Tag Archives: daughter

Guest Post: Adam Sharp’s Top 5 Artists of 2013

I’m a big fan of Adam Sharp‘s Songs for the Day, a blog that surfaces amazing talent literally every. single. day. (Needless to say, he’s a more diligent blogger than I am.) I asked him to compile some of the artists he bets will break this year—or, at the very least, will make 2013 sound pretty darn pleasant. Read on to hear more…

Below are 5 artists you may or may not know already, but who will all be, by my estimation, heavily involved in the soundtrack to your life in the coming year. Let’s see what your year is going to sound like, shall we?

Shakey Graves

Alejandro Rose-Garcia doesn’t make music that sounds like the stuff other folks are making. Not many people are rolling around the back roads playing their guitar and briefcase drum set while singing about things like gunslingers, women, convicts, booze and wary roaming (sometimes all in one tune). The music of Shakey Graves is at once fresh, familiar, unique and memorable, full of deep truths and wisdom under its cowboy exterior.

Night Beds

There aren’t a lot of artists that would dare start their debut full-length album with an a capella tune, but then again Winston Yellen isn’t most artists. In Country Sleep, the debut album from Night Beds, Yellen has created a stunningly personal, vulnerable and brave piece of work from beginning to end. It’s an album that packs quite the painful punch under the surface of its uniquely gorgeous arrangements, Yellen’s tales of lost love, loneliness, pain and depression always lurking below the strums and strings, armed and ready to reach up and shake you.


Led by the powerhouse vocals of Galen Disston, Pickwick makes the kind of music that will simultaneously stop you dead in your tracks and force you to dance when it starts coming through your speakers. Combining equal parts soul, indie rock and psychedelic rock, this Seattle sextet is producing some of my favorite music being made today. Get your weird dancing shoes ready, kids- when Pickwick blows through town you’re gonna want to be there, and you’re surely going need said shoes.


You could use a lot of words to describe the music that Daughter makes (I know, I’ve used most of them), but the only one you truly need is ‘haunting’. The dark stories of love, loss and alienation being woven in Elena Torna’s songs are haunting. The arrangements that build and burst throughout are haunting. And Torna’s voice, sometimes confident and strong, other times frail and apprehensive, is haunting. Daughter makes music that sticks with you long after the notes fade away.

Noah Gundersen

There are two versions of Noah Gundersen: the one on tape and the one who plays live. There’s the songwriter just realizing his potential, penning stunning songs full of words that cut deep and raising questions that need answers. Then there’s the performer, the one who, with his sister Abby at his side, possesses a power that hushes a crowd from first note to last. You need both of versions of Noah Gundersen in your life in 2013.

News: Summer Camp Release New Video, Michael Kiwanuka Teams with Dan Auerbach, Daytrotter Crosses the Pond

I do exist, I swear! I’ve been working–that’s right, working. I’ve been on blog hiatus this past month or so as I’ve started my job at Synthetic, the company behind the Hipstamatic iPhone app. (Guess all those gig photos paid off, eh?) I’m still woefully behind on blog duties, but I’ll be rolling them back in over the next few weeks. After all, I still owe you an Andrew Butler review.

If anyone is interested in doing a guest post, please comment on this post, tweet me, or shoot me an email. I’d love for you to fill readers in on all the new-folk awesomeness that I’ve missed over the past month or so. There’s been a lot!

Not least of which: congratulations to Daughter for being signed to Glassnote (home of Communion friends Mumford & Sons), Michael Kiwanuka for recording with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach (track below), and Summer Camp for releasing this super awkward video for “Losing My Mind” (especially loving the cat).

BREAKING NEWS: Daytrotter has just announced that they’re teaming up with Communion and heading to London. From The 405:

We’re so excited to be working with Sean and the Daytrotter team here at Communion. We’re long time admirers of the ethics and integrity that they display, and we feel as champions of new artists and musical discovery it’s a perfect fit for us,” said Communion’s Jones. Added Lovett, “Daytrotter are the godfathers of alternative music in America, and we’re very happy to be entering into this marriage, as Kev said we just love everything they do.”

The first batch of sessions recorded here included 4-song sets by Bombay Bicycle Club (the first to be posted on Thursday), Metronomy, Big Deal, Lucy Rose, Niki & The Dove, Nathaniel Rateliff, Admiral Fallow, Slow Club, Simone Felice, Bear Driver, Duologue, Jesca Hoop, Folks, Kyla La Grange, Boxer Rebellion, Tribes and Channel Chairo. Read more at the 405.

New-Folk News: Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Daughter, Ben Howard, Bombay Bicycle Club

Just to prove that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, here are some delightful news bits. It seems to be a big day for artists in the early part of the alphabet.

Here’s Bombay Bicycle Club’s new video for “Lights Out, Word Gone”, featuring some sweet dancing by cute old people.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich has gained attention for his covers–and has now released a free EP of them. Just by signing up for his mailing list here, you can download five tracks:
1. Pick Up Truck – Kings Of Leon
2. When You Were Young – The Killers
3. Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteen
4. Rebellion – Arcade Fire
5. Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty

A few of these (When You Were Young, Rebellion) have already been in circulation, but these others are new–to me, at least. Check ’em out.

