Premieres

  • Hear It First: Pierce Pettis, 'Father's Son'

    • 2019-01-11
    • Kim Ruehl

    Pierce Pettis has made a long career out of music that simmers just below the surface, releasing albums that are beloved by fellow songwriters for their sheer craftsmanship. His latest, Father’s Son (due Jan. 18 on Compass Records) is no exception.

  • Song Premiere: Maya de Vitry, "Go Tell a Bird"

    • 2019-01-03
    • Kim Ruehl

    Maya de Vitry's “Go Tell a Bird” does everything a folk song is supposed to do—and does it exceptionally well. It is both simple and complex, digestible and impossible, distilling some of the most seemingly complicated, urgent and timeless human debates down to 35 words in fewer than four minutes. Its instrumentation is collaborative and swelling, like the cooperation between a pair of wings and a good hard gust.

  • Song Premiere: Peter Mulvey, "The Fox"

    • 2018-12-14
    • Cindy Howes

    Hear "The Fox," the first single from Peter Mulvey's upcoming album, There Is Another World, due out on February 15th on Righteous Babe Records.

  • Video Premiere: Mandolin Orange, "Golden Embers"

    • 2018-11-08
    • Folk Alley staff

    Watch the in-studio performance of "Golden Embers" by the North Carolina duo Mandolin Orange, from their forthcoming album Tides of a Teardrop, due out February 1 on Yep Roc Records.

  • Video Premiere: The Earls of Leicester, "I'm Gonna Sleep With One Eye Open"

    • 2018-11-07
    • Kim Ruehl

    The Earls of Leicester deliver a song to which Flatt & Scruggs had to attach a warning label. These days, it fits in just fine with all the modern music about lying and cheating lovers, but back in the day it was simply too much to suggest that it was a woman doing the “steppin’”.

  • Hear It First: Rachel Baiman, 'Thanksgiving' (EP)

    • 2018-10-30
    • Kim Ruehl

    Nashville singer-songwriter Rachel Baiman has been steadily building a loyal following among folks predisposed to bluegrass and old-time music. Her debut album, Shame, established her as a songwriter unafraid of looking at reality through her music, rather than sugarcoating anything. And its follow-up, an EP titled Thanksgiving (due Nov. 2 on Free Dirt Records), sees her going even further in that truth-teller direction.

  • Song Premiere: Anna Tivel, "Fenceline"

    • 2018-10-26
    • Kim Ruehl

    “Fenceline” focuses on the impulse humans have had across generations and societies, to build walls in an effort to keep unwanted people out. Tivel found herself wondering: What is at the core of this need to construct barriers between ourselves and others?

  • Song Premiere: Hush Kids, "Goodbye Rain"

    • 2018-09-27
    • Kelly McCartney

    Throughout their eponymous debut, Hush Kids weave a gorgeous melodic web with varying threads of toughness and texture. On the sparsely populated “Goodbye Rain,” they apply their delicately dulcet tones with a light touch that recalls one of 2017's most magical and memorable tracks, “Forces of Decay” by Rogue + Jaye. It's like the spoonful of musical sugar that helps the medicine of heartache go down.

  • Song Premiere: Lucy Wainwright Roche, "Quit With Me"

    • 2018-09-27
    • Kelly McCartney

    Another master of musical melancholy is, undeniably, Lucy Wainwright Roche. On her new album, Little Beast, she churns out lyrical impossibilities time and again, each conveying so much with so little.