Here are three emerging folk artists that we can’t stop listening to right now!
Zach Bailey is an LA-based singer-songwriter who shares his stories and personal relationships through music.
Originally from Kansas, Zach played in a number of bands before moving to LA and touring the world with a number of up and coming artists.
His brand new single ‘Corner Of The Universe’ draws influence from the likes of The Paper Kites and Joshua Radin and tells the story of finding space and escape during lockdown and explores the connection between Zach’s experience and the patterns of nature.
The track opens with the sound of waves as the stunning acoustic guitar mimics the shimmer of the sun’s reflection on water. Zach’s gentle voice is calming and reassuring, like the waves, as he sings “I hear the ocean in your breath, rising and falling like waves”.
“This song began as a poem inspired by a lovely afternoon with my boyfriend. The line ‘Between the 9 to 6 and the suburbs, this here is our corner of the universe’ is literally about a small patch of grass between a Beverly Hills neighborhood and a busy street.”
“But it also touches on learning to create a mental space outside the framework of survival, which has been really important for me this past year,” says Zach.
The song is heartfelt and tender and its hypnotic quality will draw you in and transport you to a dream-like corner of the earth on a sunny afternoon.
She creates atmospheric, ethereal, vintage landscapes with her honest songs about love, nature and life and cites Nick Drake, Radiohead, The Sundays and Frightened Rabbit among her influences.
‘Oh Love’ is the first of four single releases from Belinda over the next six months, building up to a full album launch in the autumn.
The track is Belinda’s first release on her own label and it sees her duet with Colchester-based Turin Brakes collaborator Kevin Pearce.
Their voices mesh perfectly together – one with a shimmering and ethereal quality, the other quivering with raw emotion – over a dreamy acoustic guitar line and stripped back instrumentation.
It is easy to get lost in the beauty of this track and to listen to it over and over again, discovering new wonders with every replay.
After years of honing her musical skills at venues including New York’s Mercury Lounge and SoHo House and LA’s Hotel Cafe, American singer-songwriter Paola Bennet has shared her new EP Maybe The Light.
The EP is a meditation on time, multiplicity, and how many emotional realities we each hold at once. Abandoning stereotypes, it allows for songs about mental health, friendship, bitterness, and intimacy to take equal seats at the table.
The EP moves between anguished folk-rock anthems (‘My Mother Says’) and dreamy ballad (‘Astronaut’) and explores reuniting with a faraway friend (‘Anthea’) to daily dealings with chronic illness (‘In This Body’) and the fragility of a new love affair (‘7:23am’).
Each track expresses multiple layers of emotions: despairing and determined, reconciled and bitter, careful and wanting. “I kept thinking about the idea of light and shadow, that they always coexist,” Bennet says. “All of these songs, in some way, are about that coexistence — how many realities we hold constantly in our heads.”
Maybe The Light is full of intimate storytelling, organic and atmospheric sounds, poetic lyrics, emotive vocals and an overall sense of daring that is empowering and poignant.
Follow Up&Coming’s Folk Magic Playlist to listen to all three tracks!
By Eveline Vouillemin ©