I have to say it: I have a soft spot for some good folk-pop. I really do. I’m a pretty massive fan of the “nu-folk” movement which was revived in the late 90s and has carried over to today. Whiskeytown, early Wilco, Norah Jones, Damien Rice…I’m a sucker for all of them. The “singer/songwriter” set. Good stuff. It’s a little hard to peg down sometimes. It’s not pop enough to be called “pop”, but there’s nothing really too “folk” (and especially nothing “country”) about it.
Therein lies the dilemma. What is it? Do we dare categorize it in the “alt-country” genre? Are we even really sure what that means anymore?
Sorry…I kind of let that tangent get the best of me there. I’m really here to write about WatsonPark, and their wonderful new, self-titled album. This is their first effort, but two of the main components (Philip Dunn and Tyler Amos) have been playing together (in one incarnation or another) for a number of years now. But that’s beside the point (at least, for now it is).
This is really a pretty great album. Nice, light songs about love and girls and all those other nu-folk topics. The instrumentation is superb (I especially love the piano), and the vocals fit perfectly over it…emotional without being “emo”.
Sadly, this album will probably be overlooked by a ton of people…it’s independently released, and they’re not really pushing it too hard at the moment. But, for those of you lucky enough to stumble across it, you’ll be glad that you did. Heartfelt music being made for the sole purpose of making great music.
If you’re into the nu-folk scene at all, definitely check out this album. It ranks up there with some of the better releases in that genre.
RIYL: Damien Rice, Griffin House, Over the Rhine, Denison Witmer, etc.
Essential Tracks: “In Your Arms”, “Fool”, “The Last Word”
Find out more about the band, listen to some songs, and order the album at: