My love for folk music has been an ever growing thing since my college days. I can’t entirely place my finger on exactly why, but I love discovering new (to me) artists putting out great music in the genre. And with a name like Ray LaMontagne how could he be anything but a folk artist, so I had to check Part of the Light out. It checks off everything I love about folk music – warm, rustic charm, emotional undertones, and free spiritness – but it’s not a by the books affair. He has clear influences from other genres and he incorporates those in interesting ways. Many folk records can feel a bit too one note at times, but not this one, he gives you everything from slow, country ballads, to the raucous and almost psych and metal-like, and his incredible vocals have no trouble playing to everything. Part of the Light is a fantastic listen and Ray LaMontagne has just been added to my radar of artists to always be on the look out for.
Evolving and progressing your sound is always a tricky affair but on "Electric Light" James Bay has been able to pull it off 'almost' flawlessly - giving his core fans what they fell in love with in the first place while boldly pushing into a new audience and direction without it feeling forced or gimmicky.
Lord Huron's latest is a beautiful nighttime blend that's at times cinematic in nature - with the best way of describing it is as psychedelic sci-fi folk western. They may not be as commercially or critically recognized as say a Bon Iver, but they're quietly putting together an impressive discography and Vide Noir is further evidence that they're one of the most interesting acts in folk.
Wye Oak's latest feels decidedly more accessible than say "Civilian", but in reality their compositions are as dense and layered as ever, but the new synth and rhythm additions make their sound so much more expansive. And it's the interplay between the bright expansive backdrop and the highly introspective lyrics, sung through her still incredibly beautiful airy vocals, that make this such a fulfilling listen.
Tell me what your heart wants
Such a simple thing
My heart is like paper
Yours is like a flame
– “Such A Simple Thing”
Have you heard Part of the Light? What’d you think about it? Do you like the way Ray LaMontagne incorporates different genres into his music? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.
Ray LaMontagne – Part of the Light Reaction
Many folk records can feel a bit too one note at times, but not this one, Ray LaMontagne gives you everything from slow, country ballads, to the raucous and almost psych and metal-like, and his incredible vocals have no trouble playing to everything.
To the Sea
As Black As Blood Is Blue
It's Always Been You