5 New Faces Of Folk, At The 2013 Newport Folk Festival

Download songs by Cold Specks, The Lone Bellow, Frank Turner And More

Alynda Lee Segarra records as Hurray For The Riff Raff, one of the emerging acts making its debut at the Newport Folk Festival this year. i i

Alynda Lee Segarra records as Hurray For The Riff Raff, one of the emerging acts making its debut at the Newport Folk Festival this year. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
Alynda Lee Segarra records as Hurray For The Riff Raff, one of the emerging acts making its debut at the Newport Folk Festival this year.

Alynda Lee Segarra records as Hurray For The Riff Raff, one of the emerging acts making its debut at the Newport Folk Festival this year.

Courtesy of the artist

The Newport Folk Festival's history is dotted with historic moments involving musical icons — Bob Dylan plugging in jumps immediately to mind. But, while organizers still take care to stack each festival with huge names and star veterans, the margins are smartly and lovingly curated, too. The 2013 Newport Folk Festival is no different, with an impressive slate of boundary-pushers and genre-eschewers. Here are five of the newest and most promising faces, with a downloadable song from each. Catch them live during NPR Music's broadcast of the festival this weekend.

5 New Faces Of Folk

Shovels & Rope

Shovels & Rope

  • Song: Hail Hail

On stage, South Carolina singer-songwriters Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent are geysers of goodwill: The husband-and-wife duo's chemistry and ramshackle playfulness make them difficult to resist. But listen to "Hail Hail," from last year's O' Be Joyful, and you'll also hear musicians for whom a smile is just one way to bare one's teeth.

Download "Hail Hail" (Right-Click and 'Save As')

Cold Specks' Al Spx.
David DeKeyser /

Cold Specks

  • Song: Blank Maps

Cold Specks is led by Al Spx, a Canadian-born singer whose gorgeous voice is strong enough to bear the weight of soul and gospel tradition — but also delicate enough to illuminate the nuances in sad, tiny, subtle moments. The English band's debut full-length, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion, is full of head-turningly gorgeous songs like "Blank Maps."

Download "Blank Maps" (Right-Click and 'Save As')

The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow

  • Song: You Never Need Nobody

If there's a "Most Likely To Succeed" prize in the crowded folk-rock field, it ought to go to the Brooklyn band The Lone Bellow, whose soaring ballads and frenetic strummers couldn't be more accessible. The group knows how to reach for big, dramatic moments — be sure to soak up those choruses in "You Never Need Nobody" — without overreaching and winding up in an overwrought no-man's land.

Download "You Never Need Nobody" (Right-Click and 'Save As')

Frank Turner
Brantley Gutierrez/

Frank Turner

  • Song: Recovery (Live At NPR Music)

Frank Turner's roots lead back to hardcore bands, and it shows: The U.K. singer-songwriter infuses his ground-level folk-rock storytelling with the guts of a punk and the brains of a revolutionary. Here, he performs his hopeful-but-realistic, rehab-themed anthem "Recovery" — the first single from this year's terrific Tape Deck Heartlive in the NPR Music offices.

Download "Recovery (Live At NPR Music)" (Right-Click and 'Save As')

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Hurray For The Riff Raff

  • Song: Look Out Mama

Alynda Lee Segarra has a voice that sweeps across eras and genres with grace and grit. Equal parts folk, blues and country, last year's Look Out Mama — recorded under the name of Segarra's killer New Orleans-based band, Hurray For The Riff Raff — exudes woozy, hardscrabble beauty, as evidenced by its tremendous title track.

Download "Look Out Mama" (Right-Click and 'Save As')

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