Ben Howard has announced 2012 UK tour dates. Pre-sale begins October 12th at 9am UK time.

13th Feb – Hall for Cornwall, Truro
14th Feb – Pyramids, Portsmouth
15th Feb – Concorde 2, Brighton
16th Feb – HMV Ritz, Manchester
18th Feb – Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
19th Feb – Oran Mor, Glasgow
20th Feb – Northumbria University, Newcastle
22nd Feb – Waterfront, Norwich
24th Feb – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
25th Feb – O2 Academy, Oxford
27th Feb – Cockpit, Leeds
28th Feb – HMV Institute, Birmingham
29th Feb – O2 Academy, Bristol

And finally, Daughter has just released The Wild Youth EP, available on UK iTunes and UK Amazon, or Bandcamp (below) worldwide. The EP was produced by Communion’s Ian Grimble.

Laura Marling Releases “Sophia” Video, Daughter Free Download on US iTunes

Laura Marling released the official video for single “Sophia” today, and it’s as lovely as the song itself. Set in a candlelit cathedral, it reminds me of the equally simplistic “New Romantic” video; in fact, juxtaposing the two songs illustrates just how far she’s come musically. Wow.

After you’ve finished watching the two videos, and have gotten over your feelings of inferiority for not being like Laura at age 21, head over to (US) iTunes. Check out Indie Spotlight. Download “Landfill” by Daughter, and buy the rest of her His Young Heart EP for $2.97. Then begin to feel inferior again.

Laura Marling’s highly anticipated third album, A Creature I Don’t Know, is out September 12th in the UK and the 13th in the US. Preorder information is here.

First Shepherd’s Bush, Then the World

Communion Takes Over Shepherd’s Bush for Bushstock 2011

All the way back in February I was heartbroken to be missing Communion’s Bushstock Festival. The new-folk launch pad/label/international(!) club night was set to put on their first Shepherd’s Bush takeover on May 7th, but it was postponed until this coming Saturday. And while I obviously still can’t go, those of you who can will find it worth the wait: the lineup looks pretty darn fantastic. The four venues (St. Stephen’s Church, Shepherd’s Bar, the Goldhawk, and Ginglik) all feature prominent up-and-comers, as well as some mainstays, in the new-folk world. I’ve previously typed my fingers off about performers like Peggy Sue and King Charles, and certainly the Mystery Jets needs no introduction. So here are some other Bushstock artists I’ve had my eye on for a while, and I would encourage you to check out. But remember, this is really just asmidgeon of the great acts lined up for the event–so take a gander at the schedule and give them all a listen.

I’ve already written about Elena Tonra, who performs as Daughter. Her Demos EP (which is still the glorious price of free) is a lovely thing, delicate and serene. With a beautifully pure tone, Elena’s voice is captivating and expressive. If the four recorded tracks on the EP already feel intimate, a live performance would be stunning indeed. She’s been all over BBC radio, just recorded a session for Daytrotter, was featured in Q Magazine, and likely won’t be underground for very long.

Goldheart Assembly
I was bummed to miss these guys at SXSW. The tight harmonies of Goldheart Assembly’s “King of Rome” will lodge themselves in your brain for weeks, especially as you find yourself yearning for summer sunbathing music. All of last year’s Wolves and Thieves is filled with these retro stylings, a West Coast vibe that alternates between mellow (the soft and gorgeous “Last Decade”, for example) and hyped up (the cheery “Under the Waterway” almost sounds like Fun.’s folkier cousin). It’s supposed to rain here in the Bay Area on Saturday, but London looks sunny and warm. Pull out your Ray Bans and let Goldheart Assembly put you in the mood.

Three Blind Wolves
There’s no other way to say it: I frigging adore Three Blind Wolves. The Glaswegians’ seven song debut, Sound of the Storm, came out on Communion at the end of March, and has been taking over my iPod ever since (it’s easily in my top five fave discoveries of the year so far).The lyrics are clever, melodies catchy, and presentation confident. Lead singer Ross Clark uses his voice like a true instrument, shifting registers and manipulating texture with control. They’ve been called a ‘countrified Modest Mouse’, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

Tom Williams and the Boat
First of all, check out the Station Session they did in July last year. It’s great. Tom Williams and the Boat are of that Frank Turner ilk, where singing morphs into shouting and words are squished together or strung out into conversational phrases. As Tom triumphantly shouts on new single “Concentrate” (check out this version, recorded in a bathroom), he’s a ‘modern man’–and the lyric-driven songs are nothing if not contemporary. The band’s dynamic rock-twinged style would provide a welcome burst of energy in the middle of Saturday afternoon.

Treetop Flyers
Treetop Flyers sound like they’ve been around for a while, by which I mean two things: a) they sound like the modern answer to bands like Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, and b) they sound like old pros, even though their debut EP was only released in 2009. They also just won Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition, which earns them a spot on the giant festival’s main stage. Check out their amazing Bandstand Busking session, as well as For Folk’s Sake’s interview with vocalist Reid Morrison.