Young folks focuses on the best, fresh folk, acoustic, singer-songwriter indie folk & alt-country jams. Turn it up Folks!
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Nora Anna is a voice that soothes, engages, surprises, makes you fly, meditate, plunge in a lake of melancholy, wander away somewhere deep inside your thoughts and then rise and fall in love with the little moments and pleasures of everyday life again.
She is a young Latvian singer-songwriter with an open heart and mind who’s already familiar with international audiences, having played in multiple gigs around the UK, France and Latvia, as well as in festivals like Weyfest, Staycation and Always The Sun festival.
Nora Anna’s music is as rich as her personality. She says her songs are ’’little nostalgic story-telling hybrids” because they have a bit of everything – pop, jazz, blues, folk and most importantly, a story that will make you drift into your thoughts.
You can hear the influence of her inspirations Joni Mitchell, Carole King, John Mayer and others, but first and foremost – Norah Jones: “I still remember those warm summer evenings when my aunt would make the tastiest meal ever after an adventurous day out with my friends. We would just sit on the terrace and listen to Norah’s smooth vocal as she sang “If I were a painter, I would paint my reverie..”
In many ways, Nora Anna embodies the empowered modern woman – fragile, yet strong at the same time, intelligent across spheres, a truly international soul who welcomes new cultures and experiences, and travels whenever she can.
The County Affair
The County Affair’s story is that of music, friendship and adventure. Childhood best friends Kevin Brennan and Tony Regan met in Nottingham in the 70s. Travelling together on the same school bus each day, they talked endlessly about music and the ‘country rock’ and ‘outlaw country’ sounds that were emerging from the US at the time. As teenagers they joined The Moonshiners, an Irish country band led by Kevin’s father, and were playing up to three gigs each weekend whilst their schoolmates worked in shops and on paper rounds. Before long they had started their own band, The Rambling Boys (borrowed from a song) and took to the road. Though grounded in the Irish country they had grown to love, they began to introduce their audiences to the country rock of Waylon Jennings, Creedence and Joe Ely in their sets.
The band parted ways as Kevin and Tony left to study at different universities, but their friendship endured. A couple of years later, they found themselves – separately – on the east coast of the US, Tony as part of his studies and Kevin coaching a kids’ soccer team. As if fate had brought them back together, they seized an opportunity to play for a new crowd in Houston and there the real adventure began. Zig-zagging across the US the duo spent extended periods in Texas where they became a household name within the wider local Irish community, receiving glowing reviews from local press and radio. Eventually landing in the thriving music scene of San Francisco, they became sought after by venues across the city sometimes playing up to 4 hour sets, four nights a week. They were approached to sign to management and go pro, but with post-graduate jobs waiting for both of them in the UK, it was time to go home.
30 years later, married with families and successful careers under their belts, the duo are picking up where they left off. Kevin, who recently stepped down from a significant role at a major international brand, had been penning his own songs for the last several years. He would send these onto Tony, who tweaked the vocal and lyrical arrangements, adding in chords here and there… and just like that, The County Affair was born. The band caught the attention of veteran producer Tom Nichols, a partnership was struck and their Abbey Road album soon took shape.
At a young age, Kristopher James had music inside of him.
Sitting in the doorway of his room, with a radio and tape deck, Kristopher spent hours making mixtape after mixtape of songs that began to mold his young, musical mind. His knack for music, matched with years of filling composition books with personal poetry, improvised lyrics, and dream-like short stories, Kristopher‘s calling was determined—to be a songwriter.
It wasn’t until he sat behind a drum set, fueled by teenage angst, that Kristopher began his musician’s journey. From there, he taught himself guitar, piano, and bravely -how to sing. What is seen now, on intimate stages, like the iconic Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia, to theater stages, such as the Capitol Theater in Clearwater, Florida, is the concentrated influences and earnest emotional exposition that solidify Kristopher –as an Americana-Soul force to be encountered and experienced.
