for folks sake

This morning's random earworm, an old melody from childhood when mama ran a children's folk choir, uncle played banjo and Northumbrian pipes, and mad auntie was always humming traditional tunes. I like this version very much - it reminds me of impromptu bursts of song at family gathers and harmonising acapella on people's doorsteps for Christmas when I was a kid. More generally, I have really been digging The Unthanks this year. What took me so long?!

That link is bonked for me
Weird - worked for me. Here is her Bandcamp.

Scanned back through the thread and couldn't see any Lankum (!), so here ya go, been loving this lately:

Oh, I love these, especially the doom-like elements in the first tune, breaking into a reel during the live performance and that gravelly bottom end in the third. Added to the list, thank you.

Folksy offerings I have been dipping into over the past year:

Starling Arrow, who I discovered through TD. Lovely songs with gorgeous harmonies and wafts of Appalachia.

The new release by Laboratorium Pieśni, whose album Rasti I absolutely loved, especially their version of Dilmano Dilbero. If you like Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares and the like, then you'll probably do OK with LP. I sure would like to sit round a campfire under a full moon with these ladies.

Still in Eastern Europe, I had a massive obsession for this old track by Hungarian band Muzsikás last year only to discover that they are also responsible for the haunting acapella recording featured on the soundtrack for The English Patient, called Szerelem, Szerelem, so I bought the full album. Something I like about them, especially in Régen volt, is that sometimes they sound Celtic, sometimes Arabic, sometimes Appalachian, as well as having their own distinct Eastern European flava, reflecting something of their geography and the overlapping influences of different traditions. Also, what a gorgeous voice!

I have a lot of time for Stick In The Wheel, who blend English traditional with more contemporary approaches such as folktronica and spoken word. The combination feels genuinely progressive, yet they keep things real and have a proper street music vibe. I really like this EP of live reworkings from past releases, a couple of which I own. Can also recommend their English Field Recording comps featuring artists from around the country.

Last but not least, musician and academic Angeline Morrison, who released two records last year. I particularly liked some of the original material on The Sorrow Songs - she clearly has a deep understanding of British folk and cannily adopts a musical style instantly recognisable to traditionalists, but her lyrics centre black stories, including this one about a Welsh gardener in the eighteenth century, reinserting them into said tradition, which is almost exclusively white.

Last edited: