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The Sing it Loud Sing it Roud playlist, a mocked-up cover design

Sing it Loud, Sing it Roud (and other decent tradfolk playlists)

Rounding up a collection of Spotify playlists dedicated to the tradition. Plus, the chance to tell you that 'Sing it Loud, Sing it Roud' exists, just because it's such a good title.

No, we’re not massive fans of Spotify, either. We much prefer Bandcamp. But there’s no denying that, when it comes to discovering new music and musicians, they’re hard to beat. Here are a few traditional folk music playlists we’ve come across recently that we think you ought to check out.

Sing it Loud, Sing it Roud

There are plenty of good traditional folk playlists on Spotify, but this one is the icing on the cake. Not only does ‘Sing it Loud, Sing it Roud’ have the best title ever, it also has the most songs and the most listening hours. Davis Dunavin is in the ongoing process of curating a playlist that compiles (sometimes multiple) examples of every song in Steve Roud’s folk song index. “It’s meant to be listenable, not encyclopedic,” the description states. “I add songs if they have the right feel.”

At the time of writing, ‘Sing it Loud, Sing it Roud’ has 2,162 songs on it, amounting to 140 hours and 26 minutes, meaning it would take you nearly six whole days to get through it all. Artists featured include many of our Tradfolk friends and faves, including Fay Hield, Rachael McShane, Bert Jansch, Jackie Oates, Jim Moray, Martin Simpson, and a literal cast of thousands.

Give it a listen and a follow on the player above.

Folk Discovery

Other traditional folk music playlists worth following on Spotify include ‘Folk Discovery’ by the venerable Topic Records. Regularly updated, this mixes the traditional with the traditionally-inspired. While it has a number of older recordings on it, the curators are mostly concerned with keeping it fresh. You’ll find songs from the up-coming Sea Song Sessions album alongside Eliza Carthy‘s latest release, alongside Anne Briggs. And, no, not all of the featured artists are signed to the label. It’s just a well-put-together playlist that keeps you bang up to date with tradition.

The Young Folk Club

Held online as part of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, the Young Folk Club, “aims to give young people aged 14-21 the opportunity to share and experience folk music in a friendly, social environment.” On the Cecil Sharp House Spotify page, you’ll find occasional “listening club” playlists put together by individual members. They’re never very long (certainly not by ‘Sing it Roud’ standards), but they often include younger tradfolk musicians who may not have found their way to a larger audience yet.

Traditional English Folk

Spotify’s very own round-up of all things English Folk is a fairly predictable concoction that hasn’t been updated in well over a year. However, with 50 songs lasting just over three hours, it’s a nice introduction for anyone looking to pass an afternoon.

Discover British Folk Music

For a slightly more meaty version of the above, we’ve put together ‘Discover British Folk Music: The Ultimate Playlist’, currently featuring 132 songs in just over nine hours. If Spotify’s own playlist is for folk beginners, and ‘Sing it Roud’ is for the absolute hardcore, this offering is for those who have the tradfolk bug but haven’t yet had their lives derailed.

Latest Folkish Favourites

We do our own version of Topic Records’ ‘Folk Discovery’ playlist, featuring songs and tunes that are tradfolk or tradfolk-inspired. We keep it to 30 at a time, all taken from albums we’ve reviewed or are in the process of reviewing, so whenever new ones are added, older ones drop away. This keeps the playlist nice and trim, as well as being as up-to-date as we can keep it.

Now, all we need is for someone to make a nice trad tunes playlist. Let us know in the comments below and we’ll gladly park it here.