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Great New Emerging NYC Folk: Swimming Bell, Thelma, Pueblo, Hayes Peebles and Swoon Lake

Once again, 2017 was a year of experiments in modern folk music. Two NYC acts that pushed the boundaries of the genre and further defined the slightly fuzzy definition of neo-folk were Swimming Bell and Thelma. “The Golden Heart,” the former’s debut EP, carved fresh arrangements and harmonic material out of familiar instrumental textures. Thelma’s self-titled record meandered into darker lyrical and melodic territory, though with a consistent crystalline vocal perched atop often dissonant chords and rockier textures. That being said, Pueblo and Hayes Peebles, on the rootsier end of the spectrum, shone with stellar songwriting and nuanced arrangements, offering up an enlightening modern take on a more traditional sound. Pueblo released their flavorful record “Boring the Camera,” stirred memories of an electric Simon & Garfunkel. Hayes Peebles’ “Ghosts EP” offered breathtaking melodies with lush, sentient lyrics, while peppering in a twangy guitar or two. We also really enjoyed Swoon Lake's lush ballads from her sophomore self-titled EP, although the artist doesn't seem to be very active live. - Geena Kloeppel

Here's a playlist with a song each from these five artists. 





Hayes Peebles debuts his unique alt folk in 'Ghosts EP' + plays Mercury Lounge 8.24

Listening to Hayes Peebles’ debut EP Ghosts elicits the warm feelings that come from a country croon, while a closer look at the lyrics reveals the wisdom of a masterful songwriter. His honest ballads are embellished by his tasteful arrangements (in which he plays guitar and keys), which are too dynamic to fall neatly into the Americana category. He will be playing a show at the Mercury Lounge on August 24th. Listen to our favorite track, “Home” streaming below. - Lilly Milman

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