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WTF(olk)

By Kelli Raulerson

October 30, 2015

WTF – and just like that it’s the end of October. It’s colder, darker and with little warning, pumpkins have once again permeated our senses. The possibilities of summer are gone, and the chill of winter is on the horizon. We’re left with little choice but to face the rapid descent into winter (and at least four months of weather-related melancholy).

With all this impending wretchedness, the inevitable transition into hibernation begins. Before we know it, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas will have come and gone and all we’ll be left with are leftover decorations and the extra obligatory 10 pounds around our midriff.

As the skies turn grey, people escape to the comfort of the indoors. Fallen leaves replace life on outdoor patios and sidewalks. No longer able to escape outside, our window to the world is replaced by a 10-inch computer screen looking out into the internet.

Like clockwork, year-end lists start trickling out, highlighting the best that the year had to offer (and often everything you missed while you were rightfully living life away from your keyboard).

Enter CLTure, we’re taking on the internet for you and getting your ears out ahead of those year-end lists. Each month we’ll present the best new music we’ve discovered while scouring the World Wide Web. If we’re being sentenced to four months indoors, at least we can have a decent playlist.

WTF(olk) will include a number of buzz worthy (or foot stomping) folk artists (folk pop, dream folk, psychedelic folk, etc) who recently released new music. So check out the list below (and WTF – sip on something pumpkin-flavored while you’re at it).

Daughter  Do the Right Thing (single)

Nearly three years after the release of their debut If You Leave, Daughter, the London-based trio of Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella, return in 2016 with a new album, titled Not To Disappear. They released their first single from the album, ‘Doing the Right Thing’, in September.

According to a release from the English dream-folk trio, Do the Right Thing deals in “the delicate subject of dementia and its debilitating, all-pervading effect on family”.

Having spent the summer in New York City recording with Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Animal Collective), Daughter’s next album promises to be as thoughtful and wistful as their first.

Beauty Pill – Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are (album)

Nothing will alter the course of your life like having your own heart almost kill you. That’s what happened to Chad Clark after releasing Beauty Pill’s first album, The Unsustainable Lifestyle in 2004. Diagnosed with a viral infection of the heart, Chad was given a 22-percent chance of living and eventually underwent emergency open-heart surgery– which saved his life.

Continuing to write and develop music during his recovery, Chad was unable to lift his guitar, so he turned to his laptop as an alternative. Learning to incorporate technology into his process contributed to the influence of hip-hop and electronic music in Beauty Pill’s new music.  

Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are is eight years in the making. The weight of those years since their last release (both personally and culturally) isn’t lost on the new album and lends to the intensity of each track. Just as the band chose to record the album in a public space rather than in an enclosed studio, Beauty Pill has emerged from hiatus confident and unafraid to ‘describe things (just) as they are’.

Ancient CitiesHaunted House (single)

Recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Boston on the heels of their first appearance at Newport Folk Festival, it’s surprising that there was any steam left in their sails. However, Haunted House is a testament to lead singer Stephen Warwick’s songwriting prowess. Crafted in the hour or so they spent waiting in the parking lot for the studio to open, Warwick working with well-known sound engineer, Seth Manchester (Deer Tick), weaves an all too familiar tale of love and lost and the ghosts that remain.

Backed by Justin Fedor on bass and vocals, James Dulin on drums and Matt Branniff on keys, Haunted House is an onslaught of endlessly elastic rhythms and relentlessly heady instrumentation. It all comes together to create a deep-groove and dusty vibe which accentuates the subject matter with poetic eeriness.

Working on their second album, Ancient Cities continues to redefine and push the boundaries of the folk genre. This release (timed well with Halloween approaching) and their next album are not to be missed.

Other playlist suggestions:

Kurt Vile – I’m an Outlaw

Escondido – Heart is Black

The Wood Brothers – Never and Always

Fictonian – Mrs. Jones

Kevin Andrew Prachl – When the Morning Comes

Jill Andrews – I’m Not OK

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