The 25 Best Indie Folk Albums of 2022 (2023)

Indie folk has long been one of our favorite genres, as nebulous a descriptor as it may be. Take the acoustic instrumentation or structure of traditional folk and the sensibilities of modern indie rock and come up with something interesting and new. This past year was a good one for indie folk musicians, with an indie-folk album taking our top spot in the Best Albums of 2022. While that list had several indie-folk albums on it, we wanted to dig a little deeper into the genre and highlight our 25 favorite indie-folk albums of 2022.

25. Laura Veirs: Found Light

Laura Veirs’ latest album, Found Light, is an ode to independence. The first record she made without her longtime (ex-)husband and producer, the album affirms that she has the skill set to stand on her own two feet. Taking charge of her own creativity, Veirs was finally able to call all of the shots—and it paid off, resulting in a bewitching compilation of easy-on-the-ear folk and textured rock. Her 12th studio album feels more like her debut, this time with her charting the course. Out via Viers’ own label, Raven Marching Band Records, Found Light radiates individualism, from the stories of love and loss she spins to the guests she invited to work on the album, including Death Cab for Cutie multi-instrumentalist Dave Depper and This Is The Kit’s Kate Stables. —Samantha Sullivan

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24. caroline: caroline

The self-titled debut of London-based band caroline sounds like the kind of music you’d hear echoing across the barren wastelands of the post-apocalypse, reminding you of bygone days’ beauty while offering comfort that such beauty can still be found, as long as we have breath in our lungs, and each other. An eight-piece led by founding trio Casper Hughes, Jasper Llewellyn and Mike O’Malley, caroline combine choral vocals, orchestral splendor, rustic Appalachian folk accents and fearless post-rock, crafting sprawling songs that feel sparse, yet maximalist—both cosmic and distinctly of this earth. Tracks like “IWR” and “Good morning (red)” assemble and disassemble themselves in real time, with Oliver Hamilton and Magdalena McLean’s violins lending a particularly palpable emotion to their organic, protean arrangements. Silence is ever-present in caroline’s music, as if they’re constantly aware of not only what we have, but also what we stand to lose. It’s a stunning, life-affirming first full-length. —Scott Russell

23. Kathryn Joseph: for you who are the wronged

Always intense, insular and eerily pretty, the work of Scottish songwriter Kathryn Joseph may require a focused, sit-down listen to truly appreciate, but the payoff is worth it. Her third album for you who are the wronged is no exception, using mostly keyboards, minimal ambient percussion and the gentle warble of Joseph’s voice to toe the line between the harrowing and the sweet with ease. For all of the horrors she pulls out and condemns on songs like singles “what is keeping you alive makes me want to kill them for” and “the burning of us all,” there is also obvious love pouring from every note, letting the listener find comfort in Joseph’s creation even as the world seems to silently burn down as each track starts. “When the teeth sink in your skin / I’ll suck the poison out,” she promises on sinister-sounding lullaby “flesh and blood,” wrapping those left vulnerable up into the fabric of her work, letting them hear their experiences reflected in her thoughtful, intricate songwriting. —Elise Soutar

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22. Bill Callahan: YTILAER

There is a patience to Bill Callahan’s work, even when the tempo is upbeat. On his forthcoming album, YTILAER, it’s no different, a wise sense of humor seeming to permeate the veins of his songwriting. In the two singles released thus far, Callahan falls in line with the patterns of the world around him, developing his own connection to reality, and allowing the listener to join him as he sings, “They say never wake a dreamer / Maybe that’s how we die / I realize now that dreams are real.” On lead single “Coyotes,” he weaves dream material in and out, telling the story of his sleeping dog, sweetly explaining, “In her dreams she is coyotes / Which of course is what she used to be / A dream of a coyote / Watching over you and me.” And recently released track “Natural Information” provides the perfect counterbalance to the steady, reliable “Coyotes”—there is a rush to the acoustic guitar that feels natural, not disturbing your body but riling it up all the same. Callahan works with a full band setup on this one, somehow always delivering the perfect picture that’s never too much. —Rosa Sofia Kaminski

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21. Shannen Moser: The Sun Still Seems to Move

