: 
12/09/2015
Artist: 
Crazy Neighbors
Label: 
Aaron Kaercher

This band sounds very similar to the String Cheese Incident. It’s folky-rock, with homey feels and soft-rock sounding tracks. This self-titled album is a mix of electric and acoustic instruments that is perfect for a chill and low-key day. This album is pretty unique sounding with quirky and fun lyrics, smart guitar lines, and serenading-like vocals, which makes this album refreshingly different and interesting to listen to. “Crazy Neighbors” is a carefree pick-me-up that makes you feel like not taking life too seriously.

Sounds Like: 
String Cheese Incident
Sounds Like: 
Gov’t Mule
Name: 
Erinn Fung
Date Reviewed: 
12/06/2015
Artist: 
Charles Ellsworth
Label: 
Charles Ellsworth

From Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ, Charles Ellsworth has released his very first EP that is equal parts folk-rock and country. The tracks on this EP are pretty laidback and offset by the rough and rugged vocals that complement the four country-folk-rock tracks. This EP has a cowboy-indie-folk feel to it in addition to catchy melodies and clever guitar parts, which makes this EP easy on the ears. It features heavy guitar melodies, but is nicely accompanied by Charles Ellsworth’s heartfelt croons of love and introspection.

Sounds Like: 
Lord Huron
Sounds Like: 
The Dirty Jacks
Sounds Like: 
Stab City
Name: 
Erinn Fung
Date Reviewed: 
12/06/2015
Artist: 
Matt Bauer
Label: 
Crossbill Records

If there’s anything about this album that stands out, it’s definitely the vocals. Matt Bauer’s album “Dream’s End” sounds like an inspirational adventure. The vocals are really hollow in a wisp-y sort of way. Though there is no lack of accompaniment in terms of instrumentals, the vocals still seem a bit lonely and sparse. Maybe a little too crisp? But then again, there’s a strong vibrato in his voice at the end of each phrase that I can’t get over.  This album is very light, and embodies a very folk-y feel.

Sounds Like: 
Precious Future
Name: 
Samantha Fung
Date Reviewed: 
11/29/2015
Artist: 
Joshua Hyslop
Label: 
Nettwerk Productions

Joshua Hyslop fits neatly into the category of “singer/songwriter”. “In the Deepest Blue” is the Canadian musican’s second full-length album. The sound of the album is very coffee-shop ready. Acoustic guitars set the tone throughout the entire album, evoking a very ethereal folk-y sound. Hyslop’s gentle and calming vocals add to this overall tone. Though, he also mixes up a bit, substituting the guitar for some fast banjos in “Living and Dying”, a track that is more twangy than the rest.

Sounds Like: 
Joshua Radin
Name: 
Samantha Fung
Date Reviewed: 
11/16/2015
Artist: 
Joanna Newsom
Label: 
Drag City

[I'd like to preface this review by saying I am a HUGE Joanna Newsom fan. I live & breathe her music, as it is the only thing that I've ever heard that I can describe as life changing. Her music means so much to me, so I apologize if this review comes off as super biased.]

Sounds Like: 
Vashti Bunyan
Sounds Like: 
Joni Mitchell
Sounds Like: 
Kate Bush
Sounds Like: 
Karen Dalton
Name: 
André Pettman
Date Reviewed: 
11/01/2015
Artist: 
Gary Clark Jr.
Label: 
Warner Brothers

Soulful. That sums up the sound Gary Clark Jr.’s “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim”. It’s a very versatile album packed with emotional guitar riffs, and at times, he also throws in a very funky vibe. He has managed to mix together blues, rock, and hip hop to create a sound that gives a nod to the blues, yet brings it to the present with a slight hint of hip hop. Some of the songs evoke a very 70’s blues-rock vibe, like “Stay” and “Grinder”. However, not everything is mellow and heavy.

Sounds Like: 
Alabama Shakes
Sounds Like: 
Dawes
Name: 
Samantha Fung
Date Reviewed: 
09/27/2015