Boasting new music from Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jack Johnson, Matt Nathanson, John Mayer and Sara Bareilles, summer 2013 is a great one for funky, fresh folk-pop. Of course, you're right now now wondering, "What on earth is funky, fresh folk-pop?" And that's a valid question. It's a tag that basically represents the lighter, peppier side of the adult-alternative coin. In other words, you can save all that brooding and melancholy from Ray LaMontagne and A Fine Frenzy for the winter months; we're talking warm-weather pop bursting with hummable choruses, breezy melodies and bopping beats. And while the instrumentation may vary (Bareilles loves her keys, while Franti is an acoustic guitar kind of guy), what ultimately matters is that the music makes you feel good.
All the artists I previously mentioned have certainly played an integral role in the evolution of the canon; so have Jason Mraz, Donavon Frankenreiter, Josh Rouse, Colbie Caillat and Xavier Rudd. And possibly the movement's two most vital pioneers are G. Love & Special Sauce (think back to their seminal collaboration with Jack Johnson, "Rodeo Clowns") and Sheryl Crow ("Soak Up the Sun" is absolutely essential); both artists were key in putting funky, fresh folk-pop on the map in the early 2000s.