Dancing into the Abyss
A Good Folk summer playlist.
It’s Monday, it’s summer, the world is spiraling towards economic breakdown, it is going to be a hundred degrees in North Carolina tomorrow, the birds are still singing and the trees still stretch up into the blue sky. What else is there to do but dance through it all?
To help you on that mission, here is our Summer 2022 Good Folk playlist, featuring artists from across the American South and rural America. You can find the full playlist at the link below, and here is a highlight of a few of our favorite tunes.
The first time I heard this song I was sure it was a throwback banger from the 80s. But no! It is a modern post-punk band from Austin, TX, comprised of Jonathan Horstmann, Kevin Naquin, and Paxel Foley. Fusing synthwave sounds with modern beats, there is not a single Urban Heat song that I will not dance to. Put this on your morning playlist and thank me later.
This is a classic. You cannot be in a bad mood when you are listening to this song. Nappy Roots changed the Southern Country Rap scene, with band members hailing from Kentucky and Georgia with an Oakland transplant. Go have a good day. Enough said.
This is the kind of song that you want to listen to at dusk with the windows down while driving through the forest. Goth Babe— aka Griff Washburn— hails from Tennessee and currently lives and makes music from a sailboat in California. I’m jealous.
Also a Tennessee native, Soccer Mommy’s cover of this classic MGMT song feels to me like the stuff that summer romance is made of. Love it.
Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach hails from Ohio and is known for his modern blues-rock sounds, both with Black Keys and in his solo projects. This song makes me want to be back on the North Carolina-Tennessee border stomping along abandoned railroad tracks like I was last summer. Or just stomping through some grass. That’ll do too.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ethel Cain’s album Preacher’s Daughter is one of the best albums of 2022. Never have I seen storytelling infused into music the way she does here. Born in Florida and living in Alabama, Cain pulls heavy inspiration from themes of rural Americana and Southern Gothicism. Listen to this song at night while looking up at the full moon and have a transcendent experience.
Who would have thought that of Montreal is, in fact, from Athens, Georgia? Every time I hear this song I want to dance. Or strut down the sidewalk. Or have my dramatic TV show intro moment. So good.
I listened to this song for probably five straight days the first time I heard it. Bartees Strange has lived all over, though the longest stretch in Oklahoma. His music draws inspiration from the emo and pop punk scenes of the Midwest and Deep South, and his lyrics are the kind that say something. I love this song.
I can’t make a Southern music playlist and not put Muddy Waters on there. I was raised on this man. One of the single most important figures of American blues music, Muddy Waters absorbed influences of the rural Deep South in his home state of Mississippi. I used to listen to this song and imagine how good it would feel to be back home in the South. And I was right.
Find our full summer playlist below: