The Folk & Soft-Rock Playlist: Must Listen To Hand-Picked Songs From The Indie Scene
There are few types of music that are able to connect people like folk. It’s able to transcend social and geographic boundaries, forming a secular bond between one another.
The indie folk scene is full of artists who create new waves of music, whilst preserving the integrity of the genre. We’ve picked out some great songs by independent artists you have to listen to right now – some old, some new, but all of them carry a kind of emotional connection.
We believe that music is to be explored. Sometimes, you need a break from the mainstream. There is that time when you want something new. Something original. Chill, but not too chill. Maybe with a dash of folk and soft rock to spice it up? Then The Folk Playlist is the playlist for you!
We have to remember it. Folk music is a beautiful genre of music mostly for those who want to feel nostalgic about the past.
There are also other genres that you can explore that need to be included in this list because there are good folk songs that fall under folk-ock, country, roots and many more. That is why we are making this list and sharing it with you.
There is something wonderful about folk music today. If you already know what folk music is, you can explore this article further. However, if you do not know what folk music is, you can explore this article and you will not be disappointed. You can listen to our full folk playlist which contains the artists’ music, and know more about their work by scrolling down the page.
1) HER SKIN – I Started A Garden
I Started A Garden is the debut album from HER SKIN, an Italian artist that has been gaining popularity in the indie scene. Her music is a mix of dreamy folk-pop and dream pop, with influences from alt-rock, soft rock, and melodic pop rock.
Her song “Heavy-hearted” didn’t open up the album but this is what prepares the listener for what is coming. It revealed a piece of easy-listening music with a deep, resonant guitar riff that gently builds up to an explosive chorus. It’s a bit folk but more indie rock and we just loved it!
The song “Confident” has more of a dream pop feel, with soft synth lines and echoed vocals complementing the beautiful female singer’s voice. This one is similar to most of the 9 tracks, but the lyrics are really interesting as they can have a double meaning.
Seems like she sings about being trapped in an unsatisfying relationship where she doesn’t feel like herself anymore—a common theme throughout love songs. But then it can be also about a relationship with herself – the thing is, she can’t resist it: “There’s no way out once you are in!”.
“Suitable” features some gorgeous acoustic guitar work followed by angelical female vocals. It’s one of our favourite tracks on this album because it has such a light-hearted feel despite its melancholic lyrics; it reminds me of some classic folk-rock songs from the 90s and there are many other tracks to explore, which you will have to try by yourself now. Check it out, visit the artist’s YouTube and follow her on Spotify.
2) BIRDS ARE BETTER – Marigold
I recently discovered a new act, and I am so glad I did. BIRDS ARE BETTER is an independent band from Norway. Their sound is a unique blend of alternative folk, dream pop, and indie pop that’s equal parts dreamy and ethereal as it is catchy and upbeat.
It’s the kind of music that makes you want to curl up in front of a fire with a cup of hot chocolate (or wine) while you listen to them on repeat.
The song that really caught my attention was “Marigold.” The song has this haunting quality to it—you can’t help but feel like you’re being lulled into something magical when you listen to it.
It’s got this acoustic guitar that is just… wow. It’s so dreamy and cool!
The other song I wanted to highlight was “Oblivion, Bliss.” This one has more of an indie soft-rock feel than the others—it’s got a synth-driven beat that makes me want to dance around. It’s magic and a bit euphoric at the same time.
If you’re looking for some new tunes to add to your folk-pop collection, check out BIRDS ARE BETTER! Check out their portfolio and follow them on Spotify!
3) DR FABOLA – All Behind
The UK has a long and storied history of folk music, but it’s not all tweedy guys in wool caps and knee-high boots.
In recent years, the scene has seen a resurgence of folk artists who are pushing the genre forward—and one of the most exciting new voices is DR FABOLA, who hails from Manchester.
DR FABOLA’s single, “All Behind,” is an upbeat acoustic alt-folk track that will get you up on your feet and moving. The singer-songwriter’s voice is smooth and clear, and his lyrics are simple but powerful: “Leave this all behind… I am walking away, there’s no turning back”.
DR FABOLA’s music has been described by producers from PopHits.Co as “a good dose of folk with a dash of pop.” The songwriter is great, and we noticed that his music style was inspired by artists like Bon Iver and James Bay, but also some influences like Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen—so it’s no surprise that his sound is so familiar.
If you’re looking for some new motivational music to add to your playlist, check out this track from DR FABOLA! You can visit his website and follow him on Spotify for more info on upcoming releases.
4) SIVAN LANGER – Alibi
The Israel-based indie rock artist Sivan Langer is back with a new single, Alibi. The new song is a classic soft rock track that has a vintage sound that brings to mind artists like Neil Young, who has been known for his intimate approach to music.
The song starts out with a smooth guitar riff, followed by a simple drum beat and some light piano chords. The vocals are soft and gentle, but they bring a certain warmth to the song. The lyrics are thoughtful and nostalgic, making it easy to lose yourself in the melody.
The overall effect of this song is that it feels like you’re sitting in on someone’s jam session—the kind where things get pretty loose and nothing goes quite as planned but somehow it still works out great.
It’s the kind of music you want playing while you’re driving down an open road on a sunny day with your windows down and the wind blowing through your hair. use your imagination now.
If this sounds like something that appeals to you, Sivan Langer has an entire catalogue full of other songs like Alibi on Spotify. Check it out, follow him, and you can also visit his website for more information about upcoming shows.
5) NICK CODY AND THE HEARTACHE – All Is Fine Till The World Goes Pop
Nick Cody and The Heartache’s new album All Is Fine Till The World Goes Pop is a 13-track collection of Americana folk rock that you should check out. It’s a partnership with the exotic singer Twose.
