Modern Folk Music Artists You Need to Know

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Discover Modern Folk Music Artists You Need to Know. This list of talented musicians are making waves in the industry and are worth your attention.

Introducing 5 modern folk music artists you need to know

In a world of simple, easy-to-digest pop songs, it can be easy to forget about the incredible talent and artistry that goes into making great folk music. Folk music has been around for centuries, and its popularity has ebbed and flowed over time. But in recent years, there has been a renewed interest in folk music, thanks in part to the popularity of shows like “The OA” and “Stranger Things.”

With that in mind, here are five modern folk music artists you need to know:

1. The Lumineers: This indie folk band from Colorado has exploded in popularity in recent years, thanks to their signature sounds and catchy melodies. The Lumineers are known for their stripped-down approach to songwriting, which often features just acoustic guitar and vocals. But don’t let their simplicity fool you – The Lumineers are masters of their craft, and they’re one of the most popular folk bands around today.

2. Mumford & Sons: Another hugely popular indie folk band, Mumford & Sons hail from England. They’re known for their use of traditional instrumentation like banjo and mandolin, as well as for their anthemic singalong choruses. Mumford & Sons have become one of the biggest bands in the world, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

3. The Paper Kites: This Australian band combines elements of indie rock andfolk to create a sound that is both unique and accessible. The Paper Kites are known for their gorgeous melodies and intricate arrangements, which often feature a wide range of instrumentation including guitars, piano, strings, and more. If you’re looking for something a little different from your typical folk music fare, then The Paper Kites are definitely worth checking out.

4. Lord Huron: An American band with a surprisingly fresh take on folk music, Lord Huron’s sound is heavily influenced by classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Neil Young. But don’t let that fool you – Lord Huron’s songwriting is thoughtful and introspective, with a focus on telling stories through their music. If you’re a fan of classic rock bands with a folky bent, then you’ll definitely want to check out Lord Huron’s unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll.

5. The Head and the Heart: This Seattle-based band writes soaring indie pop songs with lyrical depth and emotionality. The Head and the Heart’s tunes are both instantly catchy and deeply moving – it’s no wonder they’ve become one of the most beloved indie bands around today. If you’re looking for beautiful harmonies and emotionally resonant songwriting, then be sure to give The Head and the Heart a listen.

1. Passenger

Originally from England, Passenger is the stage name of Mike Rosenberg. He is best known for his hit song “Let Her Go” which has been viewed over one billion times on YouTube. His music is a blend of folk and pop and he has released eight studio albums.

The Paper Kites

With six members, The Paper Kites hail from Melbourne, Australia, and play a unique blend of chamber pop and indie folk. Their sound has been compared to Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes, with a hint of The Decemberists thrown in for good measure.

The Paper Kites got their start in 2010 with the release of their first EP, Woodland, which garnered positive reviews from taste-makers like Triple J. Their debut album States was released in 2012 to critical acclaim, and the band has been touring relentlessly ever since.

If you’re a fan of mellow, beautiful folk music with smart lyrics and gorgeous melodies, then you need to check out The Paper Kites.

The Oh Hellos

The Oh Hellos are a modern folk music duo from Texas, United States. The band is composed of siblings Tyler Heath and Maggie Heath. The two began making music together in 2009 and have released four studio albums, most recently their 2018 album, My Finest Work Yet.

The Oh Hellos’ music has been described as “infectiously upbeat” and “catchy”, with elements of indie rock, pop, country, and folk. Their songs often address personal and political issues, such as religion, relationships, and social justice. In live performances, the band is known for their high energy and engaging stage presence.

Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons is a British band that formed in 2007. The band consists of Marcus Mumford (lead vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums), Winston Marshall (banjo, electric guitar, backing vocals), Ben Lovett (piano, keyboard, backing vocals), and Ted Dwane (bass guitar, double bass, backing vocals). Their debut album was released in 2009 and they have released three more albums since then.

Mumford & Sons is a folk rock band that is influenced by a variety of musical genres including alternative rock, bluegrass, country, and indie rock. The band has won numerous awards including Grammy Awards for Best Album of the Year and Best Americana Album. They have also been nominated for several Brit Awards and have won multiple MTV Video Music Awards.

The Lumineers

The Lumineers are a folk rock band from Denver, Colorado, United States. The members are Wesley Schultz on guitar and lead vocals, Jeremiah Fraites on drums, percussion and vocals, Neyla Pekarek on cello and vocals, Lauren Jacobson on viola and Stelth Ulvang on piano. The band’s debut self-titled album was released on April 3, 2012 and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US. Their song “Ho Hey” reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2013.

Why you need to know them

Folk music has seen a resurgence in recent years, with artists like Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes leading the charge. But what is folk music, exactly? In its simplest form, folk music is music by and for the common people. But it can also be so much more than that. Here are five modern folk music artists you need to know.

