The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2017

Christmas Cats

It’s Christmas Eve which means its time to publish our favourite Christmas tracks released this year with a folky flavour.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! Looking forward to folking with you in 2018

Amber Lawrence – “Aussie Aussie Christmas”

Jennifer Hanson – “Only Thing I Really Need”

Balsam Range – “Christmas Lullaby”

Paul Mosley & the Red Meat Orchestra – “Wintersun”

Bradley Palermo – “Christmas In Las Vegas”

Courtney Marie Andrews – “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”

Lori McKenna – “Mama’s Cooking”

Sera Cahoone – “Last Christmas”

Phoebe Bridgers – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Amilia K Spicer – “Love’s For Living”

Audio Mozaik – “(They Say) It’s Christmastime”

SUSTO – “Feliz Navidad”

Okkervil River – “What Friends Do”

Rich Krueger – “And It’s That Time Again”

Katie Garibaldi – “Silent Night”

Gregor McEwan – “Home For Christmas”

Butch Parnell – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Renée Jonas – “My Man In Red”

Kate Rusby – “Deck the Halls”

Emma Charleston – “O Holy Night”

Waterloo Revival – “All I Want for Christmas”

Edan Archer– “It Just Wasn’t Christmas”

Prosecco Socialist (David Rotheray, Eleanor McEvoy & Mike Greaves) – “This Dog’s Just For Christmas (Not For Life)”

Catherine McGrath – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

Lisa Prank & Seattle’s Little Helpers – “All I Want For Christmas (Is To Be With You)”

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – “Just One Kiss”

The Emerald Ruby – “Here Comes Santa Claus”

Lindsey Stirling – “Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy”

Pentatonix – “Away in a Manger”

The Heathen and the Holy – “When Christmas Comes Around”

Licking the Moose – “Longing For Snow”

Skinner and T’witch – “I Don’t Want an iPad (I Just Want World Peace)”

Michael Carpenter – “Another Xmas Song”

Kina Grannis and Imaginary Future – “Let It Snow”

mhm. – “White Winter Hymnal”

O’Hooley & Tidow – “We Sing Hallelujah”

Ryanhood – “Sleigh Ride”

Tesse – “Fat Man In A Red Suit”

The Heather Findlay Quartet – “The Snows That Melt The Soonest/Gaudete”

James Hoffman – “Go Tell it On the Mountain”

Blake Flattley – “Silent Night”

The Human Uniform Choir feat. Julianna Zachariou, Joelton Mayfield, tinkers, Dennis McCarke – “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”

Emma Huntington and Hunter Montgomery – “Once in Royal David’s City”

Villagers – “White Christmas”

Jeff Tweedy, The Staves, Sarah Jarosz, Punch Brothers, Rich Dworsky and Ted Poor – “Fairytale of New York”

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 22nd November

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Sydney indie-folk night Little Features has announced the lineup to its final show of 2013 this Saturday including Bears With Guns, Charlie Gradon, Arbori, Tom Stephens, Lyon Apprentice and Timberwolf. Details here

Jep and Dep have released a haunting alt-country version of Kylie Minogue’s “Confide in Me”. Details here

– US based six piece Okkervil River are returning to our shores next February. Details here

Bluesfest revealed their fourth lineup announcement for 2014. Details here

– Western Australian bluegrass six-piece The Seals have released their debut video “Drink It Down”. Details here

Mama Kin has released her new video “Red Wood River”. Details here

– Next February we’ll be treated to a brand new album from William Fitzsimmons, Lions. Details here

– The Gulgong Folk Festival have revealed their 2014 program including Big Erle, Caitlin Harnett, Daniel Champagne, Fig Jam, James Thomson, Melanie Horsnell and Richard Lawson. Details here

Johnny Flynn has released a stunning new lyric video for his track “Gypsy Hymn”. Details here

– You can stream a couple of tracks from the album Foreverly from Billie Joe and Norah online. Details here

Sarah Blasko has released her new video “Fool” and announced Heavenly Sounds tour dates. Details here

