New Music Friday: Folk Family Edition

There is way too much new music out this week. Lizzo’s new album comes out today, but no one needs me to tell them about that. Pretty much all the other new music out at least that I’m into is all stuff that are once and future Newport Folk Festival artists. So I decided to do a roundup of all the new music by my Folk Family, which seems fitting since this post will also have to tide you over an extra week since next week god willing I will actually be at the Newport Folk Festival and will not have a New Music Friday post for you.

“Fight to Make It” by Margo Price

Margo Price released the song “Fight to Make It” last week. She’s selling it on Bandcamp with proceeds of the sales going to a reproductive justice organization. Margo Price will not be at the Newport Folk Festival this year (at least as far as I know, but the festival is known for surprise guests so who knows). However, she is longtime favorite there. This song features two other fellow members of the Folk Family, the great and good Mavis Staples, and Adia Victoria who made her Folk Festival debut last year and will be returning this year. Apparently Margo had apparently been in talks with Ronnie Spector to sing the part Mavis now sings, but she was unable to complete recording it before she died. I can’t complain about Mavis being in her place though. Love me some Mavis and love this song.

“Empty Cups” by Amanda Shires featuring Maren Morris

Next up we have a lovely break up song by Amanda Shires from her forthcoming new album, Take It Like a Man. It features her follow Highwomen bandmate Maren Morris. Amanda has appeared at the Newport Folk Festival in many different ways including as a solo artist, as part of her husband Jason Isbell’s band The 400 Unit, last year with the two of them basically dueting, and of course with the Highwomen. She won’t be there this year, but Maren will be making her solo debut there. I’m looking forward to Amanda’s new album and seeing Maren perform next week.

“Cannibal” by Marcus Mumford

Marcus Mumford is putting out is first solo album, (self titled), minus the Sons in September. Yesterday, he released the first single off the album, “Cannibal”. In announcing the album he said, “In January 2021, facing demons I danced with for a long time in isolation, I wrote a song called ‘Cannibal’. “I took it to my friend Blake Mills, and we began the process of making this album, dear to my heart, called (self titled). It comes out September 16th 2022, produced by Blake Mills, and featuring Brandi Carlile, Phoebe Bridgers, Clairo and Monica Martin.” It is still very much a song that sounds like Mumford and Sons with the slow build that eventually bursts wide open at the end. I gather from what he’s said that the lyrics are very personal and at least to my reading of them seem like they’re about an inappropriate sexual relationship he was involved when he was younger. I obviously don’t know any details and don’t know how much he will share as he begins promoting the album, but that’s what it seems to be about. Mumford and Sons played the Folk Festival a few years ago. Marcus Mumford is not playing a set at the actual festival this year, but he is playing one of the after shows. I also expect he will show up as one of the friends in the Brandi Carlile and Friends set, especially given that she invited him out to sing a song from the album both nights when she played the Greek in Los Angeles. In addition to Brandi the album is also going to feature other fellow folk alum Clairo and Phoebe Bridgers and is produced by Blake Mills who will be performing at the festival this year.

“Talk” by beabadoobee

I’m wrapping things up with beabadoobee, who is now like a distant folk cousin or something. She was set to play the festival for the first time this year, but backed out a few days ago for unspecified reasons. There is nothing on her social media, in the news, or in the festival announcement about why. I sort of suspect it’s due to opportunities to promote her new album, Beatopia, which came out today. I have no intel to actually back that up. Who knows? She could be sick. She could have a death in the family. Whatever the reason, she will no longer be at the festival, and I’m super bummed because she was one of the artists I was most looking forward to seeing. I’m sharing “Talk” the first single off the album that has been out in the world for months because it’s the only song I’ve heard so far. I’m very excited to dig into the new album, but I haven’t had a chance this morning. So this is what I’ve got for you.

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