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Tag: Folk (1-10 of 33)

Venus and the Moon channel songs from celestial bodies

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Los Angeles has been reconnecting with its hippie past a lot in recent months with the revival of a mystically tinged folk sound that’s as much a part of the city’s sonic identity as glam metal and g-funk. Frally Hynes and Rain Phoenix (who is, yes, Joaquin’s sister) have added their voices to the movement with their new project Venus and the Moon, playing something they call “galactic country” that blends delicate Laurel Canyon melodies and gentle psychedelia infused with crystalline cosmic energy.

Before setting out on a string of European dates with Cat Power, the pair gave EW some insight into what they’re about (and a playlist too).

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Marianne Faithfull on rock stars, misogyny, and why she's not a sentimental person

Marianne Faithfull first caught the pop world’s attention after she caught the Rolling Stones’. A model-pretty folk singer frequently found on Mick Jagger’s arm, she quickly became a poster child for Swinging London. But it wasn’t until her bracingly raw 1979 album Broken English, recorded after a protracted period of drug abuse and depression, that Faithfull started to get credit for much more than her looks and famous friends.

Since then, Faithfull has become an icon in her own right with a raggedly soulful voice, an inimitable grace undiminished by years of struggle, and musical instincts that remain as razor-sharp as they were when she first recorded “As Tears Go By.” Recently she released her 20th studio album, the deeply pleasurable Give My Love To London, as well as a book of personal artifacts she’s collected over the years. EW got on the phone with her to talk about those projects—and found her to be as hilarious and unflinchingly honest as her reputation suggests. READ FULL STORY

Stream Joe Fletcher's raw and gritty 'You've Got the Wrong Man' LP

Folk music’s having a moment right now–maybe its biggest in decades–but the twee, indie-cute slant of its most visible contemporary proponents has a tendency to leave fans of its gnarlier, more twisted roots feeling cold. To fans of folk’s darker side, Joe Fletcher’s You’ve Got the Wrong Man should come as a bracing breath of fresh air–or if not “fresh” than “intriguingly dusty,” like the atmosphere in a junk store full of beat-up old treasures.

Fletcher is part of a loosely affiliated community of insurgent folk artists who are working to counter the effects of Mumfordism. His third LP, recorded solo to tape in multiple locations around the country, has the no-fi production values of a Lomax field recording, the hardscrabble allure of Springsteen’s Nebraska, and the gritty tunefulness of Mississippi John Hurt.

Fletcher will release You’ve Got the Wrong Man on Oct. 7, and it’s available for pre-order now. Until then you can stream the album here.

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The Avett Brothers talk about their new album, explain who's the 'Magpie' and who's the 'Dandelion'

North Carolina folk-rockers The Avett Brothers recently released their eighth full-length album, Magpie and the Dandelion — which is also their third effort with super-producer Rick Rubin, who worked with them on their breakout hit “I And Love And You.” Led by single “Another Is Waiting,” whose video premiered here on EW.com, Magpie debuted at No. 5 on Billboard 200, giving the banjo-plucking troupe their second straight Top 5 debut.

A few weeks before the album’s release, EW caught up with the band before a PBS taping at the McCittrick Hotel. Bassist Bob Crawford couldn’t participate in the interview, but brothers Seth and Scott Avett sat down with us to talk about their new music, their bird obsession, how Crawford’s young daughter is doing (she was diagnosed with cancer in 2012), and what the title Magpie and the Dandelion means.

Why are you releasing an album just a year after The Carpenter?
Scott Avett: It used to be commonplace for us. We were hard on ourselves early on. We felt obligated to put something out every year. That felt very appropriate for some reason. So the material presented itself — we realized it was there.

You’d recorded it already?
Scott: Yeah, we’d recorded most of it with The Carpenter, not thinking it would come out as an album necessarily, but maybe it would come out as singles or extra material or what not. The more we listened to it, the more we realized there was a piece, a whole there that deserved to be together and synchronized. READ FULL STORY

See The Avett Brothers' 'Another Is Waiting' music video -- EXCLUSIVE

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Americana mainstays The Avett Brothers are gearing up for the release of their eighth full-length album Magpie and the Dandelion, which will arrive in stores on Oct. 15 — just one year after their critically acclaimed disc The Carpenter reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

Today, the band is premiering the music video for “Another is Waiting,” the rollicking first single from their new collection, right here on EW. Scott Avett co-directed the clip, which follows a fresh-faced young lady’s journey through a high-pressure modeling world where the beauties are all, in fact, skeletal.

It’s a commentary, of course, on the dangers of the chew-you-up-spit-you-out entertainment business (Notice the sign at the entrance of the modeling agency: “Pricuf Aim” = “Price of fame”), and it finds the banjo-plucking boys warning the girl, “You got to get yourself off that conveyor belt.”

