Folk Music Artists to Watch in 2015

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some new folk music to check out? Here are a few artists that are definitely worth a listen in 2015!

Introducing 5 artists who are keeping folk music alive

In a digital age, it’s easy to forget the importance of organic, acoustic sounds. Folk music harkens back to a time when instruments were made of wood, metal, and stone; when music was a form of storytelling. These five artists are keeping the folk music tradition alive.


[ British singer-songwriter ] Mike Rosenberg, who performs under the stage name Passenger, is one of the many artists breathing new life into folk music. His unique brand of folk has won him a devoted following of fans, and his live performances are known for their spontaneity and intimacy. Rosenberg’s latest album, Whispers, debuted at #5 on the UK album chart and features the hit single “27”.

The Paper Kites

The Paper Kites are an indie folk band from Melbourne, Australia. The band is composed of Sam Bentley, Christina Lacy, David Powys, Sam Rasmussen, and Josh Bentley. Their sound has been likened to that of Fleet Foxes and Jose Gonzalez.

The Paper Kites rose to prominence in 2012 with their single “Bloom”, which peaked at number 2 on the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown. The success of “Bloom” led to the release of the band’s debut album States, which was nominated for an ARIA Award for Best Alternative Album.

Since then, The Paper Kites have released two more albums – twelvefour and On the Train Ride Home – and have toured extensively throughout Australia, North America, and Europe.

The Staves

If you’re a fan of Fleet Foxes, then you’ll love The Staves. Hailing from Watford, England, this sister trio creates dreamy folk music that is both ethereal and down-to-earth. With intricate vocal harmonies and thoughtful lyrics, The Staves are putting a new spin on an old genre. Their first album, Dead & Born & Grown, was released in 2012 to critical acclaim, and their follow-upEP, Blood I Bled, was released in 2013. The Staves are currently working on their second full-length album, which is expected to be released sometime in 2015.

Mumford & Sons

Although Mumford & Sons only formed in 2007, the UK-based quartet has become one of the biggest names in contemporary folk music. The group’s debut album, ‘Sigh No More,’ was an international success, reaching #2 on the UK charts and #16 on the US Billboard 200. The album’s popularity can be largely attributed to its lead single, “The Cave,” which became a top 10 hit in several countries. Mumford & Sons’ sophomore album, ‘Babel,’ was released in 2012 to even greater acclaim, debuting at #1 on both the UK and US charts. The album won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and its lead single, “I Will Wait,” was a top 20 hit in several countries. Mumford & Sons’ most recent album, ‘Wilder Mind,’ was released in 2015 to mixed reviews but still managed to reach #1 on the UK charts and #2 on the US charts.

Ben Howard

Ben Howard is a singer-songwriter from Devon, England. His debut album, Every Kingdom, was released in 2011 to critical acclaim. Howard’s music has been described as “folktronica”, a blend of folk and electronic music. He has cited Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell as influences on his songwriting. In 2013, Howard won the Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist.

Howard was born in London and raised in Exeter, Devon. He began playing guitar at the age of 11 and spent his teenage years listening to punk rock and skateboarding. He attended Ysgol Gyfun Brithdir in Wales before moving to Kingston upon Thames to study creative advertising at university. After graduating, he self-released his debut EP Games in the Open before signing with Island Records in 2011. His debut album Every Kingdom was released later that year to positive reviews from critics.

In 2013, Howard won the Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist. He has also been nominated for three Grammy Awards and an MTV European Music Award.

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