Because of artists like Noah Kahan, The Lumineers, Mt. Joy, and so many others; I feel the closest I’ve ever been to having a main-character-folk-summer. Folk music always bubbles to the top of my listening in the warmer months because of my lust to explore the wilderness (and to drink more coffee), so today I wanted to give you my top 5 folk songs for the summer to help you do this right alongside me.
It would be criminal not to add a Noah Kahan song to this list, so I figured I would do it early on so we can continue with the rest. At the time of writing, this song is sitting at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album itself is sitting at #3 on the Billboard 200, and it’s undeniable the impact Noah has had on mainstream taste. For that reason, Noah has to be the one to kick us off.
You may think you’ve never heard of Sumbuck, but this is the solo project of Caamp’s lead singer Taylor Meier. This is the place Taylor has tried out new sounds, and for fans, the project tracks just like our favorite Caamp albums do. Since his new album Lucky released last month, I have had this one in nonstop rotation.
Not all summer’s are perfect, and this song is the epitome of that. Snowbank Blues is what it feels like to wake up hungover on a beautiful day, yet you can’t fully appreciate it because you are hungover or lost deeply in thought. I can only imagine this song was written on one of those days, and life is full of ups and downs; so the perfect folk summer needs a song like this.
These days some of the best music treads the line of Folk and Country (probably because of the emergence of artists like Zach Bryan and Tyler Childers), and I could not be more here for it. Sweet Symphony is the most appropriately titled song I have heard in years, and I could not feel more warmth and peace than I do while listening to it. I recommend setting up a lawn chair or a hammock, and to allow yourself to immerse in the world around you.
No folk playlist is complete without a song that makes you want to dive deep into the wilderness. Of course we have classics including Sleep On The Floor by The Lumineers and Long Lost by Lord Huron, but Cartwright delivered a single earlier this year with that idea reimagined. He made this song after taking a trip into the Scottish Highlands, and it is packed full of moments of reflection and adventure.
Folk music is some of the most raw, honest, and emotive music out there, and I hope this list encourages you to book your next trip to the mountains, as well as to reflect on the lives we are all so lucky to lead.