– Melbourne psych folk band Immigrant Union have a new video for their single “I Can’t Return”. Details here

Georgia Fair are performing three headline shows next week to support their new album Trapped Flame. Details here

– The John Butler Trio revealed their brand new single “Only One”. Details here

Interviews

“Songwriting’s really important to me – Boy Outside began as just me and an acoustic guitar. When you take such a pared-back approach into a live setting, every song has to be solid” – Aidan Cooney from Boy Outside chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“Yeah we’ve been trying to refine our sound a little bit. 18 months ago, our sound was so different – there was a mix between folk and tremolo surf songs. It was a bit crazy, and seemingly a bit old and weathered. Since then we’ve written a bunch of new songs. We’re playing cut down versions of our full production songs like “Slow Your Mind”, “Blue Afternoon”, and of course our single to be released next year “2001″” – Matt Gollan from The British Blues chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“At the moment we’re gearing up for our EP launches in Sydney and Melbourne! Then we’re planning to do a month of songwriting, maybe a little band camp holiday if we’re lucky, before recording an album early next year then touring to America in the middle of the year. Lots to look forward to!” – Georgia Mooney from All Our Exes Live In Texas chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Reviews

Gigs

“JamGrass is in many ways a unique event. An urban, indoor festival focused on a genre of music that is hardly cool (despite hipsters having a fondness for a banjo), JamGrass is almost the exact opposite of any other bluegrass festival in the country. But it works. And it keeps drawing me back”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews the JamGrass Music Festival 2013. Review here

“Sibylla and Beth are obviously very comfortable in their new duo-with-a-backing-band setup and seemed to really be enjoying bringing their new material to the audience. The girls’ trademark harmonies (and relaxed banter) were in full force and despite some sound issues as a result of a lot of microphone swapping they were sounding absolutely beautiful in Camelot’s intimate space”Gareth Hugh Evans reviews The Little Stevies in Sydney. Details here

Releases This Week

Andrew Bird
I Want to See Pulaski at NightAndrew Bird
iTunes

Foreverly
ForeverlyBillie Joe and Norah
iTunes

Jacinta Price Dry River
Dry RiverJacinta Price

Laura and Susie
MerembaLaura & Susie
iTunes

Lost Ragas
Phantom RideLost Ragas
iTunes

Wichita
WichitaWhitaker
Bandcamp

Gigs Next Week

Boy & Bear
riday 22nd November – Metropolis, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 23rd November – The Astor Theatre, Perth, WA

Busby Marou
Friday 22nd November – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 23rd November – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 29th November – Fowlers, Adelaide, SA

Communion Melbourne feat. Thomas Calder (The Trouble With Templeton), Castlecomer, Martha Marlow, Dominic Youdan
Sunday 24th November – The Toff In Town, Melbourne, VIC

Davidson Brothers
Sunday 24th November – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Dustin Tebbutt
Sunday 24th November – The Aviary Rooftop Sessions, Perth, WA
Friday 6th December – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

Dyson Stringer Cloher
Friday 22nd November – Balnarring Community Hall, Balnarring, VIC
Saturday 23rd November – Butter Factory, Mornington, VIC
Wednesday 27th November – Red Hot, Devonport, TAS
Thursday 28th November – Grand Poobah, Hobart, TAS
Friday 29th November – Barossa Regional Gallery, Tanunda, SA

Emma Davis and Brian Campeau
Thursday 28th November – Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC

Festival of Small Halls w/ Jordie Lane and Rose Cousins
Saturday 23rd November – St Martins Parish Hall, Mullum Music Festival, NSW
Wednesday 27th November – Forest Hill School of Arts, Forest Hill, QLD
Friday 29th November – Sandgate Town Hall, Sandgate, QLD

Georgia Fair
Friday 29th November – Howler, Melbourne, VIC

Gossling with Whitaker
Saturday 23rd November – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Immigrant Union
Friday 22nd November – Howlers, Melbourne, VIC

John Butler Trio
Sunday 24th November – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 22nd November – Gorgeous Festival, McLaren Vale, SA
Saturday 23rd November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC
Monday 25th November – The Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW

