Matthew Fowler – Beginning

Missing Piece Group, 2014

There’s no shortage of folksy guys singing the blues with their gently strummed guitars, but how many can say they were writing credible songs at 14 and recording albums in their parents’ kitchen? Though just out of high school now, Fowler’s autodidactic ways show maturity and skill well beyond his years, coming through similar to a young Damien Rice with the occasional trumpet or harmonica. The beginning for this youngster sounds nothing short of luminous.

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Tango With Lions – A Long Walk

Inner Ear, 2013

Athenians Tango With Lions continue to impress on their second outing, their brooding indie rock led by Kat Papachristou’s sultry vocals and delicate piano playing, whilst reverb-soaked guitars stretch out languidly behind. There’s a smidgeon of post-punk urgency and folky twang amongst the typically dreamy, slow-build songs, and the band’s compositional nous is never more evident than when a lonesome trombone solo punctuates the mournful atmospheres.

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Ruby The Rabbitfoot – New As Dew

Normaltown, 2014

Ruby Kendrick returns with more folky pop that brings her calm voice and gentle melodies across plenty of guitar and piano driven eloquence. Nate Nelson of White Violet lends his multi-instrumental talents through most of this, as Ruby’s wispy sweet pipes help illuminate her confident songwriting, which is mature and skilled beyond her years. I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if Ruby was a household name this time next year.

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Carrington MacDuffie – Only An Angel

Pointy Head, 2014

An extremely poetic and elegant listen, MacDuffie is fluent in folk, blues and country sounds, all of which meet here in a playful, calming and sometimes romantic setting. Her lengthy stint as a songwriter is evident with the memorable harmonies and soulful storytelling that permeates every second of this quick EP – an ideal listen for fans of ’70s soft rock up until present day Americana.

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Diane Cluck – Boneset

Important, 2014

After an eight year hiatus, Cluck returns with her anti-folk approach that takes a gentle path with pianos, cellos and most importantly, her inimitable, warbling vocal style. Lyrically Cluck takes the high road, being self-reflective in an eloquent way, and her quick moments of Eastern-influenced and a cappella skills make this an all too quick listen. A lovely and accomplished return.

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Mystery Twins – Ghost In The Ground

Self-released, 2013

Here half of garage rockers The Clutters reform, with Doug Lehmann on guitar and Stephanie Bush behind the kit. Vocal duties are shared between the pair, and with the absence of bass you get a direct hit of Bush’s frenetic drumming versus Lehmann’s riffs. Undoubtedly ’60s influenced, there’s still enough modern day indie-folk in here, albeit from an unusual position. Nashville has plenty of exciting things going on, and this is definitely one of them.

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