pedantstools (peddlestools) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
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ONTD Original: 7 Folk Artists Who May or May Not Be Indie But You Should Listen To

It's apparent that indie folk is having a moment right now. What does indie mean? Is it distributing your own music through bandcamp? Is it having a major indie label like Saddle Creek support and promote your music so NPR puts it on All Songs Considered? Or get nominated for a Grammy? Get recognized by Bonnie Bear and collaborate with the National? idk and idc

I'm not here for the discourse and would like to be excluded from this narrative. So here are some indie and maybe not indie performers who are objectively better than Tomberlin and do what she wants to do better plus ONE artist who is arguably a big influence on girls who write sad girl music. But they're also better than Taylor, perhaps. Maybe. Idk. Music is subjective sometimes.

Where to start?

Let's go with Rhiannon Giddens. First a best known as a member of the Grammy award winning band Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens is known for reclaiming American folk music from culture vultures. Remember, the banjo is a west African instrument, though most people's cultural references for the banjo are banjo strumming white redneck hicks like in the movie Deliverance. A multi-instrumentalist, Rhiannon has a clear beautiful voice and writes songs based on slave narratives and historical records, Celtic folk songs, and bluegrass/Americana. I like this cover of Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up Style" from the Chocolate Drops‘ Grammy award winning "Genuine Negro Jig."

She is signed to Nonesuch Records, an imprint of Warner Music Group, but some of her music is also available on Bandcamp. I recommend the song Wayfaring Stranger.



Definitely check our this performance of "At the Purchaser's Option"


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Next up is Weyes Blood. Pronounced wise blood (like the Flannery O'Conner novel), Natalie Mering writes songs about oceans, the movies, and space and a lot of songs with cutting cultural commentary. She started making music in the noise genre with groups like Jackie O Motherfucker, but she decided to self-release her first solo album The Outside Room in 2011, which garnered the attention of indie label Mexican Summer. Mexican Records than released and promoted Front Row to the Earth. This is from my fave during those days, and has been something I've been blasting during the quar.



Other songs worth checking outs are "These Seven Words" as well as everything on her latest album Andromeda Rising, which was released on Subpop. She recently toured with Kacey Musgraves, and I think I went to the show with the only other Natalie Mering stan in the crowd.

Check out the song "These Seven Words" on YouTube but also consider buying it on Bandcamp and consider buying it on Bandcamp this Friday as fees are waived so artists get all the money from your purchases. Also check out her live rough trade sessions, featuring my favorite bop "Everyday"
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Next up is anti-folk hero Kimya Dawson. First known for collaborating with Adam Green as the moldy peaches, Kimya wrote honest, self-effacing music about loving yourself instead of harming yourself. She poured that into the song Loose Lips, which you may know as that song from Juno. My favorite is "I Like Giants," but also check out "Walk Like Thunder" -- but beware, it's sad especially now in the context of a pandemic. This song below was inspired by the environmentalist philosophical book Ishmael, if memory serves from that one time I saw her at sweat records in Miami over a decade ago.

Speaking of Miami, "Miami Advice" is an excellent song

She is also a member of Bachelor Nation and is welcome to join syphilisdiller's live posts any Monday.
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Now we have Angel Olsen, who may or may not have influenced Taylor idk. Her earlier music was fairly sparse arrangements and featured songs about being lonely and wanting to be lonely with someone else. I recommend "Hi-Five." As her music grew, it became more lush and even more emo. She's something of a Star now And moved from small venues in western North Carolina to even larger venues now. At this point, mark ronson is remixing her music so y'all prob know her by now.
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Since we started with a cover, let's end with one. Laura Marling is a critically acclaimed and award winning British musician. I could share some better known songs of hers and will post the bandcamp links, but I thought this Eminem cover -- with Punk rock historian, Lou Reed tan, and comic book writer and artist -- Jeffrey Lewis was very interesting. Shoutout to Mario, the Eminem stan and reason for my username.



Please check out her latest album and "Song for Our Daughter" on bandcamp.
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Oh shit I almost forgot Screaming Females because AV Club deleted their old videos After Starbucks bought the series, but the covers are available for purchase on SoundCloud. Here is a cover of One Square of Toilet Paper icon Sheryl Crow's "If It Makes You Happy"



Check out Glass House, which is more punk but still has good vibes And gives you a much better idea of Marissa Paternoster's beautiful, strong voice.
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One last thing: Vashti Bunyan is a 1960s folk singer who was largely unknown until her music was reissued in 2001. Her songs have been a staple on college and independent radio ever since then and continue to be an influence on sad girl indie musicians. She took a horse and buggy into the woods in the '60s to record these songs, and gained more notoriety when True Detective used "Train" in there series.

This is my personal fave:





SUPPORT Ur faves on bandcamp

ONTD what have you been listening to or buying on bandcamp whilst in quarantine? Do you like folklore? Do you like Sufjan's new song?

PS thank you mods for giving me the chance to clean up the html error and link to the ONTD Tomberlin post!!

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Tags: music / musician, music / musician (alternative and indie), music / musician (country), music / musician (other), ontd original, taylor swift
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