New Slang: “Freak Folk”

“Freak Folk” (pronounced “frek,” and “foōk”)
It’s the sound of hazy, meandering guitar work, of ornamental yet angular percussion, of vocals that are beautiful and melodic at one moment and suddenly ghostly and dissonant the next.
The term has been used to describe some of the world’s most groundbreaking artists, such as Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, and Devendra Banhart. These artists are known for taking simple, folk-minded themes and expanding them with new and unexpected sounds.
It’s a term that has been used to define a genre much to the chagrin of its artists. Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste stated in an LA Weekly interview “Freak-folk comes with an image attached: You have to have a beard and be Jesusy, if you know what I mean … You have to have a really extreme voice, and be really divisive.”
Example: “Joanna Newsom’s Ys sounds very freak folk”

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