The fabled genre of storytelling, folk music has always been a staple in music criticism. Political, emotional, and/or philosophical, folk musicians bring a little bit of everything for everyone. It's the genre that can be played with just a guitar and a voice, or attempting to use instruments never involved in mainstream music. Lots of folk music focuses on lyricism, which may be why most famous lines come from folk musicians. For myself, I've always been driven towards emotion in music. Having someone sing about how I feel gives me a sense of euphoria - not to mention how somber the music itself can sound.
Folk music in 2018 didn't generally have a big movement. We got some great new folk artists and some old artists pumping out more amazing albums. One thing I may have noticed was a trend to break free from more traditional folk music. Psychedelic, ambient, and electronic influences are notable in some releases but of course this isn't anything new to the genre itself.
If you missed it my other posts, these sections just highlight some of favourite albums of the year. I post just the album artwork with a short description - later I will have a more in depth list discussing some albums more.
Brand new folk artist to come out of nowhere, and she just drops one of the best albums this year. It's like if Nick Drake and John Fahey made an album together.
Another relatively new musician, Gia Margaret brings us a thoughtful folk album, with touches of synths and other instrumentation throughout..
A wordy, proggy folk album that sounds like it is fronted by Leonard Cohen.
A welcome comeback from a darker piano driven folk artist. Electronic passages compliment the the atmospheric nature of her music.
Dreamy, ambient focused folk music. Listen away to be transported to another dimension.
Marissa Nadler would be considered a veteran in the scene nowadays. With her latest release, she continues her trademark dark folk style.
Debut release from Kendl Winter whose been part of some major projects. The music is majorly just her and her banjo (but lets not forget her perfectly unique voice)
Hey another prairie man! Returning with his third album, Colter Wall continues to channel his inner Johnny Cash, solidifying him as one of the best in modern country music.
Was Grouper's new album too short for you this year? Fortunately Tomberlin brings that sound but giving you more of a full project to hear.
Flamenco folk is one of my favourite styles, so it is no surprise to see me loving this album. Fully sung in Spanish, so get into your Latin groove.
Alela Diane - Cusp
Miya Folick - Premonitions
Adrianne Lenker - abysskiss
Emma Ruth Rundle - On Dark Horses
Neko Case - Hell-On
beabadoobee - Patched Up
Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer
Lucy Dacus - Historian
Amanda Shires - To the Sunset
Current 93 - The Light is Leaving Us All