As a singer-songwriter, I listen to a lot of music and I search for inspiration in music I listen to. These artists are a major inspiration nowadays:
Ben Howard is an English songwriter. Before signing to Island Records In 2011, Howard released his debut EP Games in the Dark independently. (Leahey, 2016) His debut album Every Kingdom was released in 2011. It was nominated for Mercury Price in 2012. (ibid) He released his second album, I Forget Where We Were, in 2014. (Herrmann, 2014) Howard songwriting is very specific and the way he creates an atmosphere in songs is unique. He often uses finger picking technique when playing guitar. Howard is one of the key figures of indie folk genre.
Bon Iver is an American band founded in 2007 by Justin Vernon. (Reges, 2016) Justin Vernon is the main songwriter of the group. He is also a producer and owns a professional recording studio. (politecompany, 2009) Their debut album For Emma, Forever Ago was released in 2008. It features 9 songs that were written by Justin Vernon. (Pitchfork, 2016) Creative process of this album is very interesting. He wrote and recorded all the songs in his father’s log cabin in the forests where he stayed over 3 months during the winter. (politecompany, 2009)
Band’s second album is called Bon Iver was released in 2011. (Reges, 2016) Electric guitars, drums and expressive vocals supported by Vernon’s great production work make the whole album sound like the place you know, yet you feel quite weird being there. (Nerdwriter1, 2016) The last album 22, A Milion was released in autumn 2016. (ibid) It is a compilation of melodies and ideas which later turned out to be songs. (boniver, 2016) The sampling, creative process, and Bon Iver’s songwriting on this album may be one the key characteristics of indie folk music – it tries to express pure emotions, often features lyrics with no specific meaning and let a listener find their own interpretation. The structure of the songs makes the listener feel disoriented and it take a several listens for the listener to get use to the sound. (ibid)
Damien rice is an Irish singer songwriter, he was born in 1973. He launched his music career in an indie-rock band Juniper. (Wilson, 2016) They were signed to Polygram and released two singles. (ibid) After some disagreements about recording debut album, Rice left the band and started a solo career. He moved to Italy where he worked in the farm for several months and then travelled around Europe and busked on the streets. (ibid) After he arrived back to Ireland, he met with his cousin David Arnold who is a producer and Arnold borrowed Rice a mobile studio. (ibid) Rice started a solo career and he recorded his debut album ‘O’ in various locations throughout Europe. For example, song Eskimo was recorded in his friend’s flat in Paris because they really liked the song. (ibid) This production and creative process are significant for indie folk artists who often try to find a specific and unique of recording and composing music.
His first single The Blower’s Daughter was an instant Top 20 hit in Ireland and UK. (Wilson, 2016) His second album called 9 was released in 2006. After vocalist Lisa Hannigan left the Damien Rice’s band, he stopped gigging and took a break from music and it took him 8 years to release another studio album. (Wilson, 2016) His 3rd album was released in 2014 and was produced by Rick Rubin. (Damien Rice, 2014)
Passenger is an English singer-songwriter and a musician. He is best known for his hit song ‘Let Her Go’ which topped charts in many countries. (Knopper, 2013) During his career, he released 8 studio albums. Passenger songs often tells a story of somebody who he met during his travels and touring and some songs take months to write. (FaceCulture, 2016) Passenger promotes his music and shows by occasional busking on the streets. (ibid) He is one of the well-known interprets of indie folk genre.
Glen Hansard is an Irish singer-songwriter and actor. Hansard started busking in Dublin when he was 13 and formed the band The Frames when he was 20. (Duerden, 2015) In 2006, The Frames released album called The Swell Season. Some of these songs were used as a soundtrack for a film Once and were recorded in collaboration with a Czech singer Markéta Irglová. (ibid) During his career, Hansard released more than 12 studio albums and is one of the significant figures of Indie Folk genre. (ibid)