Rising Appalachia Treat Fans To New Covers EP Folk and Anchor

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Friday, May 17, 2024

From Bob Dylan to Beyonce, every song on Rising Appalachia’s new covers EP, Folk and Anchor, was carefully selected for the album not just because they were some of bandmate sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith’s all-time favorite songs, but because they each tell a story in and of themselves. “But more than that,” Leah says, “they tell a story together, and that story weaves the listener into the sonic tapestries of the roots of Rising Appalachia.” And the tapestries are rich, drenched in fiddle and banjo, Hip-Hop influences from the sisters’ upbringing in Atlanta, Appalachian folk traditions, the formative rise of neo-soul, the deep musical ties in the American South, and much more.

“We grew up immersed in a musical family, and our songwriting and performance has been deeply influenced by so many Americana genres over the years,” says Leah. “We wanted to create a body of work where all those influences could be showcased under one roof.” And when the wildly popular group announced to their fans that they’d be taking a creative sabbatical from the road and social media in 2024 to work on new music, and were in-turn met with nothing but love and encouragement from fans, Leah and Chloe knew that Folk and Anchor would be the perfect parting-for-now gift to their ever-loyal fanbase.

Today’s single covering James Blake and Bon Iver’s, “I Need A Forest Fire,” is the band’s nod to this “rich and righteous track.” Of the choice to release it Chloe says, “We have been big fans of Blake’s artistry and aural weaving for many years and wanted to do a folk rendition. The lyrics took some digging to conceptualize and our interpretation is that we live in a time of rapidly destructive (and oft man-made) wildfires. The song felt cautionary. We explored the metaphors for forest fire and came to believe it means the ego must burn, we must take down destructive habits and relationships, even destructive sides of self.” She continues with, “In a time when everyone is on one side of the coin or another, in a highly polarized nation, this burning symbolizes a great reset. A death and rebirth cycle.”

To note: this version features Branden Lewis of Preservation Hall Jazz Band on trumpet, a nod to Rising Appalachia’s days living in the musical city of New Orleans.

Fans can stream or purchase Folk and Anchor in its entirety right now at this link and watch Rising Appalachia’s music video for their take on Maren Morris and Hozier’s “The Bones” right here and today’s single “I Need A Forest Fire” right here. For more information, please visit risingappalachia.com.

Folk and Anchor Tracklisting:

The Night We Met (Lord Huron)

Can I Sleep in Your Arms (Willie Nelson)

The Bones (Maren Morris and Hozier)

On and On (Erykah Badu)

I Need A Forest Fire (James Blake and Bon Iver)

Texas Hold 'Em (Beyonce)

I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan)

Catch Rising Appalachia On Tour:

Jun. 8 - Asheville, NC - Summer Solstice Soiree at Salvage Station

June 21 - Big Sur, CA - Tree Bones

Jun. 22 - Castaic, CA - DisclosureFest 2024

For ticket information, please visit risingappalachia.com/tour.

About Rising Appalachia: Sisters Leah and Chloe Smith founded Rising Appalachia on their back porch in Georgia, playing simple fiddle and banjo melodies and leaning into their family's rich musical traditions. It has since become a globally recognized Americana and world folk ensemble, celebrating a unique blend of Southern-rooted music, storytelling, and community. The band features David Brown (bass, guitar), Duncan Wickel (fiddle, cello), and Biko Casini (percussion), and infuses the music with a unique tapestry of Appalachian, Irish, and traditional influence but stays connected to simple songwriting. Rising Appalachia has captivated audiences for nearly 2 decades, from busking in New Orleans to touring Europe, and has been featured at prestigious venues like Red Rocks, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and Woodford Folk Fest. Their performances at NPR's Tiny Desk and Preservation Jazz Hall have solidified their status in the folk music scene. Breaking industry norms, the band's approach to music is as much an artistic statement as it is a movement, culminating in their newest album, Folk and Anchor, a carefully curated collection of cover songs. This project includes remakes from Bob Dylan to James Blake, Erykah Badu to Beyonce, and showcases their eclectic style, inviting listeners into a rich musical journey. Watch their Tiny Desk Concert here.