Freak folk is the genre that concentrates largely on reviving the ideology of the ’60s. It’s a media-created term given to a style of folk music that has evolved from the traditional folk sound. It’s really comprised of hippies bringing back old folky-themes and introducing elements of avant-garde music, baroque pop, and psychedelic sounds. The artists often incorporate strange sounds, lyrical themes and vocal styles which you’ll quickly pick up in the tracks listed.
No one is exactly sure where the term originated but it’s been used constantly to describe this style of music reminiscent of the psychedelic hippy folk era. Lots of people credit Vashti Bunyan with releasing the first freak folk album called Just Another Diamond Day in 1970.
Vashti in the 70’s
Vashti & Banhart giggling in bushes
One of the leading spirits behind this scene today is Devendra Banhart. For those who are unfamiliar, he’s pretty much a freak folk poster boy. He’s really one of the main reasons this genre only recently became popular in 2004 when he released his album The Golden Apples of the Sun where he collaborated with other freak folk artists like CocoRosie.
Album art for The Golden Apples of the Sun
Setlist for February 11, 2013
Linda Perhacs // Parallelograms
Vashti Bunyan // Diamond Day
Devendra Banhart & Vashti Bunyan // Rejoicing In The Hands
Joanna Newsom // Bridges and Balloons
CocoRosie // Good Friday
Espers // Dead King
Six Organs Of Admittance // Hazy SF
Animal Collective // Who Could Win a Rabbit
Norwegian Arms // And Then I Found Myself in the Taiga
Stray Dogg // Don’t Go
Baobab // Spring Forward
Wolf//Goat // Madness is Sanity
Wood Spider // Lonesome Shore
Praetors // Role Plays
Nadine Carina // A Difference Face Everyday
Talkative // Get Old