Långbacka/Bådagård | SWEDEN
Långbacka/Bådagård are Swedish singers and multi-instrumentalists Maja Långbacka and Matilda Bådagård. Their debut album has been described as “the soundtrack of a fairy tale” and “as if Regina Spector had moved to the Scandinavian mountains and learned how to play the fiddle”. Or, simply, as pop music with a great portion of Swedish folk music. Autumn 2018 Långbacka/Bådagård released Wake Us Up and the duo has since then toured intensively in Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries. April 2020, the duo released their second album Every Little Whisper Turns into a Roar.
Aerialists | CANADA
JUNO- and CFMA-nominated group Aerialists are in a permanent state of graceful tight-rope walk - balancing their love of folk tradition with their desire to experiment with form. Their 2017 album Group Manoeuvre combines the influence of Scottish Gaelic, Norwegian, and Irish folk music with a unique post-rock bent, and 2020's Dear Sienna digs deeper into their distinctive neo-folk sound, inviting collaborators from Brooklyn to Gothenburg. Aerialists are ethereal yet precise, technical yet visceral, and every song feels like a new beginning. With Dear Sienna, the band has created a love letter to those who have come before us, and those who will come after.
Monique Clare | AUSTRALIA
With just her voice, four strings, and a cello bow, Monique Clare carves out a musical landscape to get lost in. Driving rhythms collide with intricate cello lines and heart-tugging harmonies weave through compelling vocals. From being a hired gun for world-class artists Kate Miller-Heidke, Eminem, and Katie Noonan and accompanying legendary fiddle player Darol Anger, she’s absorbed a set of entirely divergent genres and approaches to music. After two years on the road with The Maes, Monique returns to her solo project with a renewed sense of identity. Genre fluid, technically sublime, and multifaceted, Monique Clare is a force to be reckoned with.
Amanda Rheaume | CANADA
Amanda Rheaume is a Citizen of the Métis Nation and an independent singer/songwriter that has self-managed her music career for over 15 years. She has released five full-length albums to date and her album Keep a Fire was nominated for a JUNO Award and won a Canadian Folk Music Award for “Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year”.
Beckah Amani | AUSTRALIA
Beckah Amani has spent the past three years crafting deeply rich gems on the Gold Coast, Australia. For Beckah, style is more of a playground for symbolism. Where her contemporaries would opt to contain meaning within the walls of genre, Beckah purposefully breaks down every wall surrounding her allowing her to explore every possible avenue for sonic nuance. She melts the best parts of folk, soul, and alt-RnB and combines this with raw and vulnerable songwriting to create multi-layered and sobering songs which Double J has described as "Unique and important".
Cécile Doo-Kingué | CANADA
Award-winning artist Cécile Doo-Kingué is considered one of Canada’s finest guitarists and singer-songwriters. First-generation from Cameroon, the NYC-born Montrealer has released four multi-culti albums to critical acclaim, earned several Maple Blues Awards nominations, extensively toured Canada and internationally, earning a reputation for blistering live sets, strong social commentary, and guitar prowess. Her unflinching gaze never comes at the expense of a good groove, a catchy melody, or a sharp guitar lick. Powerful and raw with an exceptional stage presence, Doo-Kingué is a force of nature whose lyrics and sound make for an enthralling and intimate experience.
Svavar Knútur | ICELAND
A son of the melancholic eastern fjords and the chill north of Iceland, the gruff, yet gentle Troubadour Svavar Knútur reflects gently but firmly upon the existential crises and frolicking joys of modern-day rustic fjord dwelling men. In perfect harmony with his vocation as a lifelong nonconformist, ever dismantling myths and post-colonial gentle-savage stereotypes about his “elfish and magical” people and country, the eclectic musician has in recent years blossomed into a serene and sublime singer and songwriter. Knutur's songs of misery and redemption deliver a healthy dose of hope in the midst of despair.
Irish Mythen | CANADA
Irish Mythen was born in Ireland and now resides in Charlottetown PEI. Her latest release, Little Bones, gained recognition around the globe, including a 2020 JUNO nomination, seven Music PEI 2020 nominations and two wins, and a Canadian Folk Music Nomination for “Solo Artist of the Year”. Write-ups in Australian Guitar Magazine, Rollingstone and a plethora of other print and online media worldwide have helped plant Irish firmly on the map of Must-See Artists. Irish's live performances are a thing of raw power, emotion, and a connection with her audience that just has to be seen to be believed.
Ash Bell & Sara Tindley | AUSTRALIA
A firm but gentle collaboration between two of Australia’s most celebrated singer/songwriters, Sara Tindley and Ash Bell, come together to form a timeless folk/roots collaboration born of tough love and deep humanity. Renowned artists in their own rights, Tindley sports four highly acclaimed studio albums and Bell is the former frontman of notorious festival favourite Starboard Cannons, who have two albums to their name. Ash and Sara create sincere, perennial music which floats in that sweet spot where folk and country unite, their unique vocal harmonies calling to mind the synergy of all the great duet partnerships.
