What happened to the great american rock band? When did minimalist sound, melancholy lyrics, and lackluster stage presence become the norm? If you find yourself searching for music with a higher energy and quality, look no further than punk folk.
What is Punk Folk?
You may be wondering what punk folk sounds like. Traditional folk music conjures images of slow ballads with in depth storytelling. Many of us are familiar with cultural folk music like Irish folk songs or American folk songs. In modern folk bands, the emphasis on story telling remains but the composition is varied and draws influence from genres of all kinds.
Much of popular folk today comes to us from indie folk bands. These acts blend folk storytelling with minimalist sound. This might be compelling to millennial hipsters, but the energy and passion of folk music doesn’t always translate. This is where punk folk comes into the equation.
Punk folk, or folk rock, is a brand of folk music known for its combination of classic folk instrumentation, punk ferocity, and engaging songwriting. Punk influences bring a fiery passion to the performances, while the folk sound and lyricism create a lasting connection with audiences. Nothing makes for a more memorable live show than a group of serious musicians playing the funniest, most impressive set in a local venue.
What Makes Punk Folk Great?
More than just a great performance, punk folk music is easy going and welcoming. These folk bands know that people go to shows to listen to great music and have a good time. These are the kinds of bands that sell their own shot glasses.This folk culture creates punchy songs and artists that don’t take themselves too seriously. Heavy drinking, laughing, and dancing are encouraged at a punk folk show.
Folk rock bands are also capable of a great range of sounds. Regardless of the mood or tone you’re looking for, folk rock has an answer:
- Feeling nostalgic about an old love? Listen to New Madrid by Uncle Tupelo, the folk rock band that later split into the indie giant, Wilco.
- Looking for the perfect song to get you through a rut you’re in? Check out Old Friends by Pinegrove. A great introspective tune to get you back on track.
- Interested in a folk twist on an old classic? Try out Thunderstruck by Steve ‘n Seagulls.
- Or maybe you just want a great drinking song to get the party started. Look no further than I’m Still Drunk by Folk Hogan.
If the versatility of these bands is any indication, the genre will continue to grow and fill the void that has been left since the days of great rock shows have faded. Folk music brought the world a grand tradition of songwriting, and the energy of punk music will make sure the killer live show is alive and well.
Hungry for more? Hit up your local record shop for some recommendations for artists, albums, and upcoming shows. The best way to keep the music going is local support.
– Nick Nikols