When the four English lads of Mumford & Sons walked onstage at Coachella last month to play their winning acoustic ballads to more than 40,000 concertgoers, indie-rock's latest trend reached critical mass: The new Americana sound had become arena-friendly, chart-topping gold.
In SPIN's June issue, on newsstands now, we explore Americana music's unexpected commercial and cultural renaissance, and highlight the best artists in that homegrown retro scene, including Mumford, Steve Earle & Will Sheff of Okkervil River, the Felice Brothers, and the Civil Wars (clockwise, from top left).
Over the course of her nearly decade-long career as Grouper, Liz Harris has become a master of all things overcast. Her ambient compositions and waterlogged ballads are like fogged-up windows — bleary enough to indicate the bleakness inside, but only its vaguest outlines. There’s suggestion of something heartbreaking, but its true shape remains occluded, unobtainable,… More »