Wasting no time breaking your heart, Shannen Moser is back with an album weaving an acoustic tapestry of heartbreak and the love that came before, admitting, “But I’m so scared of all the leaving / You know everybody does,” on just the second song on their newest LP. Every word sounds like it takes courage for them to sing, courage for them to tell you, and yet the album emerges as a vulnerable view into Moser’s heart all the same. Their voice holds harsh truths even when balancing on delicate high notes. Banjo and guitar crowd around the vocals like friends trying to provide comfort. On songs like the title track, where Moser sings, “Well, the sun still seems to move darlin’,” you can tell they are just trying to make sense of and align themselves with the motions of everything around them, and above all keep moving themselves. There is so much space in the arrangements, and such a wide mix of emotions examined. This album understands the give and take between love and pain, both taking turns and holding the same space, sometimes at the same time. “Holding space for all of these feelings is confusing, but I think that’s what makes the world turn,” Moser explains. “It’s love and grief existing in tandem and it feels like this never ending, switching one out for the other.” —Rosa Sofia Kaminski

(Video) Best Indie Folk of 2022

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20. Skullcrusher: Quiet the Room

On Skullcrusher’s (aka Helen Ballentine) debut album, she wastes no time teaching a master class on vulnerability. The songwriting is rooted in the confusion of childhood, examining Ballentine’s own through vaguely told memories and home-video voice memos. The guitar builds itself a home in the ambient, wide production. This is certainly not an album to be pigeonholed into one genre—the influences on this album range all over the board, and include a lot of electronic artists. It peels back the curtains from the culturally romanticized image of childhood, revealing it as a time with the same pain and confusion, as well as abstract joy as any other part of life. Being young is anything but simple, and those dreams and experiences spin around in Ballentine’s mind years after moving away from her childhood home in New York state. In describing the songwriting process involved on the album, Ballentine says, “I viewed my younger self through a wash of emotions: anger, sadness, pity, confusion, all reaching for a kind of compassion. I tried to capture the contradictions that comprise my past and define who I am now. As I looked back, I saw my life in pieces: some moments blacked out, some extremely vivid, some leading nowhere.” The resulting LP is a shivering look inside yourself through the memories of another. —Rosa Sofia Kaminski

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19. Babehoven: Light Moving Time

When Maya Bon and Ryan Albert met with their future label Double Double Whammy for the first time, they brought a collection of plump, homegrown tomatoes for the occasion. That pastoral touch mirrors what the duo accomplish in their music as Babehoven. As practitioners of homespun indie rock, there’s a picturesque quality to their work that renders each listen multi-sensory. The Babehoven sound has a cooling texture, a verdant visual, an organic taste. But over six EPs in four years, the duo presented diverse approaches to cultivating those sensations, including soft, frank rock on Demonstrating Visible Differences in Height, haunting tape manipulation on Yellow Has a Pretty Good Reputation and molasses-slow folk on Sunk. The duo combine each of these styles and more on Light Moving Time, their long-anticipated debut LP. On Light Moving Time, Babehoven are not in a rush. Relaxed tempos are central to their discography. Babehoven are Duster superfans and their shared preference for DIY recording gives the music its contemplative, hand-hewn texture. Their music rests at the intersection of the observant lyricism of Roy Orbison and the rhythmic creativity of Dear Nora. The resultant artifact is as crisp and pensive as the undulating Appalachian foothills. —Devon Chodzin

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18. Why Bonnie: 90 In November

Though they’ve been rehearsing for this moment for some time, releasing EPs that skew towards indie pop since 2018, Why Bonnie appear fully formed on their debut album 90 in November. Out via Austin-based Keeled Scales, their warm, twangy brand of indie rock feels right at home with that of their label-mates Sun June, Good Looks and Katy Kirby. The label’s recent, glorious run has seen them uplifting a unique rock scene that captures the simultaneously grounded, yet majestic nature of their home state—90 in November is just the latest entry. Why Bonnie’s named influences are acts like Sheryl Crow, The Replacements and Townes Van Zandt. With inspiration taken from all sides of rock music, it’s easy to see how they seamlessly straddle the lines between several genres themselves. They make indie rock, sure, but there’s an undeniable current of country music in there, as well as some nods to pop songwriting in their hooky, melodic execution. These disparate influences also bolster their music with a sense of familiarity. —Eric Bennett

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17. Anaïs Mitchell: Anaïs Mitchell

