The Top Folk Music Lists of 2019

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Top Folk Music Lists of 2019 is a great resource for finding new music to listen to. This year’s list includes a wide variety of artists, from well-known to up-and-coming.

Best Folk Albums of 2019

The year 2019 was filled with great music from a variety of genres. However, folk music stood out with its traditional yet modern twist. This list contains the top ten folk albums of 2019.

Album of the Year

The top folk albums of 2019 represent a wide range of styles, from the modern folk rock of Mumford & Sons to the traditional ballads of Joan Baez. These are the best folk albums of 2019, as voted on by the voters at

1. Mumford & Sons – Delta
2. Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride
3. Bon Iver – i,i
4. Laura Marling – Song for Our Daughter
5. Angel Olsen – All Mirrors
6. Big Thief – Two Hands
7. Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
8. Jade Bird – Jade Bird
9. Floating Points – Crush
10. The National – I Am Easy to Find

Best Americana Album

Americana is an amalgamation of American music formed by the intersection of folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll. As a musical genre, Americana refers to a panoply of styles including bluegrass, country-rock, gospel, honky tonk, old-timey music, punk-blues, R&B and rockabilly. In 2019 there were plenty of great albums released within the genre. Here are some of our favorites:

“Wildflower Blues” by Buddy Miller and Friends
“All the Love I Could Find” by The Secret Sisters
“While the Gettin’ Is Good” by The Wood Brothers
“The Nashville Sound” by Brent Cobb
“Southern Family” by Various Artists

Best Traditional Folk Album

In a year brimming with outstanding music across all genres, these are the best traditional folk albums of 2019.

Traditional folk music has seen a resurgence in recent years, with a new generation of artists taking influence from the legends of the genre while modernizing their sound. This past year has been no exception, with a wealth of excellent traditional folk albums released by both established and up-and-coming artists.

Topping our list is Palestinian singer Omar Yussef, whose album ‘Iliwet’ is a beautiful and moving exploration of his heritage and culture. Other standout albums include ‘The Almanack’ by English duo Smoke Fairies, ‘The Lost Songs of St Kildan’ by Scottish singer Maggie MacDonald, and ‘Song for Our Daughter’ by Laura Marling.

So if you’re looking for some new traditional folk to enjoy, be sure to check out our list of the best traditional folk albums of 2019.

Best Folk Songs of 2019

It’s been a big year for folk music. We’ve seen a surge in popularity for the genre, with a number of breakout artists and mainstream hits. Here are our picks for the best folk songs of 2019.

Song of the Year

“The Weight” by The Band

This is a song about carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. It’s a song about struggling under the weight of your own personal burdens, and it’s a song about giving up and letting go. It’s one of those songs that just gets under your skin and stays there, haunting you with its simple beauty and its unending truth.

Best Americana Song

The 100 Best Americana Songs of 2019
What are the best Americana songs of 2019? What are the most popular folk songs of the year? Here are the top folk music lists of 2019.

1. “The Joke” – Brandi Carlile
2. “Shall We Gather at the River” – The War and Treaty
3. “All My Favorite People” – Margo Price
4. “Gaiety Is the Most Outstanding Feature of the Soviet Union” – Mount Eerie with Julie Doiron & Fred Squire
5. “I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down” – Sam River
6. “On and On” – The Milk Carton Kids
7. “Alabama Pines” – Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
8. “I Will Be Found (Lost)” – David Crosby
9. “They Don’t Own Me Anymore” – The Secret Sisters
10. “‘Til I’m Too Old to Die Young” – John Prine

Best Traditional Folk Song

The traditional folk song “Down in the Valley” was named the best folk song of 2019 by the Americana Music Association. The song, which was written by American folk singer Huddie Ledbetter, is about a young man who is in love with a girl who is promised to another man.

Best Folk Artists of 2019

If you’re looking for a list of the best folk artists of 2019, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find a list of the top folk artists of the year, as well as a few honorable mentions. From traditional folk to contemporary folk, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Artist of the Year

The year 2019 has seen some incredible new music from a wide range of folk artists, and we’ve compiled a list of our favorites. This list includes both established artists and newcomers, and we’ve tried to focus on a mix of both traditional and contemporary folk music.

Here are our picks for the best folk artists of 2019:

1. The Civil Wars
2. The Lumineers
3. Mumford & Sons
4. The Head and the Heart
5. Of Monsters and Men
6. First Aid Kit
7. Lord Huron
8. Languages
9. The Paper Kites

Best Americana Artist

The past year was a big one for Americana music, with plenty of new artists making waves and established acts continuing to impress. Here are our picks for the best Americana artists of 2019.

1. The War and Treaty
This husband-and-wife duo burst onto the scene this year with their debut album, Healing Tide. Michael and Tanya Trotter’s vocals are sublime, and their songs combine elements of R&B, gospel, and country to create a truly unique sound.

2. Jade Bird
Jade Bird’s self-titled debut album was one of the most acclaimed releases of the year, and for good reason. The young British singer-songwriter packs a serious punch, with catchy hooks and lyrics that cut to the quick.

3. Mavis Staples
Mavis Staples is a living legend, and she showed that she’s still got it with her latest album, We Get By. The 76-year-old singer sounds as fresh as ever on this record, which features guest appearances from Ben Harper and Greg Kashmanian.

4. Mary Gauthier
Mary Gauthier is one of the most respected songwriters in the business, and she released another excellent album this year in Rifles & Rosary Beads. The album is based on interviews with veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and Gauthier’s songs capture their experiences in a powerful way.

5. The Highwomen
The Highwomen is a new supergroup featuring Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby, and Maren Morris. Their self-titled debut album is packed with great songs including “Redesding Road” and “Crowded Table”, which features Sheryl Crow & Emmylou Harris.

Best Traditional Folk Artist

America’s collective unconscious has plenty of room for traditional folk music. In 2019, that fact was hammered home by musicians like Dolly Parton, the Indigo Girls, and Mary Gauthier. These artists skewed older, but they also showed up on plenty of year-end lists (including this one), which goes to show that the genre’s appeal is timeless—and growing.

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