Think indie-folk and the mind leaps to the corner of a bar at a poetry evening being lectured on the essentiality of the genre by a poncho-wearing art history student named Astrid.
But don’t let Astrid ruin it for you. Indie-folk is not just about sitting in a tree house wearing an Icelandic shepherd’s jersey writing songs about baking organic carrot cake.
However, because the best exponents of the genre are so often chart-shy and as twee as a dreamcatcher, it’s hard to find a compilation of the latest indie-folk on commercial release. The Shins, now an internationally recognised band, have hit indie film Garden State to thank for their major break. All of which makes the soundtrack to this year’s unlikely Oscar success story, Juno, all the more appetising.
Between a few recognised names such as Sonic Youth and Belle & Sebastian are a host of artists at the forefront of the indie-folk movement. Dry, witty and quasi-political lyrics half sung/half spoken over the simplest of acoustic guitar sections, sweet-without-being-sickly singalong choruses and lazy pace of a Sunday afternoon will convert even the least indie of you out there.