THE ROTATION: Indie Folk Rock

This week’s playlist is all about indie folk rock outfits with an Americana flair.  From indie supergroups (can that even exist?) to bands that are calling it quits, these 5 songs are bound to move you in one way or another.


Middle Brother – Blue Eyes
→ An indie supergroup of sorts, Middle Brother is John McCauley (Deer Tick), Matt Vasquez (Delta Spirit) and Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes).  Playing largely off of pure talent, there is a sense of dissary to their approach (in a CSNY/Traveling Wilburys kind of way), but they can’t help but make great, unspoiled music.  Middle Brother is determined to carry on in the tradition of its predecessors.

Deer Tick – Baltimore Blues, No.1
Deer Tick is the brainchild of John McCauley - while band members varied on a gig to gig basis for the first few years, McCauley was the only official member from the band’s inception in 2004 through to 2007.  The group has released three LPs to date – War Elephant (from which the featured track is taken), Born on Flag Day and The Black Dirt Sessions.  There is a sense of weathered legitamcy to Deer Tick songs, making them the quintesential indie folk rock band for a new generation.

The Barefoot Smile – Indian Gift
→ Newly formed only 18 months ago from pieces of numerous bands and projects, The Barefoot Smile have their own brand of Americana roots music.  Too bad this is a short lived assembly – with a recent post on the band’s Facebook page, London’s The Barefoot Smile have decided to call it quits.  I guess we will just have to make due with their 3-track demo.

The Head & the Heart – Cats & Dogs

→ Formed through a series of open mic nights in 2009, The Head and the Heart can be added to the long list of talented acts to come out of the Seattle music scene.  Relying on a formula of piano and violin melodies with vocal harmonies and prominent drums/percussion, the Seattle 6-piece has a well polished winner with their debut self-titled LP.  With extensive touring through the United States and Europe, The Head and the Heart is getting bigger by the second.  I’m waiting for them to come to Toronto before tickets are too hard to get.

Jamestown Revival– The Rivival
Jamestown Revival is Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance.  There is a wise-ness to their words and a southern, laid back cool to their play. The Knives & Pipes EP (from which the featured track is taken) is a short collection of indie folk rock jewels.  I can’t wait to hear more from these two.

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