21/30 art pop folk

gaye su akyol – anadolu ejderi 

On her maximalist fourth album, Gaye Su Akyol again makes expressive use of the burnt tremor in her voice, this time singing directly to Istanbul. Through its baroque psych-rock, the record blazes through its themes without deference to taste and/or accessibility. This is certainly Akyol’s most anti-pop album to date, as she takes the scenic […]

24/30 folk jazz

the wau wau collectif – mariage

The Wau Wau Colectif found each other when Karl Jonas Winqvist was stranded in Toubab Dialaw, an hour down the coast from Dakar. He encountered local musicians in a spirited artistic community and, when he returned to Sweden, traded Whatsapp notes until a debut was born. Mariage is their second record, pieced together without hiding […]

23/30 folk singer-songwriter

benjamin clementine – and i have been

Familiarising his eccentric spirit, Benjamin Clementine has produced a big-hearted record that swoops down to greet the listener. It is still unpredictable, but the force conducting ‘And I Have Been’ is benevolent—more like a guide than some epistemically distant energy. Clementine has a deep, timeless presence in his work. Here, he seems to connect history […]

26/30 album of the week folk singer-songwriter

natalia lafourcade – de todas las flores

It will surprise no one that Natalia Lafourcade has made a beautiful album. It might surprise some that she has made this beautiful album. De Todas Las Flores is more muffled in essence than her previous records. It has a quiet, life-affirming warmth that cuddles the narrative maturation through love and love lost, taking into […]

27/30 classic review folk metal

comus – first utterance (1971)

People are strange, so why is folk music ever anything but? Comus’ debut album crept from the roots of a mystical forest, where gothic festivities took place in the light of a burning fire. It is everything between creepy and fantastically beautiful—”I carry you to your grave, my arms your hearse” is one of the […]

23/30 bossa folk funk jazz jazz fusion

miquela e lei chapacans – miquela e lei chapacans

Found between Southern France and the Pyranees, this starburst of folk-funk compiles the work of a delightful progressive girl group from the late 70s and 80s. After her beloved self-titled debut in 1978, lead singer Miquela continued to promote the baroque Occitan language in which she sung. Here, as a unified force, her troop of […]

25/30 album of the week folk rock singer-songwriter

bill callahan – YTILAER

Bill Callahan has exposed a lot of his soul, but ceaseless in his songwriting lives a perpetually roaming orientation. Each track here sounds as though he has momentarily halted a horseback journey to take in the view of a mountain range. YTILAER is reflective, but its greatest quality is in the rousing intimacy of each […]

25/30 classic review folk singer-songwriter

labi siffre – crying, laughing, loving, lying (1972)

Beyond his beloved-by-producers take on funk, Labi Siffre was unusually skilled at creating subtle folk ballads. On C,L, L, L his high-pitched, drifting vocals, which have since inhabited Robin Pecknold, coalesced with serene acoustics. Each component is wrapped in his earnest songwriting—-the rushes of emotion bloom and plateau with deep sweetness. In spite of some […]

30/30 classic review folk

fausto – por este rio acima (1982)

On his back, Fausto carries the full weight of history, expanding beyond the palpable connections between the immediate past and present. The task of this master is to act as the diaphragm of Portugal—to exhale while overlooking the instruments. Por Este Rio Acima tells stories of spices, travel, and love between instruments that jangle in […]