Anaïs Mitchell is seemingly always busy. A serial collaborator, Mitchell has spent the last decade-plus either wrapped in the world of Hadestown — the Greek myth-inspired musical she wrote and later adapted for a concept album before it ascended to a hit run on Broadway in 2019 — singing in folk supergroup Bonny Light Horseman, or collaborating with the likes of Big Red Machine and others. But it’s been a while since we’ve heard Mitchell singing new music all on her own. Enter the new self-titled record from Mitchell, who last released a proper solo album nearly a decade ago. Anaïs Mitchell finds the accomplished singer/songwriter slowing down, not only in these 10 lovely new songs, but also in her life itself. When COVID-19 first erupted in the U.S., Mitchell left New York City for her grandparents’ old house on the family farm in Vermont and welcomed her second child shortly after. There, she says in the album’s press notes, an “unprecedented stillness” took over, and with it a newfound ease as a narrator. —Ellen Johnson

(Video) New Indie Folk; July 2022 + Best Songs (25 tracks/90 minutes playlist)

16. First Aid Kit: Palomino

The brightness of Swedish indie-folk duo First Aid Kit is back for their forthcoming album Palomino, even when they’re singing their way through disappointment. It is the way their songs always feel balanced, in harmonies and instrumentals, that makes one return to their releases again and again. They have a feeling of steady assurance, no matter the volatility of the lyrics. Songs like “Turning Onto You” will lodge themselves in some sweet, sunlit spot in your brain, while “Out of My Head” somersaults over itself to keep the pace going. Their latest single, “A Feeling That Never Came,” finds the duo at their strongest, as they manage to imbue each strum of the guitar with hope. It makes sense that the record feels like a homecoming, as the band comments, “This is the first record we’ve recorded in Sweden since we made our debut album The Big Black & The Blue 12 years ago! We worked with Swedish producer Daniel Bengtson at his lovely studio Studio Rymden in Stockholm. It was such a fun experience. We really let the recording take time, we didn’t want to rush it.” And indeed, an intuitive pace links the project, as the duo move naturally. They embrace the ground covered in their music with grace. —Rosa Sofia Kaminski

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15. Sadurn: Radiator

There are few more gratifying feelings than hearing a new song, only to realize you were waiting for something just like it to come along. It’s like scratching an itch you didn’t know you had, or pushing a lost puzzle piece into place inside your brain. That was exactly the case when Philadelphia four-piece Sadurn announced their signing to Run for Cover in February and shared the lead track from their debut album, “snake.” Led by vocalist-guitarist and songwriter Genevieve DeGroot, Sadurn are a band who move as one in service of each song, disappearing selflessly into their intimate, gentle folk-rock and -pop compositions. DeGroot’s songwriting is defined by its stark vulnerability, their vocals alternately soaring and softening in time with each heart-baring observation on strained relationships and the often unbridgeable gaps between people. Radiator is just what its title suggests, emanating emotional catharsis even as it handles those feelings with the utmost care. —Scott Russell

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14. Bonny Light Horseman: Rolling Golden Holy

On Bonny Light Horseman’s self-titled first album in 2020, Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson and Josh Kaufman dug into folk songs stretching back hundreds of years. For their second album, the trio wrote a batch of original songs that feel as though they could span centuries. Rolling Golden Holy features 10 new songs steeped in anachronism. If part of the fun on Bonny Light Horseman was guessing how old each song was, this time around it’s trying to figure out in which era the songs are set. Some of them could be last week, while others feel wonderfully timeworn and weathered, like a family legend passed down through the ages. Regardless, Rolling Golden Holy is in some ways the stronger album, on songs that play to the musicians’ abilities in a way that ancient cover tunes couldn’t. —Eric R. Danton

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13. Plains: I Walked with You a Ways

On the heels of their acclaimed 2020 albums Saint Cloud and Sorceress, Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield and Jess Williamson decided to start down a new road, walking arm in arm as Plains. The duo’s first album I Walked with You a Ways, produced by Crutchfield’s Saint Cloud collaborator Brad Cook, will also be their last—Crutchfield and Williamson have declared this a one-time collaboration, which is all the more reason to cherish the resulting record. As the pair interweave their voices over warm Americana that’s at turns upbeat and wistful—and sometimes both at once—Plains invite the listener into a shared, communal space, wallpapered with the classic folk and country they grew up on. Tracks like “Problem With It” and “Line of Sight” lean hard on Crutchfield’s knockout vocal hooks, while “Abilene” and “Bellafatima” let Williamson’s more delicate presence sneak up on you. It’s rewarding to hear Crutchfield and Williamson’s ample talents intermingle as they shape I Walked with You a Ways into a celebration of their shared passions. —Scott Russell

