folktronica

youtube

Sylvan Esso, one of my favorite indie duo’s since 2013 when I stumbled upon their earliest releases and brought them along with me to Burning Man that year, has revealed the B-side to their wildly infectious single Radio, a personal favorite of the year. The North Carolina pair deliver quirky folktronica and fizzy art pop on Kick Jump Twist, a song whose name seems an appropriate description for much of the duo’s fascinating repertoire. Once again, we’re met with a fine balance of sparse minimalism and bubbly magnetism. Kick Jump Twist is as Sylvan Esso as they come, with an extra infusion of analog charm. Radio and Kick Jump Twist are available as a 12″ single from Loma Vista Recordings. Order, here. As it’s been two years since Sylvan Esso’s debut album, I’m hoping these tunes lead up to a sophomore full length soon. 

10

This awesomely ingenious contraption is The Marble Machine, a complex hand-cranked wooden device that uses 2,000 marbles to produce music. It’s the creation of Martin Molin, member of the Swedish folktronica band Wintergatan, who spent two years working on designs, prototypes, and finally building his amazing and unconventional instrument. He also composed a fantastic song for it to play:

“The melody is primarily carried by a vibraphone whose bars are hit by falling marbles, but it also includes small percussion and cymbals, as well as a bass guitar neck. It even has a “breakdown” arm, which is a literal brake that kills the instrument’s flywheel—that huge spinning circle that’s primarily responsible for the marble machine keeping time accurately.”

To learn more about how the marvelous Marble Machine was created, visit the Wintergatan website for a series of behind-the-scenes videos.

[via Gizmodo, Colossal]

Singer/Songwriter Sal Fowler’s song “Braver” is a fantastic Folktronica pop masterpiece.

Fingers crossed in holding hands
Big sky, heroes, a burning brand

Oh, you at my side
Hard sell, brace us

I cannot take this anymore
I am not what you want me for

Dry eyes, a deep glass, a quiet rage
Violence is nice when you have no place

Oh, you prince of pride
You have me, you hate me and

I cannot take this anymore
I am not what you want me for

I have no weight, have no weight

I’ve seen ships sink
Thousands!
Leagues deep

Helen, you’re braver than you think

And I have no weight, have no weight

Follow us on Bandcamp for the best new music!

It’s been a moment since I’ve shared anything from Vicktor Taiwò, the Nigerian born, East London based soul and folktronica musician. he returns after nearly a year today, with a gripping new single named Feathers & Wax. The finely nuanced and emotional ballad blends sensual electronic production with soulful acoustics in a crisp, rich, and commanding fashion. Taiwò will be releasing his new JUNO EP on June 16th.

Made with SoundCloud

Back in 2012, I stumbled upon Howling, a gorgeous folk flavored gem from an Australian singer songwriter named RY X, who teamed up with Frank Wiedeman on the song. I’ve been a fan of the man since, even following his other project, The Acid, very closely. Lately, I’ve been wondering when we’d hear some new material from RY X, particularly after San Francisco’s Cathedrals pushed Howling back at the front of my mind again with their recent cover of the song. Turns out, RY X has been quietly working on a new full length album, and he’s made a heart wrenching return with new indie folk song, Only. Like Howling, Only is an exquisitely tranquil beauty, its hushed dreaminess both vast and intimate, its gentle aches so deep they can be felt in the very grooves of your bones . If you’re a fan of Bon Iver and Sigur Rós, Only is going to melt your heart. Only is available now on iTunes. RY X’s new album Dawn will be out on May 6th.

Made with SoundCloud
youtube

Young MagicFall In

Despite what would could be seen as a prototypical indie  aesthetic, Young Magic’s video for their song, Fall In (off their second studio album) maintains its sincerity. The ethereal narrative, the nearly-but-not-quite unworldly sites and a stately protagonist.

The sound is smooth but gently aggressive, never too comfortably melodic: mixing brassy saxophones, rolling drums and eerie harmonies. And then, one hundred and thirteen seconds into the song, the sound feels almost as if it has reached the edge of a cliff.

The listener reemerges, as our heroine does from the water, worn but invigorated. Alive.