Folk, Not Twerk: Alternative music genre receives much buzz with several new bands gaining popularity

Sheila Gregory, Co-Editor

If you want to listen to their most popular tracks, they are often playing on the radio stations 99.7 the Point or Alice 102.1. By trading the obvious lyrics of pop songs for soft acoustic-filled tales that can seem nonsensical at times, teens as well as adults have filled their playlists with this mellow folk music.

Mumford and Sons:

We all know their folk, verging on Irish styles. Soft lyrics leading into massive banjo parts are what this newly famous band specializes in. This English folk band was formed in 2007, and the first album they released, “Sigh No More,” came out in 2009. This album didn’t reach the mainstream crowds as the more recently released album, “Babel,” has. They just wrapped up their worldwide tour here in Kansas City at the Criket Wireless Amphitheater. They performed on Sept. 20 because the original June concert was canceled.

Songs to Know: Though most people know “I Will Wait,” it is by no stretch of the mind their best song. If you are truly interested, look up “Awake my Soul,” “Lovers’ Eyes,” “Hopeless Wanderer,” “Little Lion Man” and “The Cave.”

The Lumineers:

This Colorado-native band has been pushed into the spotlight with grassroot songs like “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love.” With only one album under their belt, they’ve managed sold-out concerts and a wide fan base. Their mellow songs are acoustics with hand-clapping and foot-stomping rhythms that verge on folk. They debuted their self-titled album in 2012 after the single “Ho Hey” came out. They visited Kansas on June 1 at the Buzz Under the Stars concert.

Songs to Know: “Dead Sea,” “Flapper Girl,” “Slow it Down” (that one honestly helps you fall asleep) and “Flowers in Your Hair”

Of Monsters and Men:

Many of you are familiar with this Icelandic duet band and their song “Little Talks.” Formed in 2010, they skyrocketed in the European alternative charts and then did the same in the United States. Their first (and so far, only) album is titled “My Head Is an Animal.” The songs often have strange lyrics such as, “The bees had declared a war / The sky wasn’t big enough for them all / The birds, they got help from below / From dirty paws and the creatures of snow.” They performed on Saturday Night Live May 4, 2013.

Songs to Know: “Mountain Sound,” “Dirty Paws,” “Yellow Light” and “Sloom”

The Head and the Heart:

This is probably the least known of these bands by Blue Valley students but has potential to be very popular. They are very similar to the Lumineers with their violin melodies and complementing guy-girl harmonies. Coming from the heart of alternative music, Seattle, Wash., their album was released in 2011 with the single “Down in the Valley.” They toured extensively in 2011 and 2012, mainly opening for other alternative bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Dave Matthews and The Decemberists.

Songs to Know: “Down in the Valley,” “Sounds Like Hallelujah,” “Heaven Go Easy On Me” and “Lost In My Mind”


If you are truly interested in the alternative music genre, some other good bands to know are: Death Cab for Cutie, Blind Pilot, Keane, Young the Giant, The Decemberists and The Shins.