5 of the Best Folk Music Albums of 2017
Different genres of music albums are available in well-known online platforms – this much we know from the days of Napster and more recently, streaming media services such as Spotify and YouTube. We are truly living in the age of on-demand streaming media that is changing the face of how we consume media. And, to borrow a phrase from Oven Shopper, these streaming services, like many of our appliances nowadays, all compete tooth and nail – consumers opt for the service that provides extra value to their needs.
But the music is still the meat of the matter. And in 2017, folk music is making a strong comeback.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a sampling of 5 choice folk music cuts for those who are more discerning in their music tastes – these music albums are recommended for everyone who seeks peace of mind and enjoyment throughout on their leisure time. Because, for reasons that are not unknown to many music lovers, folk music evokes a time wherein you didn’t need more than a good song and a guitar to make compelling music – screw whatever crap is playing on the airwaves, these 5 acts are the real deal; and they are making folk music, and music in general, great again.
1. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked at Me
Starting off our list is Mount Eerie’s compelling work, A Crow Looked at Me. Mount Eerie is a solo project from a American musician Phil Elverum, and presents a harrowing, first-person look at a common theme of folk music – that of death. And Elverum does not disappoint – his plaintive arrangements and sing-song delivery just makes it all the more so compelling. It discusses the death of his wife, musician and cartoonist Genevieve Castree. “Real Death”, the first single of A Crow Looked at Me album was first released on his SoundCloud page, and is definitely the album’s standout track. Truly one of the best folk releases of 2017.
2. Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up
Crack-Up is the new folk music album from Washington-based electric folk band Fleet Foxes. This folk music album was recorded in different locations throughout the nation, and its standout track is undoubtedly the nine-minute epic, string-enhanced “Third of May/Odaigahara” which features electric twelve-string guitar, piano and the trademark sparkling harmonies of this group.
3. Jesca Hoop – Memories Are Now
Memories Are Now is one of the most renowned folk music albums of 2017. This music album from Jesca Hoop makes every listener more contented than ever – her ethereal vocals, songwriting, and electronic elements all contribute to a very unique sound, while discussing song material that is resonant with every human being; which is why folk music was called folk music anyway.
4. Big Thief – Capacity
Capacity is a set of excellent, haunting, and cavernous-sounding folk music from Big Thief. This album explores themes of trauma, family, sadndess, and depression, whose production makes sure the album will strike a chord with everyone – singer Adrianne Lenker’s languid, ethereal delivery notwithstanding. A very underrated folk album that deserves more recognition than it currently does.
5. Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness
And rounding out the list, and last, but obviously not the least, “Not Even Happiness” is American-born singer-songwriter Julie Byrne’s second release. Basic Rock in the UK has released this folk music album on 13 January 2017, while Ba Da Bing! Records in the U.S. released the later version of this album on 27 January 2017. Fans of folk music’s spare arrangements in the vein of Bon Iver (with occasional embellishments) will love this album, whose standout track is “Melting Grid” – Byrne’s delivery reminds most listeners of German chanteuse Nico’s haunting vocals.