2020s Top 20
Well it's been a year that none of us will ever forget and we think it's safe to say that we're all thoroughly looking forward to it being over...
Despite the obvious challenges we've all faced, we have still been blessed by some incredible music and we thought we'd take a look over our favourite releases this year from the Folklore community.
Delve into our picks here and let us know what we've missed out!
20) DAN MILLSON - GET OUT OF THIS
19) OLD FRIENDS - RUN
18) SUCH SMALL HANDS - CAROUSEL
17) CLARA MCHUGH - KOOL AID
16) JON COHEN EXPERIMENTAL - NO PENNY JENNY
15) MELANIE BAKER - LOVE ISN'T MEANT TO MAKE YOU FEEL ALONE
14) EASY WANDERLINGS - ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS
13) EDIE BENS - CASHMERE SWEATERS
12) BROTHER SEA - SEPTEMBER
11) ADAM SPRY - BONANZA
10) JACKO HOOPER - WHY I'M HERE AT ALL
9) CHLOE FOY - CALLOUS COPPER
8) STEVEN BAMIDELE - THIS WON'T HAPPEN A SECOND TIME
7) NATURE TV - HOMETOWN
6) IN EARNEST - 29
5) KATIE MALCO - CREATURES
We were lucky enough to host Katie Malco for a stripped back show as part of her UK Tour just before lockdown 1.0 back in March...
We were very interested to hear her debut album 'Failures' get released (Via 6131 Records) having seen her stun Brighton with a solo performance and her vocal being given the room it needs to truly shine. With a much more full-band feel, it seems that Malco is able to own both of these forms as Creatures firmly solidifies.
Personable, intimate and yet with the fuzzy overtones and driven drums that seem to elevate the emotion rather than detract from it, Katie Malco has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with moving forward and there were a number of tracks from her debut album that could have made the list. For us, this one just pipped them to the post.
4) REMAYN - COFFEE & PROZAC
Lyrics will always be important to us and if ever there was a song that spoke to us directly then it's Coffee & Prozac by Remayn.
Quite possibly one of the most stunning melodies in a song we've heard this year, the chorus lifts to an almost angelic scale with Remayn's delicate falsetto exclaiming;
So I drink my coffee
And I take my prozac
And there's no guarantee
These feelings won't come back to me
The song has minimal production with focus lying on the lyrics, giving them the room they need to breath and sit right inside your ears and fester, making you feel comforted and yet thoroughly uncomfortable simultaneously. This is a masterclass in how to write an acoustic driven track and taps into the very essence of what Folklore loves in music - Honesty and lack of ego.
Thoroughly refreshing and worthy of a place in the top 5 tracks of the year.
3) JAZZ LINGARD - JULIE'S
A new discovery to Folklore this year and a song that has been repeating since it's submission towards the end of summer.
Having already got an album and several tracks under her belt as an artist, Lingard truly shines in her songwriting ability and keen ear for melody, with the chorus of Julie's making us stand up and take attention upon the very first listen. The track is whimsical and flows like someone telling an old fable, there's something timeless in her approach to writing and is a stand out feature in her work.
I can't help thinking
That it's better off in my head
Two different people
With two different stories
Again and again
We are very excited to see what 2021 has in store for Lingard and, if this track is anything to go by, we're sure it's going to be a good one. We look forward to bringing her to Brighton in the future for a show and for you all to discover one of our favourite artists at the moment.
2) GEORGE OGILVIE - EXITING
It had been a long time coming for Ogilvie's debut album 'White Out' but when it arrived it left us inspired, moved and thoroughly blown away by it's depth and mature sound.
Ogilvie is no stranger to Folklore, having been a part of our community since the start and releasing his track 'Out Of Harms Way' on Folklore Vol.1 in 2018. His talent as a songwriter has never been in question and his loyal fanbase is proof of that with close to 100million streams on Spotify alone.
There's so much more to Ogilvie's work than the number of streams and the accolades that have come with it - there are songs here that truly demand the attention of the public due to their sheer class. Lyrically, the whole album is littered with dark topics and moments of crisis. The comparisons to Jeff Buckley and Radiohead are there to be made but don't be fooled, he is an artist in his own right, and in an album littered with gems, it was Exiting that truly stopped us in our tracks.
We cannot wait to see what his new project Route 500 brings us next year, we imagine it'll be making some Folklore lists in the future too...
1) RYAN SIMUNIC - YOUR FEARS WERE JUST A DREAM
Sometimes a song finds you just at the right time...
Ryan Simunic sent us this track via submission and as soon as his vocal started we knew we were about to hear something special.
The production is elegant, beautiful and minimal, but what really captured us was the incredible lyricism from Simunic. It strikes at a part of you that is vulnerable and sore, and yet picks you up for a chorus which is bittersweet and hopeful.
"Once you danced by a flickering light
and scoffed at its meagre form
Now it’s brash and it beckons your mind
with a blight never seen before"
Once we heard the track we knew we needed to explore more, and as luck would have it, his music video was being premiered a few minutes after us opening the email. Everything was set in place for this song to be something important and we were delighted that the visual accompaniment to the track is more than fitting for what we have chosen as our track of the year.
We can't wait to hear what comes next from this Canadian songwriter, a country rich in it's history of striking artists - You can firmly add Simunic to that list.
Get to know Ryan Simunic - Your Fears Were Just A Dream.
Listen to these tracks as a full playlist here;
We are so thoroughly excited to look ahead to 2021 and get back to putting on shows and promoting the finest songwriters from across the world - Make sure you're a part of it all and be part of our community by following across our socials and submitting your own music to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To say we have a lot planned for 2021 would be a gross understatement... See you then!