1. Nichole Wagner -- "Lies (A Murder Ballad)" takes a truly exhausted trope and flips it on its head. Wagner is a perceptive songwriter, and this time she turns her powers towards the misogyny of folk music.
2. The Still Tide -- "Give Me Time" is a pardoxically cheerful song. Its layered folk trappings and jangle rock core give the song a jauntiness that carries it far.
3. Bad Penny -- "If I Had Only Known" combines pop punk melodies with bar band wooziness, swagger, and regret. It's a potent combination that must be killer live.
4. Soft Location -- "The Park" is a spacious, minimalist pop song that expresses hugely complex feelings succinctly and powerfully -- in other words, this is amazing.
5. Josh Johnstone -- "Just What It Is" blends Britpop and folk in a joyful celebration of love, foibles and all.
6. Cattle & Cane -- "Seven Hours" is an emotional ballad that will sneak up on you in the best of ways.
7. Whispertown -- "Born to Ride" is an intriguing mix of stoner rock, lo-fi folk, and country that I can't get out of my head.
8. Sophie Coran -- "All That Matters" is another of Sophie Coran's triumphant, jazz-inspired story songs.
9. Joel Schwelling -- "What They Want You To Believe" is an earthy, rough-and-tumble roots rocker that incisively picks apart the Trump regime.
10. The Warp/The Weft -- "Among Those Killed in the Dawn Raid Was a Man Aged a Hundred Years" is the complete opposite, taking folk music and turning it into a high artform with intricate lyrics and careful harmonies akin to Medieval shape singing.
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