When it comes to crafting music these days, people seem to ignore folk due to the passive-aggressive (emphasis on aggressive) emotions the masses have seemingly taken towards “ho-hey” choruses and sensibilities. It’s rare to see an artist come out fully swinging for the fences with a folk sound, especially after a decade of drowning in cheap lookalikes and ripoffs, but there’s no denying that when a folk track comes out and hits, it hits hard. Looking at Lisha Sebastian’s new single “Best We’ve Ever Been,” this is a folk single that feels unparalleled by her contemporaries. There’s attention to lush harmonies, phenomenal instrumentation and composition, and timeless lyrics — it’s almost enough to make me declare that folk is back!
Don’t let Lisha Sebastian’s young age fool you; she’s merely 19, but from this single alone you can tell that her musical roots go well beyond most people twice her age. Taking musical flourishes from Woody Guthrie and Willie Nelson to modern acts such as Lucy Dacus and Ethel Cain, there’s no end to the wealth of musical prowess that Sebastian has in her arsenal. “Best We’ve Ever Been” features the artist in an optimistic headspace, tapping into the influences previously mentioned while still working hard to blaze her own trails — it’s rare to come across a song as confident and certain as this in 2022, especially in the modern landscape of folk and country.
The single finds itself diving headfirst into a world of plucky guitars and upbeat vocals to contrast lyrics that feel simultaneously full of heart as much as they are pumped full of emotion and yearning. “Can’t stand on loose sand, trembling on this shaky land. Alone, I can barely fight, trust me, tried with all my might.” It’s a dense track to bring in as a lead single, but it paves the road ahead well by focusing on being an upbeat, catchy tune even with its sometimes knockout lyrics. When the song isn’t knocking the wind out of you, it’s a poignant and infectious reintroduction to a world of folk rock that you’ve been missing out on.
Even with her young age, there’s a timeless quality infused into Sebastian’s work that will undoubtedly age like a fine wine — whether it comes from the fusing of influences or the younger perspective tackling subjects from an angle less explored, Lisha Sebastian’s contributions to the future of indie folk are off to a great start. With her debut album Sworn to Secrecy out everywhere now, coming in at an impressive eleven tracks, Sebastian is bound to make major advances in her career over the next year or two; starting off at 19, there’s really nowhere to go but up, and up is precisely where she seems set on going. “Best We’ve Ever Been” works as a fantastic introduction to the young artist, her album, and what’s still to come, and Lisha Sebastian knows it. Sworn to Secrecy in its entirety is a fantastic debut, and the lead single doesn’t disappoint!
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