Kate Martin
Saturday 23rd November – Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC

Kaurna Cronin
Sunday 24th November – Sofar Sounds, Sydney, NSW
Friday 29th November – The Aztec, Forster, NSW

Lachlan Bryan
Saturday 23rd November – Mona Museum & Gallery, Hobart, TAS
Sunday 24th November – Brookefield Winery, Margate, TAS
Tuesday 26th November – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Lime and Steel
Friday 22nd November – Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 28th November – Union Hotel, Newtown, NSW

Little Features feat. Bears With Guns, Charlie Gradon, Arbori, Tom Stephens, Lyon Apprentice, Timberwolf
Saturday 23rd November – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Mullumbimby Music Festival
Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th November – Mullumbimby, NSW

Patrick James
Friday 22nd November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 23rd November – Gorgeous Festival, McLaren Vale, SA
Sunday 24th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, VIC
Wednesday 27th November – Black Bear Lodge

Perch Creek Family Jugband
Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby, NSW
Friday 22nd November – The Soundlounge, Currumbin, QLD
Thursday 28th November – Hotel Steyne, Manly, NSW
Friday 29th November – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Robert Ellis and Corey Chisel
Friday 22nd November – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel
Friday 22th to Sunday 24th November – Mullum Music Festival, NSW
Friday 29th November – The Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Crooked Fiddle Band
Friday 22nd November – Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW
Saturday 23rd November – The Standard, Sydney, NSW

The Little Stevies
Friday 22nd November – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 23rd to Sunday 24th November – Mullum Music Festival, Mullumbimby NSW

The Twoks
Friday 22nd November – The Espy, Melbourne, VIC

Whitaker
Friday 29th November – Revolver, Melbourne, VIC

Whitley
Thursday 28th November – Alhambra, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 29th November – Woombye Pub, Sunshine Coast, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“Riddles Wisely Expounded” – Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer

The theme of the impossible riddle is often repeated in traditional music, most famously in this Child Ballad, “Riddles Wisely Expounded”. This song has been recorded by many artists over the years and we’ve chosen a very recent version for this week’s FFF because, well, we think it’s really really good.

Okkervil River to Return to Australia

Okkervil River
Image Courtesy of Okkervil River

In the last couple of weeks US indie-folk six-piece Okkervil River have revealed plans to return to Australia for a handful of gigs – one as part of the Perth Festival and then two extra dates in Sydney and Melbourne. The band are currently touring their new album The Silver Gymnaseum – check out the full list of dates below:

Wednesday 19th February – Chevron Festival Gardens, Perth, WA
Friday 21st February – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 22nd February – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 21st June

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Wes Carr’s Buffalo Tales project hits the road this Friday for Timber and Steel with dates planned in NSW, VIC and SA. Details here

– Before she heads out on tour supporting Whitley, Esther Holt has a brand new video for the track “Rock Me Through The Night”. Details here

JamGrass announced their second artist lineup including Mustered Courage, Davidson Brothers, Bill Jackson Band, The Rusty Datsuns, Appalachian Heaven String Band, Jimi Hocking’s Blue Mandolin and The Morrisons. Details here

– South Australian singer-songwriter Sam Brittain has announced a national tour through July and August. Details here

– Sydney five-piece Castlecomer are heading out on tour in August and September to support their new EP Lone Survivor. Details here

– Melbourne singer-songwriter Vance Joy has announced a headline tour this August. Details here

Okkervil River have announced plans to release their new album The Silver Gymnasium this September and have already revealed the first single “It Was My Season”. Details here

– Justin Vernon’s side project, Volcano Choir, has a new single out called “Bygone”. Details here

– Sydney’s Little Features night has announced it’s June lineup including Matt De, Liam Gale, Baby Lips and The Silhouettes, Charlie Gradon and Fanny Lumsden and the Thrillseekers. Details here

– Brother-sister duo Dan & Hannah Acfield are touring the east coast from the end of the month. Details here