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12. Stella Donnelly: Flood

After making a name with her fierce 2019 debut Beware of the Dogs, Perth singer/songwriter Stella Donnelly turned inward. “I’m taken out to sea in the flood / Swimmer looking for the line,” she sings on Flood’s title track, a bittersweet beauty of a centerpiece about keeping one’s head above water while awash in the emotional tumult that tends to accompany such introspection. Where Beware of the Dogs paired Donnelly’s emotionally explosive songwriting with bright indie-pop sounds and only occasional solemnity, Flood flips that script, as if to bare Donnelly’s battered heart (“Is it a pipe dream to want my children / Never to wake up and hear a woman screaming?” she considers on “Morning Silence”) with a newfound sense of peace and acceptance. Donnelly wrote Flood on piano, rather than guitar, a major contributor to the record’s more stately approach—“You’re the bit that holds us all together,” she declares on “Move Me,” as if in tribute to the instrument. It’s a serious album from a serious songwriting talent. —Scott Russell

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(Video) Top 100 Indie Folk (Part 1)

11. Sharon Van Etten: We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong

The 25 Best Indie Folk Albums of 2022 (1)

Praising Sharon Van Etten for making “intensely personal” albums is looking at things the wrong way around. Any artist can do that. What sets Van Etten apart is her ability to make albums that feel intensely personal for her listeners—as if she’s giving voice to your inner life, rather than her own. Her sixth album is a loose song cycle that encompasses how it feels to balance work, motherhood and intimacy in a time of roiling uncertainty. That’s a lot to take on, but she nails it: The 10 songs on We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong land hard and, like her best work, take on the meanings her listeners need. Like Remind Me Tomorrow, there’s a wide array of sounds here, from pastoral tunes built around acoustic guitar to synth-heavy jams that clank and snarl like some infernal machine. The difference is that Van Etten has a tighter rein on these songs, giving them a feeling of wildness barely held in check. —Eric R. Danton

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10. Florist: Florist

Florist is a special record that stands apart from Emily Alone. The former is denser, clocking in at a mountainous 19 tracks, and finds Emily Sprague picking up the pieces that inspired the latter. It’s a (mostly) joyful portrait of friendship, family and affection, told from both first- and second-person points of view. It’s not the first folk record to flirt with almost two-dozen songs this year, as 2022 has already seen the release of Big Thief’s heavy, sprawling and critically revered Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You. But Florist’s contribution is much different and, in some ways, better. Florist’s arrival finds the band tinkering with new horns, blooming synths, roving percussion and sampling. The atmospheric landscapes behind Sprague’s guitar on previous albums are now filled up. —Matt Mitchell

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9. Madison Cunningham: Revealer

There’s something in Madison Cunningham’s music for everyone: folk roots, but with jazzy accents and sharp enough guitar and drum lines to allow you to move with it. There’s so much glittering on the surface of Revealer, and then so much that swims underneath. Although the first few tracks sparkle, the album takes you by surprise with curveballs like “Life According to Raechel,” a true heartbreaker in the center of the album that leaves your skin crawling with sorrow, and “Who Are You Now,” relentlessly asking the listener, “Who are you now / Who are you this time?” Her songs feel like perfectly and eccentrically built cupboards, housing everything just so inside different nooks, making well-organized space for the shape of every word and synth swell. From the melodies and arrangements to the lyrics, it is clear that this LP is in the most vulnerable space, one of self-consciousness coupled with a lot of emotion in every possible direction. Cunningham never has to scream to make herself heard. Instead, she often remains low to the ground with her volume, making it all the more powerful when her voice soars into pure upper registers or the cymbals accent her point. On album closer, “Sara And The Silent Crowd,” she aims for her own heart and yours, leaving you with: “And when the glamor dies down, there’s only you now / Only you and yourself to appease the silent crowd / And no one can shelter you now.” —Rosa Sofia Kaminski

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8. Tomberlin: i don’t know who needs to hear this…

The 25 Best Indie Folk Albums of 2022 (2)

