Category Archives: Acid Folk

Hear Ryley Walker’s gauzy folk song “Sweet Satisfaction”

Ryley Walker: "Primrose Green" is out March 31 on Dead Oceans

Ryley Walker: “Primrose Green” is out March 31 on Dead Oceans

Ryley Walker has shared another song, “Sweet Satisfaction,” from his latest album, “Primrose Green,” out March 31 on Dead Oceans.

Walker’s “Sweet Satisfaction” elegantly strikes a pretty balance, walking between folk-pop and the edge of an electric buzz.

via Dead Oceans and Stereogum, Walker says:

“The songs are never “done” or anything, it always expands live. That’s my favorite part about playing music. I’m not much of a ‘sit down, here’s my three verses and a few choruses, song’s done.’ It comes from the jam. Having a song set in stone would drive me crazy.”

Ryley Walker talking with Stereogum

If that doesn’t give you a good intro to Walker’s music, you should also spend time listening to the title track of “Primrose Green,” a sort of 60s throwback solitary sound that’s highly lacking in music today.

Walker’s tour starts next week, playing with acts like Real Estate, Moon Duo, Steve Gunn, Hiss Golden Messenger, Kevin Morby and Heartless Bastards. Walker will also hit the festival circuit, performing at Pitchfork Music Festival, SXSW, NXNE, Levitation and more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Acid Folk, Folk, Jazz

Arthur Fowler’s struggles abound in “What’s Keeping Me Going”

Arthur Fowler: What's Keeping Me Going

Arthur Fowler: What’s Keeping Me Going

Singer-songwriter, Milwaukee native and Tokyo transplant Arthur Fowler has culled influences from Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens and Carlos Santana to create his own fusion of acid-folk on his debut, “What’s Keeping Me Going.”

Fowler uses other instruments such as harmonica, accordion and fiddle to express his lounge-jazz style and to incorporate flecks of flamenco and psychedelic folk. And sometimes what is revealed is a success.

On the title track, the sound of running water, birds and calm harmonies melt with acoustic finger work and gentle bongo drums to create a sweet and tender love song, while the Caribbean motion of “Love The Music” is delicately played and stays light on its feet — indicative of the overall melodic sway of “What’s Keeping Me Going.”

But his contemporary retelling of Jimi Hendrix’ “Room Full Of Mirrors,” while honest, leaves only the lyrics as a reminder of that cutting song, replacing anguish and lust with busy zydeco and jazz notes. On Neil Young’s “For the Turnstiles,” Fowler stays more faithful to that country-folk classic, but it’s far less memorable. Fowler’s preference for a slower tempo drags things down a bit too much.

The despair in the guitar notes of “Splash” are touching, but when he switches tracks and deadpans “I can’t live without your loving, I can’t live at all,” it clumsily misses the mark. The blues-tinged harmonica and obvious lyrics are misguided, though it’s clear Fowler is trying to express ambivalence and struggle.

Despite a few missteps, at least one shade of Fowler’s eclectic style on “What’s Keeping Me Going” should appeal to those seeking a new take on folk.

Leave a comment

Filed under Acid Folk, Folk, Jazz, Review