Timber and Steel was lucky enough to be treated to the exclusive first viewing of Sam Buckingham’s new video “Follow You”. Details here

Thelma Plum has released a really sweet video for her latest single “Dollar”. Details here

– Check out the new video from the latest Communion Records signing Nick Mulvey. Details here

Interviews

“We all fell in love with country music at different moments in our lives but I think the main attraction was the potential for some sweet, sweet harmonies. The song titles get us too – my personal favourite is “I Don’t Know Whether to Kill Myself or Go Bowling”.”Katie Wighton from All Our Texas Live In Texas chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“The last couple of shows I’ve played have been truly beautiful experiences. I think I got up on the stage and realised that these people have come to this place to hear something that I get to create. That’s a crazy thing to do, to put yourself out there, to play your songs for a bunch of people. That conceptually, at its fundamental level, is incredible”Matt Corby chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Blog

“I was really made to feel at home and sensed that everyone wanted me to give my best and this made my job so much easier. Unless you are a slightly awkward singer songwriter who has felt the nakedness of revealing your inner thoughts and feelings on stage before an educated and critical audience, you may not know what I’m talking about but a welcoming feeling and friendly atmosphere at a festival goes a long way towards bringing out the best in me”Hugh McDonald talks through his experiences at this year’s Top Half Folk Festival. Blog here

Reviews

Recordings

“The history of Timber and Steel is so closely intertwined with the career of UK singer-songwriter Laura Marling there was no way we were going to pass up the opportunity to review her latest masterpiece Once I Was An Eagle. And because Marling is so special to us we thought we’d try something a little unique for the review – four Timber and Steel reviewers take on four songs from Once I Was An Eagle as well as giving you some insight into their relationship with the singer” – The Timber and Steel team review Laura Marling’s album Once I Was An Eagle. Review here

Gigs

“The one thing about the Top Half Folk Festival that always makes it a standout for me is the singing. That might seem a strange thing to say, when folk festivals are traditionally full of singing. But these days that singing is more about performers singing to audiences, not ordinary people singing their lungs out with performers” – Jeff Corfield reviews The Top Half Folk Festival. Review here

Releases This Week

Roadtrip Confessions
Roadtrip ConfessionsBuffalo Tales
iTunes

Fever to the Form
Fever to the FormNick Mulvey
Communion Shop

Turbines
TurbinesTunng
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Anne of the Wolves
Anne of the Wolves with Wayward Breed, James Kenyon
Sunday 23rd June – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Buffalo Tales
Buffalo Tales
Friday 21st June – Bucket List, Bondi, NSW
Wednesday 26th June – Folk Club, The Soda Factory, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 27th June – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Official Site

Jep and Dep
Jep and Dep
Saturday 22nd June – FBi Social, Kings Cross, NSW
Wednesday 26th June – City Conversations, Sydney Town Hall, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 27th June – Green Room, Enmore, NSW

Facebook Event

Gigs Next Week

Dan & Hannah Acfield
Thursday 27th June – Treehouse On Belongil, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 28th June – The Loft Chevron Island, Gold Coast, QLD

Folk Club feat. Buffalo Tales, Lily So & The Bellows, Jacob Pearson
Wednesday 26th June – The Soda Factory, Sydney, NSW

Grizzly Jim Lawrie w/ Canary, Tin Lion, Yeo, Money For Rope DJs
Wednesday 26th June – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Imogen Clark
Sunday 23rd June – The Toxteth Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Martha Wainwright
Saturday 22nd June – Astor Theatre, Perth WA

Matt Walters
Saturday 22nd June – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 23rd June – Dowse Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Mustered Courage
Wednesday 26th June – Yinnar Pub, Yinnar, VIC
Friday 28th June – Molly Malones, Devonport, TAS

Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 28th June – Bangalow Bowling Club, Bangalow, NSW

Texture Like Sun, Ella Hooper
Tuesday 25th June – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

The Stillsons
Friday 21st June – Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC

Tigertown
Friday 21st June – Solbar, Maroochydore, QLD
Saturday 22nd June – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba, QLD
Friday 28th June – The Weatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Wagons
Saturday 22nd June – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“More Than Boys” – Luke Jackson

Sometimes you just hear a song that blows your head back. “More Than Boys” turned up on a podcast I was listening to this week and I just had to seek it out online to listen to again and again and again. Really great stuff from the English singer-songwriter.