In recent years, there’s been an influx of musicians embracing minimalism. Often, the lack of excess can lead to these songs being dismissively tagged as “sad,” particularly if the artist dares to fill that space with any emotion at all. One of the finest practitioners of this sparse musicality is Sarah Beth Tomberlin, who performs under her surname. Her 2018 debut album At Weddings drew comparisons to ambient icons like Grouper and staples of contemporary indie like Julien Baker. Her music sits at the intersection of these artists’ in both sound and subject. At Weddings dealt with Tomberlin’s internal conflict, having left her home and religion behind. Raised in rural Illinois as a pastor’s kid, she uprooted to Louisville, where the bulk of At Weddings came to fruition. Since then, she’s moved to New York and released an EP called Projections in 2020. Projections, produced with Alex G, saw Tomberlin’s arrangements fill out—several of its tracks played with percussion, something rarely found on her debut. The natural next step was for her to follow in the footsteps of Baker, who began making hollow, devastating music before gradually fleshing out her band. And she did, sort of. Her new album, i don’t know who needs to hear this… is grander than anything she’s done before, but rarely does it feel like a departure. Recorded in Brooklyn with producer Philip Weinrobe, known for his work with Adrienne Lenker and Buck Meek, the record features contributions from Shahzad Islamly and Told Slant’s Felix Walworth. Where At Weddings was written without a goal in mind and carries that homespun air, the deliberateness of the songs on idkwntht is palpable. At the record’s heart is Tomberlin simultaneously embracing self-love and acceptance (“born again runner”), and taking love away from toxic influences (“collect caller”), no matter how difficult both acts may be. Results aren’t the point; it is simply the act of trying and holding space for one’s emotions that counts. —Eric Bennett

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7. Weyes Blood: And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow

Natalie Mering’s (Weyes Blood) newest LP, And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow, picks up right where Titanic Rising left us in 2019. Even the album covers bear similar imagery. On the latter’s, Mering is underwater in a bedroom, suspended in an oceanic ether above a wine-red carpet. Light pours in through the bellowing, jellyfish-translucent curtains. It’s as if she’s stranded and the shipwreck has not yet sunken down to the seabed. On the cover of Hearts Aglow, Mering appears to still be below the surface, her hair drifting through the water like a slow-motion wave, her chest, quite literally, bursting with a sun-red gleam. There’s a stillness afoot, a rubble above ready to be pieced back together. And Mering is standing atop the debris. —Matt Mitchell

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(Video) Best Acoustic Indie Folk of 2022

6. Aldous Harding: Warm Chris

On “Tick Tock,” an early track on her new album Warm Chris, Aldous Harding addresses the absurdity of interpretation. “Wanted to see me, now that you see me, whatcha gonna do?” she taunts in the refrain, defying her witnesses to comprehend her. Her voice-play finds her evoking both Cat Power and Annie Lennox, sliding from the husky lament “Oh, the dirty of it” to a reedy cry of “Party people!” The new album continues Harding’s creative partnership with producer John Parish and evolves her sonic treatment of this Dadaist bent. The sparse instrumental backings of Party and Designer are elevated with a palette that draws from freak folk and baroque piano pop—it’s easy to sift out the influences of Sufjan Stevens and Kate Bush. Warm Chris thrives in that new flexibility, using Harding’s expanded sound to consider the implications of professional and interpersonal performance in turns across its 10 tracks. —Annie Parnell

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5. Julia Jacklin: PRE PLEASURE

Julia Jacklin’s new album draws to a close with a plea: “Be careful with yourself,” she sings in the song of the same name. She begs someone to “please stop smoking” because she “want[s] your life to last a long time,” and later advises them to “make sure you have got a little savings” and “keep all our doctors appointments, give voice to our doubts.” As an early 30-something, the Australian singer is now, like so many millennials, faced with the realities of adulthood. “There’s nobody coming to save us,” she eventually sighs in the penultimate song of her third LP, PRE PLEASURE. While Jacklin is probably singing from the perspective of a worried friend or partner, “Be Careful With Yourself” is one of a few songs on the album that contain what sounds like advice from a concerned parent. And when her lyrics don’t lean towards the maternal, Jacklin is a sharp observer of her own internal life, hacking away at the crust of her neuroses and conditions—be they intrusive thoughts or caring too much—until some nugget of meaning is unearthed. For Jacklin, this involves a combination of revisiting childhood and confronting adulthood, a process that results in some of the Australian artist’s sharpest songwriting to date. —Ellen Johnson

