5 Contemporary Folk Music Artists You Need to Know

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


In a music scene that’s ever-evolving, it can be hard to keep up with the latest artists. Here are 5 contemporary folk musicians you need to know!

William Prince

William Prince is a contemporary folk music artist from Canada. His music is deeply rooted in the folk tradition, but with a modern twist. He has a rich, soulful voice that is perfect for singing songs about love, loss, and hope. William Prince is an artist who you need to know.

Anaïs Mitchell

Anaïs Mitchell is a singer-songwriter who draws inspiration from both traditional folk music and modern pop culture. Her 2010 album, Hadestown, is a concept album based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and her 2013 follow-up, Young Man in America, was inspired by her son’s birth. Mitchell’s music has been featured on television shows such as Parenthood and Suits, and she has toured with famed indie folk singer Bon Iver.

The Ballroom Thieves

The Ballroom Thieves are a three-piece band from Boston, Massachusetts, United States, consisting of Martin Rivest (vocals, guitar, percussion), Calin Cobain (vocals, cello), and Devin Mauch (drums). The band has been touring North America and Europe extensively since 2012. They have released two EPs and one studio album, A Wolvesaddr() {}, which debuted at No. 7 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart in 2016.

The Ballroom Thieves have a unique sound that draws from a range of influences, including folk, blues, classical, and pop. Their music has been described as “evocative and immediate”, with “catchy melodies [that] belie the depth of the lyrics”. The band has been praised for their “stunning musicianship” and “infectious energy”.

The Ballroom Thieves have toured with a number of high-profile artists, including Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, Brandi Carlile, and Lake Street Dive. They have also appeared at a number of major festivals, including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Newport Folk Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Governor’s Ball.


Darlingside is a foursome of musicians who originally met while attending Harvard University together. The psychedelic-acoustic group is made up of drummer Sam Kapinos, bassist-singer Don Mitchell, guitarist Auyon Mukharji, and singer-mandolinist Harris Paseltiner. The band’s sound has been described as “literate and melodic pop hooks with four part harmonies [that] evoke both Fleet Foxes and Crosby Stills & Nash.”

Darlingside released their debut album, Pilot Machines, in 2011. Since then, they have released two more albums – Extralife (2014) and Birds Say (2016), both of which have been met with critical acclaim. The band has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The Oh Hellos

The Oh Hellos are a folk rock band from Texas, United States, fronted by siblings Tyler and Maggie Heath. Their music has been described as a “mixture of genres including indie folk, indie rock, americana, and bluegrass.”

The siblings began making music together in 2009 as a way to pass the time during cold winters in their small town. Since then, they have released three albums, “Through the Deep, Dark Valley” (2013), “Notos” (2016), and “Eurus” (2017). They have toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, sharing the stage with such artists as Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, and Ben Howard.

The Oh Hellos are known for their energetic live shows, which often include sing-alongs and audience participation. If you’re looking for a fun, lively folk show to enjoy with friends, look no further than The Oh Hellos!

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