Ranging from good old fashioned toe-tapping bluegrass to modern-influenced country, this edition of the Pew Playlist has something for everyone.
Without further ado, here is this week’s Pew Playlist presented in the order they were added to the list. Music is sorted for an enjoyable “mixtape” experience. But feel free to shuffle it up!
“AFTER SO MANY DAYS” – JIM AND SAM
“After So Many Days” is the title track of Jim and Sam’s documentary feature film which followed the duo’s tour where they performed one show every day for a year. The film recently won the Best Music City/Music Documentary Feature award at the Nashville Film Festival. Featuring perfectly paired harmonies and a building folk rock melody, you can feel the miles and cities roll by.
“LIKE THE STARS SHINE” – CANYON CITY
Canyon City, the project of singer and producer Paul Johnson, charms with the introspective folk ballad, “Like the Stars Shine.” An acoustic melody fades into the background as electric guitar and a steady drumbeat take control of–but never overpower–the song. Johnson’s clear, heartfelt vocals feel like an authentic exploration of simple ways to help others and the human tendency to overcomplicate this vital task.
“O LITTLE FIRE, O LITTLE LIGHT OF WISDOM” – THE DUSTBOWL DADDIES
The Dustbowl Daddies blend bluegrass, folk-pop, alt-country, and gospel influences on this toe-tapping romp. The song is a joyous celebration about (along with the inherent trepidation of) bringing children into the world. You’re going to want to clap along with the fiery harmonica, jangling strings, and driving beat.
“WE COLLIDED” – DAVID LAFLECHE
Perhaps best known for his work as musical director for La Voix (The Voice, Quebec), singer/songwriter David Lafleche brings us his latest single. Lafleche’s feelings after buying a 1998 Martin guitar while visiting Nashville and taking in the creative energy of the Music City inspired the song. While a folk song at its core, “We Collided” gets some delightful classic country touches thanks to flourishes of peddle steel.
“SOME SORTA GOODBYE” – ABIGAIL FIERCE
Blending country and pop rock, Abigail Fierce gives us an introspective anthem on “Some Sorta Goodbye.” The song is a smart confluence of influences with vocals that remind you of when Taylor Swift was country, a kick of electric guitar wail that would feel right at home on a Keith Urban album, and the addictive lyrical hooks we’d expect from Maren Morris.
“NOT FOR YOU” – MARCUS LEE
With infectious hooks and swells in its acoustic guitar-led melody, “Not For You” by Marcus Lee is reminiscent of modern folk-pop offerings from The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons. The track expands in grandeur as bolder guitar strums and piano are added. Lee’s emotional inflection adds poignancy to the heartfelt lyrics.
“GOLD” – OHSERGIO
Ohsergio, the artistic project of Swiss native and Los Angeles based musician Sonia Schmidt, gives us a delightfully vocal-forward folk song with “Gold.” The minimal, plucked acoustic guitar melody pairs wonderfully with Schmidt’s layered vocals, creating an ethereal quality. It will remind you of a bard’s song from times ago meeting up with modern, nuanced complexity.
“ADELINE” – CASS & CROSSLAND
“Adeline,” by Phoenix’s Cass & Crossland is filled with foot-stomping, hand clapping indie folk. Anthemic acoustic guitar chords and sing-along ready vocals will remind you of The Lumineers while the electric guitar and bass edges share influences with The Head and The Heart. While the song may tell the tale of a girl not knowing where she fits in, this track feels like it belongs on any folk or Americana playlist.
“700 + 1” – THE AMBER UNIT
“700 + 1” from Switzerland’s The Amber Unit is a “song is about a couple who survived…who’s still there after some rough times…but won’t back down, even if they’re afraid.” Embracing this theme, the track gets its emotional charge thanks to the resolve in the vocals. A true folk-rocker, the song’s instrumentation is a balanced blend of electric and acoustic.