‘Road To Avalon’
For nearly two straight years following the release of their critically acclaimed debut, Chasing Lights, Ida Mae lived on the road, crisscrossing the US from coast to coast as they performed hundreds of dates with everyone from Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss to Marcus King and Greta Van Fleet. And while those shows were certainly formative for the electrifying British duo, it was what happened in between—the countless hours spent driving through small towns and big cities—that truly laid the groundwork for the band’s transportive new album, Click Click Domino. Written primarily in the backseat of a moving car, the record embodies all the momentum and possibility of the great American unknown. The songs on Click Click Domino are raw and direct, fueled by an innovative mix of vintage instruments and modern electronics, and the performances are loose and exhilarating to match, drawing on early rock and roll, classic country, British folk, and 50’s soul to forge a sound that’s equal parts Alan Lomax field recording and 21st century garage band. Turpin and Jean produced the album themselves, recording primarily on their own in their adopted hometown of Nashville during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while the collection is certainly bolstered by appearances from high profile guests like Marcus King, Greta Van Fleet’s Jake Kiszka, and Ethan Johns, the heart and soul of the record remains Ida Mae’s intoxicating chemistry, which has never felt more vibrant, ambitious, or self-assured.
Making music has been both a dream and a reality for Torbjörn throughout his life. Discovering The Beatles at an early age laid out the musical ground on which Torbjörn has been creating ever since. To the Fair encapsulate 32 years of songwriting, covering different themes from his life – the gain and loss of love, having children and reminiscing of one’s one childhood and letting go the past.
When releasing music earlier, Torbjörn has worked with artists such as Jojje Wadenius, Esbjörn Svensson and Bo Hansson. To the Fair is his first album under his own name, and is to be released May 28.
SOLOHAWK began one booze fueled weekend when Steve Faceman decamped to the home of Til Willis to participate in seventy-two hours of recording that would ultimately produce the album, Another Way Out. The music is a swirl of subdued vignettes of folk themes and indie rock sensibilities that is as inviting as it is endearing.
Seeking refuge from their respective Rock bands, Faceman and Willis tour as an acoustic duo. A refreshingly stripped down adventure that both singer/songwriters enjoy, as it allows the camaraderie and personality of the songs to shine.
The year is 2021. We have left a world that we barely understood, for one that we do not even recognize. In a new age where we are no longer able to see who we wish, go where we wish, love as we wish, or live as we wish, we are experiencing a collective loss of the world we came to know, with the promising advent of a new one together. In Spring 2020, Oakland songwriter and Catch Prichard frontman Sawyer Gebauer entered Decibelle Recording in San Francisco to record his new album I Still Miss Theresa Benoit over the course of one weekend. On March 5th, 2020, the final day of recording, the world began an unprecedented epoch as Covid-19 emerged and spread, sweeping the world of its previous comfort, and washing it to the shores of an uncertain future.
Throughout the weekend of recording, Sawyer felt feverish, tired, foggy, and unfocused. His vocal range had diminished, his breath felt like it was being taken from his throat before his lungs could grab for air, and he had mysteriously lost his sense of taste and smell. It wasn’t until the evidence started to be published that he learned these were symptoms of Covid-19, and that the album had been recorded under the direct influence of this cryptic virus. The band debated re-recording Sawyer’s vocals once he recovered but ultimately; just as the virus had reshaped the world, so had the album been reshaped by the virus, so the decision was made to leave it untouched. Without a doubt, and unbeknownst to the band until after the fact, I Still Miss Theresa Benoit is a living, breathing product of the pandemic, and the bands’ transmission from that changing world.
‘I Prefer My Phone’
Cuchulain is a low-voiced songsmith with a wry sense of humor. With a wisecrack wit reminiscent of Randy Newman and John Prine, and a baritone that draws comparisons to Johnny Cash, Cuchulain (pronounced “ka-HOO-lin”) writes upbeat songs about heavy topics. Born in South Carolina, Cuchulain landed in Eugene, Oregon by way of Paris, DC, and California, honing his genre-bending version of folk music by incorporating the sounds of his many hometowns along the way. The multi-instrumentalist weaves a tapestry of twentysomething existentialism on Songs for Grownups, his forthcoming fifth studio album. Cuchulain has toured extensively since 2015, performing in venues large as the Kennedy Center and small as a friend’s living room. Cuchulain performs regularly with his band Handsome Hound. Or at least used to, before coronavirus hit.
‘One More Name’
Shane Ghostkeeper is a musician from Calgary, recognized for his songwriting, singing and guitar playing. Shane spent his adolescence isolated by Northern Alberta’s geography, listening to country music records and developing an admiration for individuals who had the ability to convey rich stories through song. Later he found another world in the self-aware genres of art rock and experimental folk, with this exploration in tribute to his family.
Chicago based Söur Bruthers sound is stylish, energetic, soulful, and satisfying — offering the best of Americana with the raw grit and a touch of Country Twang!!
Compiled by: Christos Doukakis