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Folktronica, synthfolk, or electrofolk is a genre of music comprising various elements of folk music and electronica, often featuring samplings of acoustic instruments—especially stringed instruments—and incorporating hip hop or dance rhythms.[1][2]


Folktronica was coined by music writer Jim Byers on the now-defunct website, during the proliferation of labels like Manchester's Twisted Nerve, responsible for the emergence of Badly Drawn Boy, but with its origins in electronica. It was later used when describing the music coming from Kieran Hebden and his Four Tet project in 2001.[2][3][4] In 2001, postmodern pop artist Momus released an album titled Folktronic deliberately exploring (and satirizing) the fusion.[5] A similar genre is "Laptop folk", which refers to a slightly more minimalistic electronic folk. The genre has some antecedents in the electro-acoustic works of more experimental composers like Paul Lansky (particularly on his album Folk Images), and Alan Sondheim. Latin America's biggest folktronica act is arguably Juana Molina.

Definitive albums in the genre include: Four Tet's Pause (2001),[6] Tunng's Mother's Daughter and Other Songs (2005),[6][7] Caribou's The Milk of Human Kindness (2005), The Prize Fighter Inferno's ″My Brother's Blood Machine″ (2006),[6] Goldfrapp's Seventh Tree (2008)[7] and Tales of Us (2013),[8] Damon Albarn's Everyday Robots (2014).,[9] and Haiku Salut's Etch And Etch Deep (2015).[10]


  1. Smyth, David (April 23, 2004). "Electrifying folk: Folktronica, new folk, fuzzy folk – call it what you will. Laptops are replacing lutes to create a whole new sound", Evening Standard, p. 31.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Empire, Kitty (April 27, 2003). "Up front on the verge: Four Tet, aka Kieran Hebden", The Observer, p. 14.
  3. Harley, Kevin (January 30, 2010). "Four Tet: There Is Love in You", The Independent, p. 24
  4. Brown, Jonathan; Kinnear, Lucy (11 February 2008). "The real school of rock". p. 10., Elliott School is a struggling comprehensive in south London. But it has an astonishing record in nurturing a diverse range of avant-garde pop stars. The Independent. Retrieved 7 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Momus: Folktronic: Pitchfork Record Review
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Closed access Clayton, Richard (1 February 2009). "Folktronica: Encyclopedia of Modern Music". Times Online. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (password-protected)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Last.FM 'folktronica' taggers. Last.FM, ed. "Top Albums tagged as 'folktronica'". Hit albums tagged 'folktronica' and less-popular albums highly tagged 'folktronica'. Last.FM. Retrieved 7 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Stephen Sears. title=Goldfrapp’s ‘Tales Of Us’: Album Review | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on title=Goldfrapp’s ‘Tales Of Us’: Album Review | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2014-01-23. Missing or empty |title= (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Lewis, Luke. "Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots (2014) / Album Reviews / The Essential". Retrieved 30 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>