10 Folk Music Downloads to Check Out

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 10 downloads that are definitely worth a listen!

The Avett Brothers – “I and Love and You”

The Avett Brothers’ 2009 major label debut may have been slickly produced by Rick Rubin, but there’s nothing synthetic about “I and Love and You.” The manna-from-heaven opening track, which features some of the sweetest, most aching vocals you’ll ever hear, is enough to make you believe in the rest of the album’s more radio-friendly fare.

Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blues”

indie rockers Fleet Foxes come from a long line of musicians who have been influenced by folk music. Their 2010 album “Helplessness Blues” is a perfect example of how modern musicians can take traditional folk songs and give them new life. The album’s first track, “Blue Spotted Tail”, is a beautiful, intimate song that recalls the best of Simon & Garfunkel. The rest of the album is just as strong, with standouts like “Battery Kinzie” and “The Shrine/An Argument” showcasing the band’s impressive vocal harmonies and songwriting chops. If you’re looking for some great modern takes on traditional folk music, “Helplessness Blues” is essential listening.

Bon Iver – “For Emma, Forever Ago”

Bon Iver’s debut album, “For Emma, Forever Ago” is one of those records that seems to have taken on a life of its own. Released in 2007, the album was written and recorded by Justin Vernon in a secluded cabin in Wisconsin. The solitude and isolation that Vernon experienced during the making of the album is reflected in the peaceful, introspective nature of the songs. If you’re looking for something to help you unwind after a long day, this is the perfect album for you.

The Head and the Heart – “Let’s Be Still”

The Head and the Heart’s self-titled debut album was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2011. The Seattle band’s blend of indie folk and Americana won them a devoted following, and “Let’s Be Still” was one of the standouts from that record. The track is equal parts anthemic and introspective, with a soaring chorus that announces, “We don’t need to be saved/ We don’t need to be saved.” It’s a perfect song for those moments when you just need to breathe and be still for a little while.

First Aid Kit – “The Lion’s Roar”

This Swedish sisters’ second album, “The Lion’s Roar,” is a gorgeous set of big, anthemic folk songs. The music is built around soaring vocal harmonies and sparse arrangements that let the melodies shine. The result is an emotionally powerful album that feels both old and new at the same time.

Lord Huron – “Lonesome Dreams”

Formed in 2010, Lord Huron is a folk band from Los Angeles, California. The band’s debut album, “Lonesome Dreams,” was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. The album’s lead single, “Time to Run,” was featured in a number of television shows and movies, including the hit TV show “Breaking Bad.”

“Lonesome Dreams” is a concept album about a man who goes on a journey into the American West in search of adventure. The album is filled with beautiful melodies and catchy hooks, making it an instant classic in the folk genre. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, be sure to check out Lord Huron’s “Lonesome Dreams.”

The Lumineers – “Ho Hey”

The Lumineers released their self-titled album in 2012 to critical and commercial success. The album produced several hits, but the most well-known is “Ho Hey.” The song is an upbeat folk tune with simple instrumentation andRelatable lyrics that make it perfect for sing-alongs.

Of Monsters and Men – “My Head Is an Animal”

Of Monsters and Men’s debut album, “My Head Is an Animal,” is a collection of anthemic Icelandic indie-folk songs that will get stuck in your head for days. The arrangements are complex and interesting, with plenty of horns, strings, and percussion to keep things interesting. And the vocal harmonies are absolutely gorgeous. If you’re looking for something different in your music collection, “My Head Is an Animal” is definitely worth a listen.

Mumford & Sons – “Sigh No More”

If you’re looking for a place to start with Mumford & Sons, “Sigh No More” is the album for you. It’s the band’s debut album, and it’s packed with folk-rock hits like “The Cave” and “Little Lion Man.” You can find the album on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

The Paper Kites – “States”

The Paper Kites hail from Melbourne, Australia, and “States” is the lead single from their 2012 album States. The song features a lovely acoustic guitar line and delicate vocal harmonies, and it’s a great introduction to the band’s style.

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