What the folk?
Call it what you want – folk, nu-folk, freak-folk, folk noir – but the analogue-sounding, predominantly acoustic rhythms of
and are all busy upholstering a traditionally rooted sound to no little acclaim. While the term “folk” used to be used in a pejorative way by the rock and pop world, erroneously conjuring up images of fingers stuck in ears and songs about dead sailors, the revival of the genre has been attributed to the “realness” of the music.
With an incontinent use of studio technology gimmicks such as Auto-Tune, and a generic swishy synthesiser sound making much of today’s r’n’b and hip-hop sound stilted and stylised, there’s an almost tangible feel about today’s folk stylings. And the multi-million selling runaway success of Mumford & Son’s Sigh No More has precipitated the usual rush in record company A&R divisions to sign up anything sounding vaguely similar.
Next year will see a fresh glut of nu-folkers hit the stages and record shops as folk remains ever-so “on trend” and begins to cosy up to the mainstream. Caveat emptor: it’s open season in the folk world for bandwagonjumpers.