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4. Cate Le Bon: Pompeii

Cate Le Bon’s been called an absurdist—a weirdo, an alien—because her music is industrial and her songwriting is a product of deliberate philosophical interrogation in an era of impatient desire for commodified answers. She works among envelope-pushers like black midi and The Spirit of the Beehive, acts existing on a margin where technical skill and inventive, experimental visions intersect. She’s not quite as singer/songwriter-oriented as Weyes Blood; her electronic compositions aren’t droney or balmy like Ellen Arkbro’s; she’s a Dadaist at heart, an active practitioner of purposefully off-kilter soundscapes and contrarian responses to traditional art of the era. But on Pompeii, Le Bon completely ruptures the mold, using the record to divorce herself from the current subculture of flashy 1980s new wave ripoffs by tackling similar themes of religious affection, but through a subdued, meticulous approach. The LP’s tonal landscape derives from Japanese city pop, Depeche Mode synths, jazz percussion and the Dada bleakness of Cabaret Voltaire. Stella Mozgawa, a frequent collaborator of Le Bon, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, brings patient percussion to the compositions; Stephen Black’s saxophone sounds like a glossy, beautiful earthquake. Samur Khouja’s production energizes Le Bon to lean far into a paradox: ancient texts germinating into contemporary lyricism. —Matt Mitchell

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3. Ethel Cain: Preacher’s Daughter

Ethel Cain is on a brilliant ascent. Last year’s Inbred EP solidified her position as a force to be witnessed in American music as she wrestled with the uniquely Southern version of the American dream that shaped her young life. The divinity of gospel, the audacity of heartland rock and the frankness of 2010s Tumblr-era pop collide into an arresting narrative spectacle, portraying the experience of a woman who is intimately familiar with depraved violence, the gospel and the strict social hierarchies of the South and the Plains. The EPs have only revealed a portion of Cain’s lore, but on her whopping 75-minute debut LP Preacher’s Daughter, Ethel Cain, the narrative figure and the musical sensation, manifests a breathtaking account of a woman, her mysterious partner and her troubled family. Much as Inbred mangled Americana, ambient folk and slowcore into a terrifying sonic experiment, Preacher’s Daughter is a sound all its own. Imagine what would happen if singers as familiar as Bruce Springsteen or Nichole Nordeman were backed by Midwife or Sunn O))). The glamorous and aphrodisiac sound of Lana Del Rey is undoubtedly there, but the thematic and instrumental elements on Preacher’s Daughter possess a weightiness and impulse away from ironic glamorization of the American dream and toward outright criticism that render the comparison only so relevant. At times the record throbs with a noisy, immersive intensity before transitioning into the kind of epic guitar solos that decorated the cult of rock personalities in generations past. This collision of dark ambient and Def Leppard is uniquely American in the best way conceivable. —Devon Chodzin

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2. Angel Olsen: Big Time

On Big Time, the grand, burgeoning, symphonic gestures of Angel Olsen’s last three studio LPs are gone, substituted with Phases-era, minimalistic, pedal steel-tinged sobcore and dreamy twang. It’s a one-woman show, a prize fight where the challenger no-showed. Big Time isn’t a bummer opera; it’s a last-call, honky-tonk bar encore—and it rules. On opener “All The Good Times,” Olsen surrenders the album’s thesis, declaring that she’s done making excuses for everyone else. “I can’t say that I’m sorry when I don’t feel so wrong anymore,” she sings. The horn arrangements here are subtle, and Drew Erickson’s organ trembles slightly beneath Olsen’s vocals. It’s an announcement, a warning, that this is a new era of her songwriting. —Matt Mitchell

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1. Big Thief: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You

What great bands often do when they realize they’re at the peak of their powers is make a double album. The first year of the pandemic allowed Big Thief the time and space to indulge this hubristic tradition. Faced with their longest break from touring since 2016’s Masterpiece came out, they wrote at a feverish pace and spent five months recording in four distinct sessions—in upstate New York, in California, in the Rocky Mountains, and in Tucson—with four different engineers. By the last session, they had generated some 45 completed songs. The result is Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You, a freewheeling creature that vibrates with the restlessness and ramshackle intimacy that have long distinguished this band, blown out to a new scale. It is an uncommonly warm and generous record, 20 songs in all—flitting from campfire folk (“Change”) to clanging cosmic rumination (“Time Escaping”) to countrified hoedown (“Spud Infinity”) in its first three tracks alone—and it solidifies Adrianne Lenker’s place as one of the greatest songwriters to emerge in the last five years. Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You is not really an indie-rock album, at least not in the way that Two Hands was. There is no successor to “Not” here, nothing that belongs on a mid-2010s indie mood board. Instead, it revels in the earthy, joyously uncool tones of a ’70s hippie-folk record excavated from a garage sale. It is Big Thief’s loosest album and most ambitious album all at once. —Zach Schonfeld

(Video) New Indie Folk December 2022, Vol 1 (25 tracks/90 minutes playlist)


Is indie and indie folk the same? ›

Indie folk is a music genre that arose in the 1990s among musicians from indie rock scenes influenced by folk music. Indie folk hybridizes the acoustic guitar melodies of traditional folk music with contemporary instrumentation.