Okkervil River Announce New Album and Single

Okkervil River
Image Courtesy of Okkervil River

US folk-rock outfit Okkervil River have announced plans to release a brand new album, The Silver Gymnasium, on the 3rd September this year. The album will be the first from the band since 2011’s I Am Very Far.

To accompany the album announcement Okkervil River have also released a really inventive lyric video for the first single “It Was My Season”. Check it out below:

Okkervil River Release Second Video For “Your Past Life As A Blast”

Okkervil River
Image Courtesy of Okkervil River

About six weeks ago, just before they visited Australia, we brought you the video for Okkervil River’s track “Your Past Life As A Blast” from their recent album I Am Very Far. Well the song is so good that it deserves a second video – and the band have gone and done just that.

While the first version was a Self (pardon the pun) directed affair this latest video was created by director Isaac Ravishankara. Check it out below:

New Okkervil River Video “Your Past Life as a Blast”

Okkervil River
Image Courtesy of Okkervil River

Okkervil River’s upcoming Australian tour is just under two weeks away and to celebrate we thought we’d share their new video with you. Taken from the band’s latest album I Am Very Far, the video for “Your Past Life as a Blast” features some really nice vintage footage – check it out below:

The full dates for Okkervil River’s Australian tour are below:

Wednesday 12th October – Capitol, Perth, WA
Friday 14th October – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 15th October – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC
Sunday 16th October – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC (Will Self Solo)
Tuesday 18th October – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 19th October – The Hi Fi, Brisbane, QLD

Okkervil River Announce Australian Tour

Okkervil River
Image Courtesy of Okkervil River

After they were announced for this October’s Melbourne Festival it was almost inevitable that we’d see some dates released for Okkervil River elsewhere in Australia. And how right we were – shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth have just been added to Okkervil River’s Australian visit touring the brand new album I Am Very Far.

Tickets go on sale on Thursday 11th August. The full list of dates for the tour are below:

Wednesday 12th October – Capitol, Perth, WA
Friday 14th October – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC (Melbourne Festival)
Saturday 15th October – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC (Melbourne Festival)
Sunday 16th October – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC (Will Self Solo, Melbourne Festival)
Tuesday 18th October – Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 19th October – The Hi Fi, Brisbane, QLD

Okkervil River Returns to Australia for 2011 Melbourne Festival

Okkervil River
Image Courtesy of Okkervil River

In news that is likely to excite alt-country fans the country over, The Melbourne Festival has announced that Texan five piece Okkervil River will be heading to our shores as part of the 2011 program this October. The band have been confirmed for two shows over the course of the festival, one at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne and one at the Meeniyan Town Hall in Gippsland, supported by local gypsy folk balladeers Roller One. On top of Okkervil River shows the band’s frontman Will Sheff is also scheduled for a solo appearance at The Toff in Town supported by Mike Noga (The Drones).

Whether this is a precursor to a national tour or not remains to be seen (we’re hoping yes!). The full dates for the Okkervil River and Will Seff shows at The Melbourne Festival are below. For more information on the festival visit the official site.

Okkervil River:
Friday 14th October – Forum Theatre, Melbourne
Saturday 15th October – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan

Will Sheff:
Sunday 16th October – The Toff in Town

Stream Okkervil River’s New Album “I Am Very Far”

Okkervil River
Image Courtesy of NPR.com

You’ve gotta love NPR.com. Pretty much every major international album that we’re excited about they manage to get a stream of a week or two ahead of the release date. Case in point: I Am Very Far, the new album from Okkervil River. Due for release on the 10th of May you can hear the whole thing in its entirety right now over at NPR.com.

And while you’re listening to Okkervil River’s latest why not have a look to see what else NPR.com has on offer? You seriously won’t be sorry.

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