Best of Folk 2021


Folk is the music for the people, from the people. And as our planet is pretty big, there are uncountably many different sorts of “folk” music. So many, in fact, that my top 5 cannot possibly cover all of the immense variety of sounds there are. Nevertheless, it does cover some decent part of it, and so here are the five best folk albums from 2021 in my opinion!


Number Five: Nika Mo – Of Cloven Hoof in Honey


On Of Cloven Hoof in Honey, Australian singer Nika Mo explores many of the lesser known Grimm tales, and turns … Read more

Tweet Tweet – Bearer

Tweet Tweet is a soft experimental project from Steve Pardo; it hovers between indie music, folk, and experimental pop. Bearer was released on 20 October and accounts for almost thirty minutes of gentle compositions with soaring flutes, saxophone, and vocals from Lindley Cameron. Some parts sound like some beloved passage on a Sufjan Stevens recording – one known to favour flutes in his compositions –, some are more electronic, with low fidelity guitar recordings supporting the uncertain woodwind notes, some still are almost like a singer-songwriter piece, but all undeniably appeal to the listener’s soft side with whispered notes to … Read more

Dougmore – Outerboros

Dougmore‘s debut album is a foray into folkloric music through the lens of art rock. Indeed, Outerboros is lush and complex, deep and progressive, and, on top of that, inspiringly beautiful. Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the folk singer-songwriter foundation of the project – with Douglas and his banjo -, for there is here a plethora of invited artists – playing a wide range of instruments, from wine glasses to trumpets, from bouzouki to double bass, from dulcimer to harp, and a lot of other things in-between. This not only bring in a variety of timbres … Read more

Sub:Shaman – Apnea

Coming all the way from Singapore, progressive indie rock band Sub:Shaman just released their most recent album, Apnea. Consisting of nine explorative tracks, this forty-five minute magnum opus intertwines a wide variety of genres into the band’s own style and vision. Progressive rock, math rock, indie, and jazz all partake in the melting pot that is Apnea. The alternative quintet will use scat singing, pulsating electronic notes, dissonant chords, odd metres, and seventh chords to their advantage, and it creates something greater than the sum of its parts. I didn’t remember why I followed this page on bandcamp, but … Read more

Sanguine Hum – Now We Have Light

[Stream samples of the album on Amazon or iTunes.]

Sanguine Hum is a known name in the indie prog/neo-prog community, and with reason. They’ve released consistently good, mellow prog with an ambient vibe to it, but Now We Have Light is on another level. A just over 80 minutes conceptual double album of, arguably, their best material to date.

For the uninitiated here, “neo-prog” is a term that labels indie bands that are oriented towards prog rather than pop or folk. It’s mellow stuff, with electronics and chimes, but with odd-time signatures, long and intricate song structures, and conceptual … Read more