Does she heed their advice? Find out in the video below. (FYI, this clip may not work on some mobile devices.) READ FULL STORY

The introspective rock dude: Deer Tick and Bill Callahan revive the (much-needed) archetype

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What happened to the introspective rock dude? It seems strange that there should be a shortage of them. Maybe it’s even stranger to complain about it. After all, hasn’t this type long dominated the indie scene? And aren’t Drake and Kanye West ruminating enough for everybody right now? And yet it’s disappointing how little soul searching man bands are up for these days. The Arctic Monkeys, first heralded in large part for their thoughtful lyrics, just broke into the top 10 with a new album more focused on macho riffage. Vampire Weekend, who hit number one (again) earlier this year, were never ones to brood. And Justin Vernon of Bon Iver is now serving heaping scoops of doggerel (like “sexing all your parliament”) with Volcano Choir.

John Mayer’s one of the few guys rooting around in his feelings as a project, but what he turns up on his recent album reveals an acute case of “nice guy” syndrome. Paradise Valley is gentle, inviting, even poetic—until it becomes petulant and entitled, as on “Dear Marie,” where a former teen flame is informed, with exquisitely sensitive condescension, “I got my dream—but you got family.”

The real white knights have only just arrived, and no, you shouldn’t actually think of them that way. Last week Bill Callahan (formerly known as Smog)  released Dream River, the fourth album under his own name. This week Deer Tick delivered their fifth one, Negativity. Callahan and Deer Tick’s singer John McCauley have a few things in common: A love—or at least a fondness for evoking—Americana; a precision-tuned sense of self-awareness; and a profound lack of concern for what other people might think of as cheesy—like unleashing flute and saxophone solos, or lines like “all I want to do is make love to you” and “a baby cries, and an old man dies.”

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Watch the mesmerizing video for Jesse Woods' dreamy folk song 'Tumbleweeds' -- EXCLUSIVE

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Football is back! So in honor of the gridiron’s return, why not celebrate with… a subtly haunting folk music video?

Hear us out: up-and-coming singer-songwriter Jesse Woods was once a standout wide receiver for Texas A&M, but he’s since retreated to (where else?) Austin to hone his musical craft. Last month he released Get Your Burdens Lifted, and now he’s got a video for album highlight “Tumbleweeds” — and you can watch it exclusively here.

Directed by Jeff Bednarz, the clip matches the tune’s tone with ominous, arty shots of roaming horses, untamed trees, and of course the man himself strumming on his guitar.

Check out the video below:

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Hear Butch Walker's very pretty new song 'All the Love You Need' -- EXCLUSIVE

Butch Walker has a great track record working on songs for others — everyone from Taylor Swift to Fall Out Boy have enlisted his services — but his own music ain’t half-bad either.

Next month, the Georgia-born musician gets his own documentary called Butch Walker: Out of Focus. Check out the preview now:

Out of Focus includes a special track he recorded with South Carolina folk duo Shovels & Rope called “All the Love You Need,” and you can hear it exclusively here.

Says Walker of the song: “[Shovels & Rope’s] Mike and Cary Ann were on tour with me at the time, and they stayed in California to collaborate on [my] last record, The Spade. That song was a few lines I rattled off to Mike and the next day he came back with the rest written and it CRUSHED ME. we laid it down live in about one or two takes, just before happy hour. Thank God, because the song is super-depressing.”

Get depressed after the jump:

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Joy Williams tries to explain the Civil Wars break-up: 'It's been a hard, painful season of my life'

They officially have the number-one record in the country this week — and one of the most-acclaimed albums of the year so far — but the Civil Wars’ Joy Williams and John Paul White won’t be touring to support it. In fact, the estranged duo are very famously not talking to one another at all. Williams did talk to EW, however, about making the album, separating truth from artistic license, and generally setting the record straight:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is it weird approaching every interview for your new record knowing you’ll have to address the hiatus?
JOY WILLIAMS:
Yeah, some days it’s really difficult just because I believe so much in the caliber of the music that we made that it’s hard for me that we can’t just focus on the music. That being said, I understand why people are curious about it. It’s something that I’m curious about, too, frankly. READ FULL STORY

The Civil Wars unveil sad, smoky single 'The One That Got Away'

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And no, it’s not a cover of the Katy Perry song.

The Civil Wars, who, despite their unaddressed hiatus, recently announced that their self-titled second album is due August 6, released the first song from that upcoming set this morning: a crackling, morose blues-rock ballad called “The One That Got Away” that swells with moments of fury.

“I never meant to get us in this deep,” Joy Williams sighs in the opening verse. “I never meant for this to mean a thing.” The sparse arrangement, which features little more than a moody electric guitar, bass, banjo, and kick drum, builds to a bitter chorus.

“I wish I’d never ever seen your face,” Williams sings with (at?) John Paul White. “I wish you were the one that got away.” Yes, both members are married to other people, but still, it feels like we’re sitting in on their therapy session, right?

The Civil Wars’ labels, Sensibility Music/Columbia Records, aren’t trying to hide the tension currently plaguing — or, judging by this song, fueling — the band. “The [new] album was recorded amidst a grueling touring schedule, exhausting workload and a growing disconnect from their families,” a press release read this morning.

Fittingly, the video for “The One That Got Away” features nothing more than a billowing cloud of black smoke. Check it out below: READ FULL STORY

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