Folk: surely no-one needs to rehash what Dylan, Donovan or Christy Moore have been doing comprehensively for decades? Perhaps this is why - a bit like British Telecom in the nineties - the whole genre had a makeover and now we all apparently refer to it as hip and groovy Nu-Folk. Still, it paid off. The Noughties witnessed an explosion of folk artists such as Blunt, Morrison, Ray LaMontage, Howie Day and Carla Werner that gave the genre its biggest revival since the 1960s.
It’s no wonder then that today folk rock is so ubiquitous. Freighted Rabbit, The National, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes and Animal Collective are heavily folk influenced outfits that jointly ride on the coat tails of the last decade’s breakthroughs very nicely thankyouverymuch.
Therefore Swedish folk newcomers Oakred need to be pretty special to stand out from this ever burgeoning scene. Single ‘Born Centuries Too Late’ is a completely sparse affair with no piano, drums or silly accordions, it’s just a beautifully brittle vocal and a single twangy guitar. Lyrically, this is almost a love song to the natural world. It’s reminiscent of Eddie Vedder’s solo work on the ‘Into the Wild’ album and therefore it’s of no surprise that they list Pearl Jam as one of their influences on myspace.
The trouble with folk, which is perhaps the trouble with dance music also, is that it’s so easy to make. Some arpeggios over pained vocals and voila, you have an album or four. Yet Oakred manage to pack in more pensive and sincere emotions into this one single than some other numerous folk pretenders might ever actually achieve. ‘Born Centuries Too Late’ is uncommerical, unpandering and bare-faced honest and the trio that make up Oakred show huge promise with this exceedingly charming single.