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Zoe Stroupe - Colorado Bruise (self-released)

3 June 2024

Say the words “folk rock”, and most people conjure an image of a bunch of hoary old, bearded rockers with a mandolin and a fiddle snuck into their ranks. Someone is probably wearing a chunky sweater. There’s a song about drinking and being free on the open roads. But that is just one answer to the question, what is folk rock? A better, more up-to-date, more relevant answer to the same question can be found by playing “Colorado Bruise,” the new single from Zoe Stroupe.

Hers is music that shimmers with folk finesse, has a cool edge of country, and ebbs and flows between rock energy and ambient spaciousness. This is music for the more discerning folk aficionado, music that adds an element of ethereality to the roots sound and allows indie grace to build a bridge between the traditional folk world and the more bombastic rock realm.

But it is perhaps the lyricism which is the icing on the cake, and Zoe Stroupe has made her name dealing in a blend of honest feelings and tasteful poeticism, sentiments that remind us that emotions don’t operate in black and white, and so her music is filled with joy and pathos, hope and reflection, desire and vulnerability, often within the same song.

Folk music has not only found a new and interesting direction to strike out on, in Zoe Stroupe it has found an exciting new voice.