Gordi – ‘Volcanic’.
The idea of making electronic folk music – blending acoustic arrangements with electronic elements – is something that feels wildly innovative. One of my favourite examples of this in recent years is Sophie Payten (aka Gordi). Since releasing her debut Reservoir in 2017, she has become one of the most recognisable voices in folktronica circles. Her unflinching persistence and experimentation in this continually evolving genre is documented in a collection of songs on her new album Our Two Skins. Interestingly, her willingness to experiment doesn’t overshadow her personal and world-weary approach to songwriting. In fact, both words and music on the new album compliment each other to great effect. In a press release Payten said: “Our Two Skins chronicles the intense and impossible time (she) spent renegotiating who she is and how she fits in the world.” Moreover the album seems to document a cauldron of emotional baggage that has surfaced or crept into Payten’s life in recent years. From Radiator, a song about releasing the pressure valve on love to Volcanic, which details what it’s like to suffer an anxiety attack, Our Two Skins is strangely a positive listening experience.
Husky – ‘SYWD’.
Although it’s hard not to see everything as a response to what is happening around the world at present, Melbourne indie folk band Husky new concept album Stardust Blues is something that we all definitely need right now. Inspired by James Joyce’s classic novel Ulysses, the album’s twelve tracks follows a contemplative character as he transverses through a city lost in his thoughts searching for love, hope and the key to the cosmos. Interestingly, following on from three critically acclaimed albums spanning a little over a decade now, Husky incorporate a sound on Stardust Blues that is both familiar yet also new to their musical direction. On this record you can here the influence of the likes of Andy Shauf, Father John Misty and surprisingly Big Thief. Husky’s track Kinetic, for instance, whether deliberate or unconscious is Big Thief hands down. (Something about Kinetic reminds me of U.F.O.F.) On a personal note, Husky’s SYWD stands as my favourite track on the album. “It takes place in the morning, walking home from an all-night party in that half-awake, half-asleep, dream state in which you’re more likely to do something you normally wouldn’t do. Like calling your ex,” frontman Husky Gawenda said recently in a track by track breakdown of the album.
First Aid Kit – ‘On The Road Again’.
First Aid Kit — Johanna and Klara Söderberg — felt like a breath of fresh air when I first discovered them a few years back. Since then, I’ve really become a fan of their alt-country/indie folk music. Though it’s been a while since we have heard some new music from them, I’m pleased to report that this week they have shared their previously unreleased cover of Willie Nelson’s 1980 classic On The Road Again. It’s the Swedish outfit’s first release since 2018’s Ruins LP and Tender Offerings EP, and I have to say it’s a nice offering that comes with an incredibly charming homemade tour video that reminds us of the good old days, when we were able to get out and about and enjoy the splendour of live shows. Interestingly, all proceeds of the song will be donated to Crew Nation in support of the global touring community. And without any further ado, check out First Aid Kit’s cover of Nelson’s “On The Road Again” here below. Enjoy!