Their unique sound

In the past few years, there’s been a resurgence in popularity for folk music. This genre of music is known for its simple lyrics and acoustic instruments, and often tells stories about the artist’s life or the lives of those around them. While folk music has always been popular in some form or another, it seems to be making a comeback in a big way in the modern world.

There are a few artists in particular who are leading the charge in this movement. If you’re a fan of acoustic music or story-telling, then you need to check out these modern folk music artists.

Mumford & Sons
This band needs no introduction. They’ve become one of the most popular bands in the world over the past few years, and their sound is very unique. With their banjo-heavy instrumentation and lead singer Marcus Mumford’s gruff voice, they have created a sound that is unlike anything else out there. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you need to!

The Lumineers
The Lumineers are another band that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Their song “Ho Hey” was everywhere for a while, and their debut album was extremely successful. They have a sound that is similar to Mumford & Sons, but with a little more of an Americana feel. If you like acoustic music with a folksy twist, then The Lumineers are definitely worth checking out.

Of Monsters and Men
Of Monsters and Men are an Icelandic band with a very unique sound. Their songs are often upbeat and poppy, but with lyrics that are quite dark and depressing. It’s an interesting combination that works really well. If you want to check out something different, then Of Monsters and Men are definitely worth a listen.

Bon Iver
Bon Iver is the solo project of Justin Vernon, who was previously a member of the indie rock band DeYarmond Edison. His debut album For Emma, Forever Ago was released in 2007 and was met with critical acclaim. He has since released two more albums, both of which have received critical acclaim as well. Bon Iver has a very unique sound that is based around Vernon’s falsetto voice and acoustic guitar playing. If you’re looking for something different, then Bon Iver is definitely worth checking out.

Their relatable lyrics

In a time when the world is anything but certain, we often look to music to soothe our souls. For some of us, that means turning to the genre of folk music. Folk music has a way of capturing the human experience in a relatable way. The lyrics are often simple, but they can pack a big emotional punch.

If you’re not familiar with folk music, you might be wondering who the modern folk music artists are that you should be listening to. Here are 10 modern folk music artists you need to know.

1. Damien Rice
2. Ani Difranco
3. John Prine
4. Indigo Girls
5. Joshua Radin
6. Jenny Lewis
7. Passenger
8. The Paper Kites
9. Lissie
10. Ben Howard

Their connection to the past

Though they’re often seen as just a modern phenomenon, folk artists have been around for centuries, with their music connecting them to the past. In fact, many of today’s most popular folk artists got their start by playing traditional songs before eventually branching out into writing their own material.

This connection to the past is one of the things that makes folk music so special. It’s a genre that is constantly evolving, yet still retains its roots. As such, it has the ability to speak to us on a personal level, while also providing us with a window into our country’s history.

Here are just a few modern folk artists who are keeping this tradition alive and well:

-The Paper Kites: Hailing from Australia, this five-piece band has been making waves in the folk scene with their beautiful melodies and whimsical lyrics. Drawing influences from both traditional and contemporary sources, they create a sound that is uniquely their own.

-The Oh Hellos: This Texas-based brother/sister duo first gained popularity with their 2014 album Through the Deep, Dark Valley. Blending elements of Americana, bluegrass, and indie rock, they have created a sound that is both familiar and fresh.

-Darlingside: A Massachusetts-based quartet that formed while studying together at Harvard University. Their music has been described as “literate pop” thanks to its combination of intricate vocal harmonies and smart lyrics.

-The Ballroom Thieves: A Boston-based trio whose music combines elements of blues,folk, and rock. They have been praised for their inventive use of looping pedals and percussive instruments, which often provides their songs with a driving energy.

Where to find them


While you can find just about any genre of music on Spotify, the platform has a particular focus on modern folk performers. Here are a few of our favorite contemporary folk artists streaming on Spotify right now.

Apple Music

Apple Music is a popular streaming service that offers a wide variety of music, including folk music. You can find a variety of modern folk music artists on Apple Music, including:

The Avett Brothers: The American folk rock band from North Carolina has released eight studio albums, the most recent of which, True Sadness, came out in 2016.

Maggie Rogers: The American singer-songwriter first came to prominence in 2016 with her song “Alaska,” which went viral after being played for Pharrell Williams in a masterclass. She released her debut EP, Now That the Light Is Fading, in 2017.

Lord Huron: The American indie folk band from Michigan released their debut album, Lonesome Dreams, in 2012. Their sophomore album, Strange Trails, came out in 2015.

Amazon Music

Amazon Music is a streaming service and online music store operated by Amazon. Amazon Music’s primary focus is streaming music, but the company also offers a limited selection of downloadable songs via Amazon Music for PC and Mac, and Amazon MP3 for purchase and download.

Amazon Music offers two tiers of service: a free, ad-supported version and an ad-free version that is available with an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.

Amazon Music Unlimited is a standalone streaming music service that offers on-demand access to tens of millions of songs. With an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription, you can stream any song, listen to personalized radio stations, and download songs for offline playback.

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