Man at His Best

7 Folk Bands To Add To Your Playlist

Ditch the generic pop and check out some of these tuneful bands to soothe your soul.

BY Nawaf Rahman | Mar 1, 2016 | Music

1 | Bon Iver

Fronted by a musical genius, Justin Vernon and other nine-piece band form the spectacle that is Bon Iver. For Emma—their near perfect and beautifully haunting record was released in 2008, and they continue to evolve with their Grammy-winning record, Bon Iver, Bon Iver. Their exquisite musicality and Vernon’s beautiful falsetto have made their way into audiences’ hearts and earning fans from around the world. 

Listen: “Skinny Love”

2 | Daughter

If your dreams had a soundtrack, it would probably sound like Daughter—ethereal, mellow and dreamily pleasant. Fronted by the fragile and hushed voice of Elena Tonra, this trio band has been creating a buzz with their highly anticipated and critically acclaimed debut album, If I Leave. This trio continues to sweep the floor with their distinct sound and self-deprecating lyrics—they just released their second record, Not To Disappear, that sounds even better than the first.

Listen: “Youth”

3| Ben Howard

Howard brings clipping, a refreshing style of strumming, as part of his acoustic guitar repertoire while singing sorrowful ballads with dark and soulful lyrics. His highly-rated debut record, Every Kingdom is a three-track masterpiece, showcasing him as one of best folk singer-songwriters to date. For his anticipated sophomore record, I Forget Where We Were, the set went somewhat electric and a bit experimental and put it simply, it sounds depressingly divine.

 Listen: “End of The Affair”

4 | Fleet Foxes

This five-piece band is masters at recreating the sound and feel of long bygone musical era. Fronted by Robin Pecknold, this band crafts easily engaging songs perfect for lazy summer (or fall, or winter, or spring) afternoons. Apart from their subtle rhythm and intricate sound, their otherworldly harmony is just perfect. This band may be on unofficial hiatus now, their past records are still mint.

Listen: “White Winter Hymnal”

5 | Sufjan Stevens

The ambient, floating sounds from Sufjan Stevens will totally and absolutely mesmerise you with beautiful tunes, meaningful lyrics and raw vocals. His latest and most personal record, Carrie & Cowell is the perfect record to put on while driving solo at night, with plenty of time to ponder the meaning of life.

Listen: “Should Have Known Better”

6 | Iron & Wine

Sam Bean has been making music under the moniker "Iron and Wine" since 2012. The bearded crooner has captured the emotion and imaginations of listeners with his amiable, strong rhetoric and musical aptitude. Primarily using only acoustic guitar and the occasional banjo, he is known for mellow records like Our Endless Numbered Days and The Shepherd’s Dog. If you’re looking for tunes to listen to when you need a good cry, here it is. You’re welcome.

Listen: “Fever Dream”

7 | Bear’s Den

The music of Bear's Den can be described as having a thumping rhythm ala Mumford & Sons with a touch of their own distinctive, ethereal quality. They've come a long way, selling out gigs and touring with acts like Matt Corby and Of Monster and Men. Their debut record, Island has proved that they are more than just a novelty act. They’ve got the chops and are more than happy to prove it live.

Listen: “Agape”