Album review: Various Artists – Young Folks

Various Artists - Young Folks

Various Artists - Young Folks - Credit: Archant

A decent spotlight on the famous and lesser-known corners of contemporary folk, folk-rock, blues, singer-songwriters and generally worthwhile artists.

Hoping to surf on the back of this summer’s festival fever, Young Folks gathers together 42 tracks ostensibly from the cream of today’s folksy, poppy, singer-songwriter brew.

The thrusting, trumpet-powered turbo-folk Little Talks from Of Monsters And Men kicks off proceedings, before they bounce from pedestrian pop (Noah And The Whale’s L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.) and intricate crossover indie (Alt-J’s Something Good) to widescreen, downcast piano rock (Villagers’ Nothing Arrived) and southern-fried blues (Alabama Shakes’ excellent Hold On).

It’s a funny mix at times, mostly picking fresh buds from the likes of First Aid Kit (the evocative Wolf) and Kurt Vile’s Air Bud, but also dredging up Damien Rice’s classic Cannonball from 2002 and slinging in established leftfield acts like Bellowhead (flowery singalong Roll The Woodpile Down).

The best stuff is found away from the anodyne and/or overexposed likes of Jason Mraz, Paolo Nutini and Jose Gonzalez.

You may also want to watch:

Check out Frightened Rabbit’s plaintive Poke, Daughter’s richly evocative Human and Megan Wyler’s finger-picked strings reboot of Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.

It’s a decent selection, but it’s hard to know who’ll buy it as most festival-goers under 30 pick out favourite morsels online, and genuine folksy fans are unlikely to discover a wealth of new gems here.

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4 stars

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