Young Folk, New Traditions part 4

Lynn Roberts talks to bands and artists at the heart of new acoustic based music

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 12 Nov 2010
  • min read
US appeal

It's not just in the UK that the music and ethos of these artists appeals to people. The bands are becoming increasingly successful abroad too. Once again Mumford & Sons are the trailblazers. Californian music blogger Katie Carroll from Red Said says: ‘They are all over college and alternative radio stations, and they had to add extra dates to their last tour to meet demand. They've appeared on David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, and Craig Ferguson. They're doing the summer festival circuit over here, they've played Sasquatch, Bonnarroo and Lollapalooza.  Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza are huge festivals.’

Laura Marling is also winning attention with an appearance at Sasquatch festival and sold-out shows on the West Coast. And - as in the UK - Noah & the Whale's debut single 5 Years Time is well known, thanks to its use in advertising.


It's the bands' Englishness that appeals to many Americans. Blogger Katie explains:

‘There's definitely a sense that these artists are somehow different and unique. Mumford & Sons are always described as lively and rustic and there is a major emphasis on the hoedown aspect of their sound.

There's a strong sense of Englishness about both artists that makes them noticeably different from American bands and singer-songwriters. Mumford & Sons' material was always going to explode. On one hand they sound authentic and unique, and on the other hand they're accessible, catchy, and energizing. People are looking for authenticity right now, and any strain of folk-pop feels different and creative.’

And although it's the triumvirate of Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Noah & the Whale that are really hitting the big time abroad, other folk-inspired artists are beginning to make impressions. Johnny Flynn impressed US music moguls with his debut performance at SXSW and got a deal from Lost Highland Records off the back of it. Peggy Sue have had a great deal of support from college radio and The Leisure Society's debut album The Sleeper has been doing well in Europe, with the band selling out dates in Spain.

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