The album is an indie folk masterpiece that showcases the band’s talent as a singer-songwriter. It features both male and female vocals, cinematic soundscapes, soft rock elements, and classic folk arrangements.
The album also features a variety of instruments including acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, bass guitar, flute, drums, piano and organ. It’s the whole band working in harmony, which resulted in something really special.
We especially enjoyed the tracks “She’s Tough Enough” and “Thinking in Circles” which both have a cinematic feel to them that reminded us of music from the 1960s and 1970s.
This album will appeal to fans of contemporary indie pop artists such as Mumford & Sons but also has a classic sound that listeners may find familiar if they listen closely to artists like Simon & Garfunkel or Crosby Stills & Nash. Check it out, visit the artist’s website and follow on Spotify.
6) KRISTEN GRAINGER & TRUE NORTH – Buckeye State
Kristen Grainger & True North are an up-and-coming indie folk duo from Eugene, Oregon. They just released their single “Buckeye State” last month, and it’s a perfect example of why this duo is so special.
Kristen Grainger’s voice has a gentle, understated quality that’s reminiscent of classic folk singers like Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. She sings about life lessons, relationships, or feeling lost, but her voice conveys a sense of calm that makes you feel like you’re not lost at all—you’re just going through the motions until you get back home.
What’s even more impressive about this song is how well it captures the mood of the current folk revival in America right now. It’s not just an acoustic guitar and a singer—there is also an amazing and high-quality production behind it all.
The addition of modern production techniques gives the song an edge that makes it more than just a simple track; it’s also reflective of what’s happening in the US folk scene, as artists blend classical sounds with modern influences.
If you like what Kristen Grainger & True North have done with “Buckeye State,” then listen to it now, and check out their website! You can also follow them on Spotify
7) MARK SHEPHERD – World On Fire
In a world where indie folk artists are getting more and more popular, Mark Shepherd is one of the best out there. His single ‘World On Fire’ is a perfect example of his unique style—it’s acoustic, it’s Americana, it’s country rock, it’s soft rock and singer-songwriter all at once.
Well, if you’re looking for something new with a very nice emotional connection to listen to from an independent artist, you should definitely check out his website and follow him on Spotify.
The song starts off slow but picks up speed as it goes along. It starts out with Shepherd singing over a simple guitar riff, but by the end of the song he’s got a full band backing him up and great backing vocals accompaniment in the background.
It really shows off how versatile Shepherd’s voice is—from slow ballads like this one to upbeat rock songs like ‘Devils in The Mirror’, which he released last year.
Going back to his late single, what makes ‘World On Fire’ so unique is that it sounds like something straight out of the classic folk culture in the 90’s radios from the UK—you can hear some influences from those old British bands like Fleetwood Mac or Cat Stevens. Now it’s time to explore his portfolio. Check it out, visit the artist’s website and follow on Spotify.
8) JACK PHEMISTER – Backwards Sideways
The Australian indie scene is a place that seems to be on the rise, and Jack Phemister‘s new single, “Backwards Sideways,” is a perfect example of why that’s true.
Phemister’s music is deeply rooted in folk, with touches of jazz, lounge music, soft rock, and acoustic pop. It’s an easygoing sound that would be perfect for a laid-back Sunday afternoon spent watching the rain fall from behind closed windows.
“Backwards Sideways” is smooth, and still upbeat but not too upbeat—it has that classic groove you expect from an indie artist like Phemister. The guitar work is top-notch: it has just the right amount of twang and twinkle to accentuate his vocals without overpowering them. The drums are simple but effective: they keep the song moving forward while still leaving room for all of Phemister’s other instruments to shine through.
The lyrics of the song are sweetly romantic, evoking feelings, as well as nostalgia, and there is a strong emotional connection to it that you will not be able to resist, even if you are not in love with it already. It’s a feeling that anyone who has ever been in love can relate to—it’s full of hope, longing, and expectation. Check it out, visit the artist’s BandCamp and follow him on Spotify.
9) THE WANTON STRING BAND – Deb’s
Indie Folk is a genre that has long been associated with artists who produce their own music, which is then distributed independently. The Wanton String Band is one such artist, and their latest single, “Deb’s,” is an excellent example of what it means to be indie folk.
The song starts off slow and quiet, with the string instrumentals setting a mood that feels like you’re in a small town in the middle of nowhere. There are no vocals coming in, besides you keep expecting it, but all instruments together make you feel at a country-side party instantly—you can feel yourself getting lost in them immediately.
Then suddenly everything changes again! The tempo picks up and we’re into a full-on dance beat that’ll have you moving like nobody’s watching. It’s cinematic, there are even some moments where the song feels like it could be taken right out of a musical theatre performance. That’s when you realise it’s a high-quality folk and psychedelic dance music fusion.
All in all this song will take you through an amazing experience. Check it out, visit the artist’s website and follow on Spotify.
10) STEPHANIE PHILLIPS – The Last Word
Stephanie Phillips‘ new single, “The Last Word,” is a breath of fresh air in the world of independent folk music. It’s an acoustic folk-pop song that feels like it was written with the listener in mind—it’s not trying to impress you with its technical prowess or cleverness, but instead wants to make you feel something. And by golly does it succeed!
“The Last Word” is the kind of song that will make you want to get introspective but at the same time dance around, it just makes you move. Then you feel like singing at the top of your lungs even though no one else is there to hear it and your neighbours are sleeping. That’s what we felt and feel amazing!
It’s an easy listen, very simple, and is not negative at all. When you’re listening to indie folk music, sometimes all you want is something that makes your soul feel good without forcing itself on you. This track does just that.
Whether you’re looking for something easy to relax with or just want something fun to sing along with while working, “The Last Word” will do the trick! Check it out, visit the artist’s website and follow her on Spotify.