darker folk/neofolk music

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  • After listening to a lot of Wardruna I'd like to get into more darker/melachony folk music, as it is outside the scope of the rock/metal that I usually listen to. As much as I enjoy a nice merry folk jig this seems to be the sort of folk music I prefer. Does anyone have any suggestions for bands in a similar vein. Doing a quick google search brings up lots of suggestions but its hard to know where to start.

  • Post by Maxal ().

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  • ... Have you listened to Roy Harper? Two tracks come to mind which you can easily google: All You need Is / Just Another Day are both beautiful songs. You can get both these songs on a really good Roy Harper anthology: Songs of Love and Loss. And JAD is on a famous album, Flat Baroque and Berserk. Roy Harper sang on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here album (Have a Cigar), there's a funny story about it.

    One of my favourites. First saw him perform in 1968 when I was thirteen and he was very influential in my own work. I recently began reacquainting myself with the music of his I can't play any more because it's all on vinyl and I have nothing on which to play it. I made contact with him though his website and bought a lovely book of his song lyrics and photographs from throughout his career. He even wrote me a personal message on the title page which has thrilled me beyond reason ;-) Plenty of Roy Harper to choose from if you like a darker side to your music. Dissidence, blasphemy and death are three of my favourite themes to explore - I could, in part, blame Mr Harper for that.

    I always thought that "Flat Baroque And Berserk" (his fourth or fifth album) sounded like a "goodbye" album. I was so relieved when he followed it up with much better work.

  • If you want something British, songwriter Leon Rosselson can/could be pretty dark. I don't remember ever seeing him smile if thats any indication.

    Popular dissidence is in short supply these days beyond Billy Bragg and perhaps Show of Hands. Plenty of activism in local places such as our little group of agitators in Norfolk.

    Give us a clue, are you looking for vocal music or instrumental textures :violin:

    In the meantime how heavy do you like your heavy? What about Ragnaröek from Germany? Personally I would prefer something not quite so derivative ...

    Scotland has produced some great bands too. Maybe Shooglenifty are a bit light for your tastes ... we don't know, do we? They are often on the trance side of folk music. Here's an oldie from them:

    The Treacherous Orchestra are pretty hot too although they may be a bit too dancey for what you want. I don't mean to insult them if I class them in my head as playing in the same sort of space as Bellowhead:

  • Swedish is such a beautiful language, I tried learning it a bit but I can't roll my r's like that. Having vocals is nice but I'm used to listening to music without vocalists so I don't mind purely instrumental stuff. I do like the folk metal stuff but I do want to try and find more traditional stuff (although I do like a mix of modern and traditional instruments). Swedish is the way forward I think, currently checking out some more Triakel

  • Post by Maxal ().

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  • Post by Maxal ().

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  • Haha, I was going to mention the d word. Buying "Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith" as a download is certainly cheaper than paying ninety odd quid. That was actually the first album of his I bought back in 1968 after I saw him perform. "The Sophisticated Beggar" was withdrawn fairly soon after being released, so COFGS was all that was available for a while. I played that album to death ... almost literally. It got in such a state on my old Dansette-style record player that it wasn't sounding well at all. In a fit of genius I decided to administer a dose of record cleaning liquid and that killed it off completely. The music became increasingly hidden under a gloss of hiss and crackling until the music itself became inaudible ... although I still have the album - it is one of the things that hasn't gone in the downsizing one inevitably undertakes when moving into a smaller space. I have tried to clean the gunk out of the record and failed and searched for a replacement for years, but could not find it anywhere. I was very happy to find it at last as a download on royharper.co.uk. I think in terms of the music the album still stands up very well today - some of the lyrics though (e.g. Nobody's Got Any Money In The Summer) sound more closely associated with their time.

    As to deciding where to start, you may be asking the wrong person. If I find an artist I like I start at one end (usually the beginning) and go from there, so that I can hear the changes in sequence. Sometimes I go from both ends and meet in the middle. There are a number of collections of his songs if you don't lean towards a completist sensibility, but you seem to have found at least one of those anyway.

    I am floating around in The Fens. I may not be in a wicker boat, but space is still at a bit of a premium. I tend to fill the boat with instruments and have neither storage for my books or record/cd collection. A record turntable requires a flat surface and I don't have much of that available, so it had to go. I have far too many books on the boat and most of what I buy now has to be downloadable to my iPad or Kindle.

  • Back to twistoflemon, now that you have discovered Swedish music, would you consider jazz? Another favourite ensemble of mine was the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.) before the untimely death of Esbjörn Svensson. I don't profess to know much about jazz (I defer to the keyboard player in one of my bands or a percussionist colleague for that), but E.S.T. changed my perception of what jazz was about. I have listened to a lot more jazz since discovering E.S.T. and I am so glad I took the opportunity to see them perform while they were still together. Their communication with each other live felt like telepathy.

    Here's a nice concert set for you:


  • my internet wouldn't load the set you posted of the Esbjörn Svensson Trio as its being a bit slow at the moment, but I checked out the link below and at first was ready to dismiss it but found after listening to it for a bit longer that I was hooked. I've always appreciated why people like jazz without really getting it myself but this is very different to what I would think of as jazz. Another great suggestion :hippy:(I also may have listened to that Triakel song you posted about 20 times in the last couple of days)

  • While we are trying out different things, what could be darker than the end of the world and the death of a loved one?

    You'll probably at least know of Laurie Anderson (Lou Reed was Mr Anderson :whistle:) even if you are not familiar with her art. I have seen Laurie Anderson a few times and I love her work, but a live recording, "The Ugly One With The Jewels" is probably my favourite of her many albums.

    This would been performed live, with live processing on her voice and viola. I would love to have seen this show.


  • somehow the most unsettling part of that Laurie Anderson song/spoken word piece is the way that it abruptly ends and the silence that follows it (I'm guessing it wouldn't have been like that live and it was just the way it was recorded), its one of those things that you feel kind of odd after listening to

  • I mentioned on another thread that I met Mobius Loop last weekend. Do you know their music? After playing a forty-five minute solo set and a three-hour ceilidh set at a local festival I was pretty wiped out and hadn't planned to stay long, but I just had to stay and watch them go on till after midnight. Their whole set was riveting. Two people who really know their stuff. Probably very unfair, but at times I was reminded of The Incredible String Band and at others of the cabaret style of Dresden Dolls.


  • somehow the most unsettling part of that Laurie Anderson song/spoken word piece is the way that it abruptly ends and the silence that follows it (I'm guessing it wouldn't have been like that live and it was just the way it was recorded), its one of those things that you feel kind of odd after listening to

    We agree on that. This was a poorly executed YouTube edit. It is not like that on the album. I think the whole album is online so you get a chance to hear how she slides out of one story into the next.

  • Post by Maxal ().

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