Category Archives: folk

#368 Nicholas Chim – In The End


I’ve been waking up to some of the most well-crafted songs in a while, all courtesy of singer-songwriter Nicholas Chim.

The entire album entitled Forgiefan flows seamlessly from track to track. The song arrangements are astute enough that one gets the sense of a sculptor carefully and deliberately chiseling at his masterpiece. We’re not talking about cold dead stones, but at statues that come to life when bathed in the right light, and what a light it is! Nicholas’ emotive delivery carefully casts this light as he lays it all out, bare and broken, surrendered to the fates beyond control, just like that last shot of whiskey as the first rays of sunlight fracture through your window.

There’s a song for everyone, but I found myself drawn to one particular song. The first track, “In the End”, lulls you into the tapestry that Nicholas has weaved. Almost a song for the bereavement of love lost, shades of Kings of Convenience and Mark Kozelek in its delivery and its sparse yet deceptively simple guitar work. It’s the point of the blade that balances Nicholas’ entire world and where the most true words are hinged. “I still feel your knife in my heart.” – Brian.

mp3: Nicholas Chim – In The End

Forgiefan can be purchased as a digital download, or a physical CD with wonderful artwork by Kristal Melson. Head on down to the Bandcamp.

You should also check out Nicholas’ music video for his first single, I Want You Again (feat. Aarika Lee) over here.

#261 conil – after the hole

There’s something glorious and enchanting in Conil’s music. It rages, it quenches, and then it tears apart at every corner of your heart, if only to allow you to dissipate your consciousness back to the wind. If your body belongs to ashes, then your mind belongs to the winds.

That’s how it feels with ‘after the hole’, where Conil embarks on a journey like a wolf, hungry, and searching for the answers that plague all the questions to life, love, and everything in between. From the get go, the feral growl lurks stealthily in the shadows, stalking its prey, one step closer to absolution. Alas, as the story goes, there is none to be found, where “at the end, all i found were other ends.” – brian

mp3: conil – after the hole

Strange part of this country was launched on Great Hare and Conil’s music is available on iTunes and Amazon

#259 johnny cash – ain’t no grave

‘The Man In Black’. The music of Johnny Cash’s extensive career can truly be seen as a journey, something rare in the short lived careers of many musicians. If there’s a loose thread that ties Cash’s early career with his later one, it’s a story of redemption. Opening his final posthumous album with the haunting track, ‘Ain’t No Grave’ seems apt for remembering what Easter is all about for Christians all over the world, Jesus’ triumph over the grave, and the sting of death is no more.

Cash sounds like a man who’s stared into the abyss and survived to tell the tale. The marching footsteps on hard road, coupled with the loose chains seem to present the image of a man who’s escaped the crushing prison of eternal damnation, dragging his burden along the endless open road, finding freedom even if it leads down a lonely path. And as the listener, you wonder, what compels the man in black to walk apart from the scores of men walking to the edge of the abyss. – brian.

mp3: johnny cash – ain’t no grave

#213 motopony – king of diamonds

Motopony

Like a breath of fresh air, I took a lungful when I first stumbled upon Motopony’s “King of Diamonds”. I tend to have a soft spot for card playing metaphors and the Eagle’s classic, Desperado, but this track really holds its own as testament to the indie folk prowess of Daniel Blue.

From the very beginning as the slight shuffle of drums that sound as if they were recorded at seven thirty in the morning of an empty, white painted loft, courtesy of Hip Hop producer, Buddy Ross, Daniel Blue lazily drifts in with his guitar and sings with an almost sense of loss yet peace.. “I’ve been looking for the King of Diamonds, but I guess the Queen will do…”

The memories haze in this song, some of my own, sometimes someone else’s, and in this world of shared memories, you’re not too sure which ones you own anymore, but it doesn’t matter. – brian

Motopony’s self titled debut will be released on November 14 on iTunes and Amazon. More details on their Myspace.

mp3: motopony – king of diamonds

#204 jordan martin – the wolf and seven little kids

Jordan Martin

Fairy tales are usually the stories we grew up with, and by the perpetuation of disney, we take for granted that they’re only meant for kids.

Jordan Martin is an individual who knows otherwise, and explored the stories written by the brother’s grimm and translated them into an EP filled with beautiful, simple melodies and instruments.

my favourite track of his EP, grimm’s tales for tiny tots, vol. I, is the slightly melancholic the wolf and seven little kids. Folksy at heart, acoustic guitar and banjo strumming steadily as his closed mic-ed troubadour voice lulls you into the pages of his storybook. Perfect for a bedtime story, or mulling around the house on a serene saturday morning, yet bears continued listening because of the layers of emotions hidden in these simple songs. Martin casually invites you into his worldly interpretations, and you won’t be disappointed. – brian

listen to more of Jordan Martin’s work here.

mp3:
jordan martin – the wolf and the seven little kids

#193 gemma hayes – out of our hands (feat. kevin shields)

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gemma

There are some songs, that unfairly get your attention because they name drop prominent guest stars in their sleeve notes. This one being Kevin Shields. Yes, THE Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine. I’d never heard of Gemma Hayes prior to noticing “Out Of Our Hands” feature Mr Shields on guitar. But I’m glad I caught wind of this ditty. You instantly notice the guitars, but for some strange ethereal reason, Ms Haye’s melancholy tinged vocals smoke their way as an equally formidable partner to Mr Shield’s neurotic and discordant playing. It’s the perfect recipe to wake up to on a rainy day, and then you realise, it’s out of our hands.. this time. – brian.

mp3: gemma hayes – out of our hands (feat. kevin shields)

For more information about Gemma Hayes, visit her Myspace.

#123 little fox – old

little-fox

i don’t understand thai, but sometimes beauty transcends language, as i’m reminded when i listen to little fox‘s “old”. the song is taken off his self-titled album, a fine collection of thai and english folk songs unashamedly romantic and idyllic. recorded in the presence of a few friends so “there is a place to send energy to” as little fox shares with me, the mood is intimate and the delivery delicate. in songs like “old”, the patient pace allows me the chance to reminisce and dream – something i’m given the freedom to indulge in and not feel guilty about even when the song picks up nearer the end, hurrying me along in the gentlest way possible.

mp3: little fox – old

little fox is released on so::on dry flower.