Not going to lie, Anti-Folk seems like one of those random sub-genres that comes and goes like the wind… But, if I had to take a stab at what it might sound like, it would be Little Torch from Erin K.
Erin’s background is staggered to this point but always rooted in music and storytelling. Spending time between the UK and the states, Erin’s time is mostly spent touring, (currently on a tour of Italy) or running a camp for children with Haemophilia. A bit of a worldwide act then, Erin K has enjoyed most of her success in Italy where she is signed to Italian label Tempesta. Previous released have seen her described as a “Filthy-Mouthed Indie Darling”, so I’m inclined to approach this one with an air of caution. Instantly, I’m struck by the, shall we say, alternative, choice of track titles. Tempesta must give her quite a lot of freedom because the likes of ‘I Just Ate Shit’ and ‘Dum Da Dum Song’ suggest a pretty chilled approach to marketing her tracks.
Diving straight in, the album starts on a reasonably harmless note. ‘No Control’ is a rather accessible take on the folk, or anti-folk, genre. Again, ‘Pay To Play’ is a serene & rather uplifting piece of songwriting folk that would seem right at home at a summer BBQ. It’s only with tracks like ‘Off To Bolognia Saving Centipedes’ and even more so on ‘I Just Ate Shit’ that you start to understand the highly conceptual nature of the album. It’s a juxtaposition with music and lyrics. The subject matter is colloquial and just, straight up weird at points, but musically it’s sound, beautiful and almost even formulaic at times. It’s a truly interesting approach to an album. Stylistically not too far from Kate Nash or Lilly Allen but with a darker agenda.
All in all, it’s a really unique album. As visually stunning as it is musically intriguing. If Anti-Folk ever properly takes off in the UK, Erin K is sure to be at the forefront of it.