Young folks focuses on the best, fresh folk, acoustic, singer-songwriter indie folk & alt-country jams. Turn it up Folks!
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Alice Austin’s music career has taken her from her native Vermont to her adoptive Los Angeles–and nearly every place in between. Her latest single, “The Ward”, (a collaboration with producer and musician David Drouin) is very much a reflection of what has always been Austin’s forte: the “between”.
Material she recorded and co-wrote with previous groups such as Boston incarnation The Lavas (2006-2009) and Vermont’s earliest all-female 90s powerhouse Zola Turn (Brick Red Records, 1997-2002) draws on a vast corpus including retro garage icons such as Shocking Blue and Jefferson Airplane, a peppering of 90s indie rock artist PJ Harvey and the twangy delights of vintage country queen Wanda Jackson.
And so too her solo work: Austin’s self-produced and self-engineered first full length album, “To A Star in the Yard”, followed by “Left One in the Rain” (an EP produced by Patrick Avalon), “Cowboy Summer”, “Dirt and Helicopters” (both produced by Robb Torres), and her two most recent singles, “Cirrus” and “Lookout Mountain” (self-produced) all move from country to indie to rock and back again.
The Jode Gannon Band
Formed in December 2019 by Jode Gannon & Matty Cartwright, The Jode Gannon Band are a four-piece rock band with a country twist from Oxfordshire, UK. Hailing from the opposite sides of the world, founding members Jode & Matty met by chance in a London bar back in 2017 and are now based between Oxfordshire and London. Having both spent a decade in the music industry, the pair originally started out writing and recording for Jode’s solo project and after a couple of days in the studio, they floated the idea of starting a band together. Sharing the same passion for storytelling through their songs as well as a love of soaring choruses, it wasn’t long before they went back into the studio as The Jode Gannon Band. The pair draw from their eclectic music tastes to blend Rock, Country and Ambient music to create their own unique sound.
Grover Anderson & the Lampoliers
For years, Grover Anderson wrestled with his commitment to holding a day job. Always eager to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter, the desire to start and support a family landed one all-important notch higher on life’s priority list. For the last six years he’s been making both work—teaching high school English & drama in his small mountain town, building a devout local following, and touring the US in the summer. He released four albums and played in 23 states, yet still he wondered if he’d given short shrift to a dream. Then 2020 happened, and as he witnessed the hardships endured by career performers, Grover had never felt more fortunate to hold a secondary gig.
At the beginning of last year, Grover and his bandmate Josh Certo began mapping out songs for what was to be Grover’s fifth album. The intent was to use the recordings as a foundation on which their band, Grover Anderson & the Lampoliers, could collaborate through a busy year of gigs and rehearsals. When lockdown began, their project quickly changed directions—Grover, Josh, Marshall Henry, and Anthony Delaney recorded their parts in home studios, sharing tracks virtually to create a fundamentally different album.
Montreal-based singer-songwriter Annabel Gutherz made her debut in 2018 with “Legends,” a philanthropic song whose proceeds are donated to education-based charities. After spending the past few years honing her musical talents at Berklee College of Music, Annabel is now preparing to share her debut album, ‘Loose Ends.’ The 11-song record is due out later this year and was co-produced by Dominique Messier, a long time band member for Céline Dion and owner of Studio Piccolo in Montreal, Quebec.
‘Ghost’ (Feat. Coma Culture)
Gal Musette, taking her name from the French style “Bal Musette,” an accordion-based French waltz style, draws inspiration from artists like Joni Mitchell, Regina Spektor, Bjork, Cocteau Twins, Rufus Wainwright, Irving Berlin and The Cure. In more recent years, she has opened for several renowned artists such as Macy Gray, Suzanne Vega, Todd Snyder, and Donavon Frankenreiter. In October she will be releasing her debut album “Backwards Lullaby,” featuring a vocal duet with one of her musical inspirations, Rufus Wainwright. Her upcoming album explores the pangs of hopeless romances and unrequited love, what it’s like to move beyond idealized love into the acceptance of what is real and constant, as well as the cyclical nature of life and love in relationships.
‘Chickee-ada-la-deeay’ (feat. Kit Fuller)
A vintage folk song originally recorded in 1974, “Chickee-ada-la-deeay” chronicles the troubles of the protagonist, who in each verse details a problem in her life, and uses the refrain “Chickee-ada-la Deeay,” to both comment on her frustration and reassure herself that eventually, everything will work out in the end. The song’s themes are ultimately uplifting, and the instrumentation of the track reflects this as a driving banjo accents the strumming guitars, leading to a searing solo in the final third of the song.
Project of Australian singer-songwriter & producer Adam Dudek. A collection of achingly beautiful acoustic & post-rock tunes thats fits to the soundtrack to falling snow, late nights and the lack of a lover’s hand in the cold.
Christopher Paul Stelling
Even before 2020 slid historically off the rails, Christopher Paul Stelling confronted an essential exercise in acceptance and gratitude. In December 2019, Stelling started another cross-country sprint from California to Florida, where the songwriter who has long called western North Carolina home was raised. Aside from recording his fifth album, Best of Luck, he had toured much of that year, making relentless laps around North America. He wanted to make it home not only for Christmas but also to see Emma, his 92-year-old grandmother. He didn’t; she passed just days before he arrived. Recorded alone in her modest white ranch house in Daytona Beach, Forgiving It All — Stelling’s wisest, most intimate, and most settled record yet, and his first self-released LP in eight years — feels like a final tribute to her and to everything he and we have lost or gained.
Formerly working as a Mechanical Engineer, Southey would routinely return home from a long day at the office, grab his guitar and head to the Devonshire Street tunnel to busk late into the evening.
What started as a creative outlet became an obsession, which ultimately led to him walking away from a stable career in order to dedicate all of his time to music, eventually building his own recording studio.
Southey’s fingerprints are all over the debut single “Run River”. From writing, recording and producing the track, through to hand-painting the cover art and even constructing a guitar to be used for the record.
‘Running Like the Wind’
[indie folk/alt americana]
Cypress is the indie folk, singer-songwriter project of Ben Higginbotham. Born in Dallas but based in LA, Ben was inspired by his childhood spent glued to the piano and listening to the crooning voices of Texas singer-songwriter legends like Ruthie Foster and Lyle Lovett to pursue his passion for music early on.
Shortly after graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2017, Ben created Cypress — a soulful, emotional solo project reflective of his personal and professional growth. Evoking artists like Ray LaMontagne, Ben Howard, and Hozier, Cypress’ indie folk/folk rock sound is rich and textured yet melodic and straightforward — often weaving lyric-driven stories of relationships, family and coming-of-age with a reflective and nostalgic tone. With crisp, powerful lyrics and relatable, universal themes underlying each song, Cypress’ music shines in its smooth approachability and ease of listening.
Photo credits: Michael Tatman
Compiled by: Christos Doukakis