Band Profile: Rising Appalachia and the Human Experience


Recently, a good friend sent me YouTube link to a song by Rising Appalachia and the Human Experience. Based on the fact that my friend likes to drop acid at Rainbow Gatherings (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I expected it to be whale and bird calls set to harps with the occasionally tink of a healing crystal bumping into a wind chime.

What I heard instead was truly brilliant. Folk music with a peppering of electronica? It has been done before, but on a fairly underground level. Bands like Thievery Corporation and Bonobo, friends of Human Experience-founder David Block’s, combine many music styles from all over the world with electronica in the forefront, while similar artists such as Gotan ProjectRodrigo y Gabriela and Pink Martini focus on the string-based folk elements.

“We don’t play music, music plays us” – David Block

Like those bands, Rising Appalachia and The Human Experience – a collaboration between Block (The Human Experience) and sisters Leah and Chloe Smith (Rising Appalachia) – are the definition of eclectic. With calmingly sensual tracks like “Swoon,” “Downtown” and “Mississippi” that transport you straight to the haunted bayous and foggy hills of the Deep South, I can’t help but feel like they’re on the verge of creating an entirely new genre with the potential to be massively popular in the way that dubstep is. 

“I embraced the cultural melting pot, bouncing from fiddle festivals in the Appalachian Mountains on the weekends to underground dance clubs in the city, and have found the overlap to be a huge creative inspiration for our work as a musician, performer, storyteller and bridge builder.” –Chloe Smith

I doubt, however, that any of these three artists would choose MacBook commercials with Skrillex over an appearance at Burning Man. Integrity over money, you know.

You can download their 7-song album Soul Visions HERE for a donation of your choosing.

For fans of: Jessie Ware, Sinead Harnett, SBTRKT, Little Dragon, Eliza Doolittle, Roisin Murphy

One thought on “Band Profile: Rising Appalachia and the Human Experience

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