Is indie folk popular? ›

Indie folk music is a popular music genre that focuses on simple yet harmonizing melodies and rhythm guitars.

Is folk music the same as indie? ›

First of all, folk music is normally sort of older music and passed through families/generations and indie is more of a style of music sort of like a subtle mix of country and pop (don't be offended, js) rather than just being a classic in a specific area.

What is indie folk art? ›

Indie Folk identifies a group of contemporary artists working in this unique and rugged part of North America whose works in mediums include collage, quilting, painting, and video explore history, folklore, craft traditions, and ideas of community.

What kind of people listen to indie folk? ›

Fans of the indie genre registered as introverted, intellectual, and creative, but less hardworking and gentle than fans of other styles. Passivity, anxiousness, and low self-esteem were other notable personality characteristics.

Is Taylor Swift indie folk? ›

She ventured into indie folk and alternative rock in her 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore, whose singles "Cardigan" and "Willow" topped the Hot 100. Swift began re-recording her first six albums after a dispute over their masters, re-releasing two in 2021—Fearless (Taylor's Version) and Red (Taylor's Version).

What is the catchiest indie music? ›

Top 100 Indie Tracks on Spotify
  • Big DecisionsMy Morning Jacket.
  • The Party LineBelle and Sebastian.
  • Burning For No OneThe Cribs.
  • Feel the LightningDan Deacon.
  • To Die in L.A.Lower Dens.
  • California NightsBest Coast.
  • I'm ReadyTwin Shadow.
  • Get ItMatt and Kim.

What does indie music do to the brain? ›

All in all, indie music has tons of incredible benefits. It can help learners decrease their stress levels, reduce anxiety, fight depression, become more motivated, and even have a better memory. Just try listening to some indie melodies to discover even more advantages for your health, mood, and overall well-being.

Who is the biggest indie artist? ›

Indie Artists
  • The Smiths. 3,142,659 listeners. ...
  • The Killers. 5,284,794 listeners. ...
  • Florence + the Machine. 3,057,466 listeners. ...
  • The Neighbourhood. 2,066,632 listeners. ...
  • Arcade Fire. 2,972,439 listeners. ...
  • Sufjan Stevens. 2,677,544 listeners. ...
  • Imagine Dragons. 2,702,708 listeners. ...
  • The 1975. 1,627,775 listeners.

What are the five types of folk music? ›

There are a number of different types of music which can be considered part of folk music, including traditional, acoustic, bluegrass, Celtic, roots, and old-timey.

What is folk music called today? ›

Music in this genre is also often called traditional music.

What are the seven types of folk music? ›

The Seven Types of Ballads in Folk Music
  • Event / Location Ballad. The earliest great American folk songwriter, Stephen Foster, was a master at writing these Event and Location ballads and documented much of what early American life looked and felt like. ...
  • Murder Ballad. ...
  • Hard Trouble Ballad. ...
  • Hero / Villain Ballad. ...
  • Work Ballad.
Mar 11, 2015

What genre is considered indie? ›

The term "indie rock" became associated with the bands and genres that remained dedicated to their independent status. By the end of the 1990s, indie rock developed several subgenres and related styles, including lo-fi, noise pop, emo, slowcore, post-rock, and math rock.

What is indie music also known as? ›

(Learn how and when to remove this template message) Independent music (also commonly known as indie music, or simply indie) is music produced independently from commercial record labels or their subsidiaries; this may include an autonomous, do-it-yourself approach to recording and publishing.

What is the opposite style of indie? ›

What is the opposite of indie?
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Is Nick Drake indie folk? ›

Drake signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and a student at the University of Cambridge. He released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969.
Nick Drake
GenresFolk chamber folk folk-pop
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, piano, clarinet, saxophone
Years active1967–1974
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