The Top Folk Music of 2013

2013 was a great year for folk music, with a wide variety of artists releasing great albums. Here are our picks for the top folk music of 2013.

The Lumineers- Ho Hey

The Lumineers’ hit “Ho Hey” was inescapable in 2013, thanks to its simple – but somehow perfect — blend of banjo, acoustic guitar, mandolin and drums. The ode to summer love was a perfect distillation of the band’s folky sound, and it paved the way for the band’s excellent debut album to become one of the year’s best-selling releases.

Mumford and Sons- I Will Wait

Mumford and Sons’ highly anticipated album Babel was released in September to much fanfare. The lead single “I Will Wait” was an instant hit, exemplifying the band’s signature sound of banjo-driven folk-rock. The video for the song, which was filmed in the California desert, has amassed over 31 million views on YouTube.

Of Monsters and Men- Little Talks

“Little Talks” is a song by the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men. It was released as a single in March 2012, from their debut album My Head Is an Animal (2011), reaching number one in Iceland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. The song has sold more than US$3 million copies worldwide.

The Paper Kites- Bloom

The Paper Kites are an Australian five-piece folk band from Melbourne. The band consists of Sam Bentley, Christina Lacy, David Powys, Sam Rasmussen and Josh Bentley. The Paper Kites released their debut album States in 2011 to critical acclaim. Bloom is the lead single from their second album, twelvefour, which was released in 2014.

The song is a folk song with a simple guitar melody and lyrics about the process of life and growth. Bloom was praised by critics for its catchy melody and simple yet beautiful lyrics. The song peaked at number four on the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2013 and was nominated for Best Folk Release at the ARIA Music Awards of 2013.

The Head and the Heart- Lost in My Mind

The Head and the Heart’s “Lost in My Mind” is one of the top folk songs of 2013. The lyrics are written in a relatable way that many people can connect to. The song is about being lost in your own thoughts and not being able to focus on anything else. The song has a catchy beat and is easy to listen to.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros- Home

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ self-titled second album is an unabashed return to form. After the success of their debut, Up From Below, the band took a step back and decided to focus on songwriting rather than production value. The result is an album that feels both intimate and expansive, with frontman Alex Ebert’s reedy voice leading the way on rambling anthems like “Better Days” and “Two”. While there are moments of levity (“Life Is Hard”), the overall tone is one of hopeful yearning, making Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros one of the most promising bands of the past few years.

The Avett Brothers- Another Is Waiting

The Avett Brothers are an American folk rock band formed in 2000 in Concord, North Carolina. The band is made up of two brothers, Scott Avett and Seth Avett, who play guitar and sing vocals. The Avett Brothers have released eight studio albums, four live albums, one EP, and five singles. Their ninth studio album, True Sadness, was released on June 24, 2016.

“Another Is Waiting” is a song by The Avett Brothers. It was released as the second single from their ninth studio album True Sadness on June 28, 2016.

First Aid Kit- My Silver Lining

First Aid Kit is a Swedish duo made up of sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg. Their 2013 album “The Lion’s Roar” featured the single “My Silver Lining”, which became their breakthrough hit in the United States. The song peaked at #16 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart, making it the highest-charting folk song of 2013.

Hozier- Take Me to Church

“Take Me to Church” is a song by Irish musician Hozier from his 2014 EP Take Me to Church. The song was released as his debut single on 13 September 2013. It peaked at number two on the Irish Singles Chart and number one in numerous other countries, including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In the US, it topped the Mainstream Rock and Alternative Songs airplay charts.

The Staves- Mexico

If you love beautifully harmonies then The Staves are the girl group for you. The trio from Watford, England have only been around since 2010, but have made a huge mark on the UK music scene. Their first album, “Dead & Born & Grown” was nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2012 and their follow-up EP “Winter’s Come” has garnered even more critical acclaim. “Mexico” is the lead single off of “Winter’s Come” and is a perfect example of The Staves’ stunning vocal abilities.

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