Folkstep: Adding some “whomp” to your favorite folkish wails
I don’t care if you’re a fan of Hoomii (Mongolian throat singing) or political hip-hop. Whatever. I’m all for the evolution of musical genres into completely incomprehensible categories that only a few cult followers understand. It’s how people express themselves, through discovering and passing on new music. But “folkstep” is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Don’t clubify my folk jams, dudes. But for the sake of covering all types of music big and small, let’s get into the logistics.
The sound: Heavy bass rhythms and soft, fragile vocals. Think Daft Punk remixes of Sigur Ros (this collaboration doesn’t exist yet—maybe someday), but with more grassroots unrecognizable artists. Check out this song for a good example.
The artists: Mostly unknown (so far). This is one of those local-gone-viral situations. A squirrely high schooler with too much energy could be making the tunes you’re bumpin’ in your earbuds—just like any other viral electronica hit.
Where you might hear it: At a club, heaven forbid. Or softly playing at your favorite locally-owned bookstore. Try and tell me that your book browsing doesn’t need a little more boogie.
Why you should give it a chance: As much as it sounds like I’m a folkstep hater, I’m really not. I can handle taking some of my favorite songs and making them more “radio and masses friendly.” (I’m not bitter…) But it is a new thing in the music world, and inspiration comes from all over. Who knows, one or two songs might even be workout playlist worthy. Because admit it, Sufjan Stevens’ “Seven Swans” just doesn’t give you the motivation you need to take on two or three treadmill miles.
But I swear to God, if the one time I decide to step a foot into a dance club is when an auto-tuned procession of Damien Rice’s “Volcano” is booming out of the speakers, I will cry. Big, fat, banjo-sized tears.