Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged folk

The Brightness

As the newest addition to Righteous Babe Records, Anais Mitchell, has written an album full of tender metaphors, without the bitter tone of heartbreak. The Brightness will probably sit in the folk section of your favorite record store, but this album isn’t as simple as a singer and an acoustic guitar. Mitchell pulls in a piano, lap steel, cello, viola, banjo and other instruments to fill the record with layers upon layers of sound.

What the Mirror Said

Jocelyn Arem’s debut studio release greets us with all the freshness and promise of a new voice on the scene, but evidently someone who has been honing her craft for years. Arem released her debut demo in 2000, and kept her fans waiting for two more years for What the Mirror Said.


The intro of Dryland softly walks us into the quiet genius of Chris Pureka. She gracefully takes us through ordinary, heartbreaking, scenarios and conversations, beginning with “These Pages,” in which she perfectly describes a painful encounter with a past lover.

Milk White Sheets

Milk White Sheets is good music for long mornings sitting in bed watching snow fall. First listening to this album in the evening after a day of work, I had a difficult time relating to the quiet hum that this album resonates. Even with the volume turned high, the unfamiliar lyrics were difficult to decipher while strains of cello, glockenspiel, dulcimer and guitar strings sounded haunting in the dark of the night.

Galaxy is Out of This World!

Galaxy is a trio from Toronto, a land that seems to be catapulting all its potential stars across the upstate New York touring void and smack dab into our city. Emma McKenna, Maya Postepski and Katie Stelmanis bang out the brooding, plangent guitar rhythms and alternately pretty and snarling vocals of a young Sleater-Kinney, and in the painful absence of that band, S-K fans may be eager to turn to the raw rhythms of another female band with similar talent and political conviction.

So Much More

Anyone lucky enough to catch the usage of Brett Dennen’s song “There Is So Much More” on the November 9th episode of Grey’s Anatomy would probably have thought it was sung by some classic singer/songwriter that they should know, but simply could not place the name of.

Old Town School of Folk Music Songbook, Vol. 1

As a native Chicagoan, I was delighted when the Old Town School of Folk Music Songbook, Vol. 1 arrived. The work of nearly 50 years of lessons and learning felt warm and familiar in my hand. The songbook contains 23 classic songs performed by a variety of artistic talents, some nationally known; others are instructors at the school – with decades of performing experience.

New Arrivals: Volume One

Upbeat and flowing, this album has a lot of very powerful music and lyrics on it. From Noe Venable's "Juniper," to Paul Brill's "New Pagan Love Song," the music in this selection is a definite must-have. Whoever edited this work paid a lot of attention to detail and continuity between selections and it really, really shows. All of this music I found very upbeat and easy to listen to, but without being maudalin and boring. Well worth your listening time.

The Blistering Sun

“Alright, OK,” the opening track on Rachael Sage’s new album The Blistering Sun, introduces you to all that is best about Sage’s music: it’s an vibrant, catchy, pop tune showcasing her warm, versatile voice, with clever rhymes and introspective lyrics, as well as top-notch piano playing and penchant for horns.


Whether Fridge remains together or not I don't know, but by listening to Adem's Homesongs, and having been so impressed with Four Tet's two wondrous CDs, the work of Kieran Hebden—the first member of Fridge to record on his own—it is clear that their imaginative and diverse brand of post-rock will continue to yield gems through its members. Adem is a different path for Hebden.