Jenn Grant | CANADA
Jenn Grant’s voice and songwriting have been celebrated over the world by critics and the industry alike. Described as one of the “best singers in the world” by her ongoing collaborator, Buck 65 (CA), “captivating” by The Line Of Best Fit (UK), and “work of a painter born in paradise” by The Sydney Morning Herald (AU). The Juno and Polaris-nominated singer-songwriter’s seventh record, Love, Inevitable (2019) established a mood of transition; sliding the old back and making room for the new. Grant recorded the album with Grammy-nominated American producer and engineer, Tucker Martine.
Ida Wenøe | DENMARK
“Bewitching acid folk with a deeply personal edge”– Clash Magazine. Since Ida Wenøe released her debut album in 2015, she’s been touring massively all over Europe playing a number of showcase Festivals such as SPOT Festival (DK), Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), Dias Nordicos (Spain), Folk Alliance (US), and Music PEI Week (Canada). She was nominated for a Danish Music Award in 2016 (DK Grammy) and her music was used in the documentary "De Smukke Piger" (2017) on National Danish TV. She´s known as a spellbinding live performer whether it´s solo or with her great live band The Silver Cords.
Leith Ross | CANADA
Leith Ross is a non-binary person that comes from a small town outside of Ottawa ON. They are an indie-folk singer/songwriter with a love for music that hits home in the same way a good joke does: something everyone has experienced, but no one has found the right words for.
VILDÁ | FINLAND
Arctic fells, frosty winds, wide waters, and deep forests; the elemental inspirations behind the music of VILDÁ, the duo founded on the intuitive communication between accordionist Viivi Maria Saarenkylä and vocalist Hildá Länsman. It's an original collaboration, blending Sámi yoiks with rhythmic accordion dexterity. VILDÁ's debut album Vildaluodda was selected among the 10 best “World Music Albums of 2019” by Songlines Magazine. This year VILDÁ was awarded as one of the winners of “Music Moves Europe Talent Awards 2021”, a European Commission music award for emerging artists.
PIQSIQ | CANADA
With a style perpetually galvanized by darkness and haunting northern beauty, sisters,Tiffany Ayalik and Inuksuk Mackay come together to create Inuit style throat singing duo, PIQSIQ. Performing ancient songs and eerie new compositions, they leave their listeners enthralled. With roots in Nunavut, the two grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. After years of forging hard-won skills, they developed their own form blended with haunting melodies and otherworldly sounds. Approaching adulthood, they realized throat singing was not only a musical expression but a radical, political act of cultural revitalization.
Jack Carty | AUSTRALIA
Prolific Australian songwriter Jack Carty has been making, touring, and releasing original music since 2010. A decade that has seen the release of five full-length studio albums, three EPs, an APRA Professional Development Award, extensive touring across Australia, The UK, North America, Europe, and New Zealand, festivals from Brisbane to Barcelona, a #1 independent album, a Top 40 album, songs on soundtracks, co-writes with the likes of Josh Pyke, Dan Wilson, and Katie Noonan and finally the steady-growth of a loyal, grassroots following built on great songs and a powerful live show.
The Once | CANADA
Newfoundland has a storied history of stunning songwriters, poets, and players. Over the course of the last decade, The Once have writ and knit themselves into that story with continuous Canadian and international touring, Canadian Folk Music Awards, East Coast Music Awards, JUNO Award nominations, and a dedication to songwriting. On their latest album, Time Enough, the band stays true to the strength of their three-part folk harmony sound, while extending its borders into new territory that stays fresh but sounds unfamiliar. The Once has also appeared as a guest vocalist on the past three Passenger albums.
Darling West | NORWAY
After Darling West won a Norwegian Grammy for their album Vinyl and a Heartache in 2017, their career skyrocketed and took them on a journey that is still going fast and steady. The notable inspiration from the American West Coast that could be found on their new album We’ll Never Know Unless We Try has always been a big part of their sound, and North America has also become a second home for them the last couple of years. After they did a gig together with Lucinda Williams in 2017 she described their music as cosmic folk. Spot on, we’d say.
The Small Glories | CANADA
Roots duo The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, a musical tour-de-force partnership planted on the Canadian Prairies. With a stage banter striking a unique balance between slapstick and sermon, these veteran singer-songwriters have a way of making time disappear, rooms shrink, and audiences feel as though they are right there on the stage with the band. The duo won "Artist of the Year" at the International Folk Awards in New Orleans 2020, with their highly anticipated sophomore album Assiniboine & The Red garnering three Canadian Folk Music Awards, a JUNO nomination, and captured the #1 Folk/Roots album spot on the national earshot! radio charts.