From collaborative outfits like The Gift Band, I'm With Her, and Luluc, to more solitary offerings from Amy Ray, Caroline Rose, and Alexander Tucker, there was much to enjoy about folk and Americana music in 2018.

Abysskiss

Adrianne Lenker

Abysskiss

A hushed, spare, engrossing set of solo songs from the Big Thief leader with production by Luke Temple.

Don't Look Away

Alexander Tucker

Don't Look Away

Grumbling Fur member Alexander Tucker completes a trilogy of solo albums containing his most focused, fascinating work.

To the Sunset

Amanda Shires

To the Sunset

Amanda Shires hits her stride on this surprising, rewarding album.

Holler

Amy Ray

Holler

A poignant and fiery country-soul outing deeply rooted in Southern traditions.

Encore

Anderson East

Encore

Splitting the difference between retro-Southern soul and Van Morrison, Anderson East comes up with a minor gem.

If Only There Was a River

Anna St. Louis

If Only There Was a River

Solid debut album from this country-folk songwriter reveals its complexities and depth with repeat listens.

Noonday Dream

Ben Howard

Noonday Dream

Widescreen ambient pop that demands both patience and, if available, a quality set of headphones.

Loner

Caroline Rose

Loner

Former folkie and roots rocker embraces dance-friendly pop and comes up with a smart and witty triumph.

May Your Kindness Remain

Courtney Marie Andrews

May Your Kindness Remain

Andrews establishes herself as a melancholy reflector of the common man with soulful Americana on her sixth album and Fat Possum debut.

The Morning Star

Daniel Bachman

The Morning Star

Nearly two years in the making, the Virginia guitarist reveals himself as a provocative sound explorer, but doesn't lose his sonic accessibility.

What News

David McGuinness / Alasdair Roberts / Amble Skuse

What News

A gorgeously rendered set of historical U.K. ballads from an inspired trio who bring the ancient past uniquely into the present.

Secularia

Eliza Gilkyson

Secularia

The songwriter's 20th album unflinchingly examines soulful, vulnerable, humanist spirituality in beautiful, poignant secular hymns.

See You Around

I'm with Her

See You Around

The folk supergroup delivers an exquisitely shaded debut.

Whistle Down the Wind

Joan Baez

Whistle Down the Wind

The folk icon records an autumnal album at the age of 77 that acknowledges time but confirms she's far from a spent force.

Arkansas

John Oates

Arkansas

John Oates returns to his folkie roots on this charming, relaxed album.

The Lookout

Laura Veirs

The Lookout

Veirs' understated vocals are paired with arrangements that are as pillowy and warm as they are spilling over with interesting ideas.

Plays Well with Others

Lera Lynn

Plays Well with Others

Lera Lynn loosens up on this atmospheric collection of duets.

Sculptor

Luluc

Sculptor

The Australian folk duo turn a bold corner on their more cinematic and neatly crafted third album.

Songs of Resistance 1942-2018

Marc Ribot

Songs of Resistance 1942-2018

With an all-star cast of vocalists, the guitarist delivers an album of angry, inspired topical songs to inspire political unity in a dark, difficult era.

Cloud Corner

Marisa Anderson

Cloud Corner

A dusty and deeply satisfying union of American folk, blues, and West African influences from the acclaimed Portland guitarist and composer.

Rifles and Rosary Beads

Mary Gauthier

Rifles and Rosary Beads

On her tenth album, the singer/songwriter collaborates with military veterans and their care givers in relating their poignant experiences.

Welcome Strangers

Modern Studies

Welcome Strangers

The Scottish chamber pop quartet's ambitious sophomore set announces the full might of their communal power.

Thunder Follows the Light

Mutual Benefit

Thunder Follows the Light

Even with its lyrical unease, the project's third LP confirms Jordan Lee's status as a leading architect of bucolic escapism.

Third

Nathan Salsburg

Third

The Louisville guitarist's gorgeous and earthy third outing features nothing but a solo acoustic guitar.

Volunteer

Old Crow Medicine Show

Volunteer

Working with producer Dave Cobb, Old Crow Medicine Show expand their sonic horizons and sharpen their focus.

Shelter

Olivia Chaney

Shelter

The sophomore studio effort from the English folk singer is as compelling and powerful as it unwaveringly intimate.

Broken Stay Open Sky

Red River Dialect

Broken Stay Open Sky

The London-via-Cornwall folk outfit offers a warm and deeply reflective sequel to 2015's Tender Gold & Gentle Blue.

Wild! Wild! Wild!

Robbie Fulks / Linda Gail Lewis

Wild! Wild! Wild!

Jerry Lee's sister teams up with a gifted alt-country songwriter for a rollicking set of rockabilly, country, and boogie-woogie.

Years

Sarah Shook / Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

Years

Second album of tough-as-nails honky tonk from this North Carolina tunesmith is rich, satisfying, and disarmingly honest.

Chains Are Broken

The Devil Makes Three

Chains Are Broken

The Devil Makes Three expand their sonic horizons.

Anchor

The Gift Band / Eliza Carthy / Norma Waterson

Anchor

The second release from the iconic U.K. folk mother-daughter duo is a poignant, playful, and gorgeously captured set from a nimble ensemble.

Thousand Incarnations of the Rose: American Primitive Guitar & Banjo

Various Artists

Thousand Incarnations of the Rose: American Primitive Guitar & Banjo

Compiled by Glenn Jones, this is an essential compendium of American Primitive guitar and banjo sources to be enjoyed, not just admired.

Mother

Xylouris White

Mother

On their third album, the cross-continental duo place their abundant improvisational skills at the service of folk song and understatement.

Amanda Shires