74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 11, featuring Alela Diane

Alela Diane, – folk, new-folk, psychedelic-folk, what have you. Soft, waning vocals (just as suited to wordy, mournful, James Taylor-esque tunes as old English ballads), and skillful instrumental work contribute to her unique sound. Unsurprisingly, she currently lives in Portland. She will be releasing her fourth full-length studio album this year.

Age old blue

White as diamonds

Take us back

Matty Groves, with Alina Hardin. This song has an incredibly interesting history; read more here.


74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 9, featuring Lincoln Durham

We this week present to you a rather obscure artist, but one we think has much potential. Hailing from the south (as his name most certainly bears witness), Lincoln Durham is covering new ground in what we can only dub as country blues alternative inspired newgrass folk…. Yeah, we got nothing. What do you think?


reckoning lament (song begins forty-seven seconds in)

Last Red Dawn

I also recommend “Mud Puddles”. Sadly, I was unable to find a good recording (live or otherwise) on ye olde youtube.

We’d like your opinion- what genre is Lincoln Durham? And we also need a verdict on the bowler hat. We are tempted to think it quite boss, but would enjoy external, unbiased input. Cheers.

74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 8, featuring the Fleet Foxes

Irridescent. Layers of transcendant musical love, steeped in espresso. Imported from Seattle, may I present the Fleet Foxes.


White Winter hymnal

Battery kynzie


On the last track I bring to your ears, the haze of studio produced affects drops away sufficiently that we may appreciate solid, picturesque vocal and instrumental work. Plus, “Oliver James” is a boss name:

We think of the Fleet Foxes as half-way between Bon Iver and Neil Young. Do you concur?

74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 7, featuring a collaboration on “The Water”

You may have previously come upon the knowledge that the London-based folksters Johnny Flynn, Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale, and Mumford & Sons are all very well acquainted. (it should be noted, that curiously enough, they collectively abhor being called the founding fathers of a new-born folk “scene”. Hipsters.) But back on topic.

As with most well acquainted music enthusiasts, collaborations abound.

Thus, we thought it fit to get your opinion on a much debated issue: A few years hence, Johnny Flynn released a song called “The Water” on his album, ‘Been Listening’.

The song features the ghostly beauty of Laura Marling’s harmonies, setting the song off quite well. MadaLin prefers the Marling-Flynn collab. (She says the mixed vocals are the ticket.)

But wait! A collaboration was done by Mumford and Sons’ frontman Marcus Mumford that I (Nicole) find to be ever-so-slightly superior.  (Perhaps due to Mr. Mumford’s mandolin abilities?)

So what do you think, dear reader?


We give you a truce- Here Laura Marling collaborates with Mumford & Sons to bring you a totally boss cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. I personally think that Winston OWNS the steel guitar with the best of them:

And last but not least, may I present to you what may possibly be the most awesome thing ever to be captured on film:

74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 6, featuring Johnny Flynn

We bring to your attention this week a young folkster by name of Johnny Flynn. Actor, poet, singer songwriter. Had he lived in the time of the Tudors, I must believe that he would have been an itinerant bard…like a pied piper, but without all the death. He is an old soul, with a young face. Like the Doctor. Fiddler, guitarist, banjo player. Complete rennaissance man. Genius, as well? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

“Barnacled Warship”

“Tickle me pink”, featuring his sister on guest vocals.

“Brown Trout Blues” (I almost neglected to mention that he was British. Though I suppose the fact that he played a gig in muddy “wellies” made that rather obvious?)

BONUS: Eyeless in Holloway (the first to name the familiar face playing back-up guitar gets a piece of candy! Additionally, I apologize for the poor quality. What would we do without bootlegs, though?)


74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 5, featuring Mumford & Sons

All hail Mumford and Sons, London based roots-inspired quartet:

“We’re not bashful about being inspired by good writers, good literature… 0bviously, because we named our first album after a line from Shakespeare, ha!…. but I think good writers have ALWAYS been inspired by good writers, so there’s no shame in that. It’s always worked that way, you know… not that we claim to be a good writers.” – Marcus Mumford, lead vocalist/lead guitarist/drummer

“Music IS live, music has ALWAYS been live…playing WITH people, FOR people, it’s the most electrifying experience I’ve ever known.” -Winston Marshall, Banjo & Dobro player, back-up vocals

“Playing live? we could never give it up. It feels hereditary, it’s in our blood somehow, we really love it. We’re a bit odd in that way, loving to tour so well.” – Ben Lovett, keyboards, accordian and back-up vocals

“Our aspirations were really UK based… we really never thought beyond that, never expected it. It happened gradually, but it’s been amazing.” – Ted Dwayne, bass and back-up vocals

The group debuted in 2009 with the “Sigh no more” album, of which this is the title track:

“Awake My Soul” (Nicole’s favorite)

“Thistle and Weeds” (MadaLin’s Favorite)

The following selections are from the much-anticipated second album, 2012’s “Babel”:

“Hopeless Wanderer” (we both love this one!)

* In particular instances, we feel it prudent to include a parental guide: the Mumford and Sons song catalogue includes two certain tunes by the names of “Little Lion Man”, and “Broken Crown” which include swear words. We do not listen to songs of this type, and think it helpful to alert like-minded music lovers of this fact.

74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 4, featuring Laura Marling

I don’t enjoy putting people into boxes. (Often it is a frustrating process, because truthfully everyone belongs in a different box.) But even if I DID like boxes, I would have a difficult time finding one for Laura Marling. Hailing from Jane Austen’s hometown, she got her start only five years ago, working her way through the musical food chain by playing an endless list of venues. She is precocious without being pretentious, quiet without being bashful, and she demonstrates startlingly innocent wisdom; undeniable sense of knowing: knowing the perfect parameters in which to place a song, knowing how to embellish in the beauty of simplicity, knowing how to communicate feelings as well as images. Her skill as a songwriter, vocalist and instrumentalist are not all that notable, though they are deeply delightful. No, Laura possesses something far more rare (and far more desirable) than a gorgeous voice. She is perfectly reminiscent of Harper Lee. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is a book that continually astounds me, for it is so innocently wise, so simple but lacking nought. It walks unaffected into the soul, reporting that all found there with a childlike lack of effort to justify or explain. A rarity in all its honest, raw beauty. A treasure.

Alas, I cannot swim

Hope in the Air

Blackberry Stone

Devil’s Spoke

So what do you think? What box does Ms Marling belong to?