The Folk Implosion

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The Folk Implosion
Lou Barlow of Folk Implosion in 2005
Lou Barlow of Folk Implosion in 2005
Background information
OriginBoston, Massachusetts, United States
GenresIndie rock, alternative rock, trip hop, indietronica[1]
Years active1993–2004, 2021-
LabelsChocolate Monk, Communion Label, Interscope, Domino
Past membersLou Barlow
John Davis
Russ Pollard
Imaad Wasif

The Folk Implosion is an American band founded in the early 1990s by Lou Barlow and John Davis.[2] It was initially a side-project started by Barlow to explore different territory than that being canvassed with his primary band at the time, Sebadoh.[2] The name is a play on the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. The band was on hiatus from 2004-2020.


Following the release of Sebadoh's Bubble and Scrape in 1993, Barlow received a tape from Davis, songwriter and librarian, that kicked off their collaboration as a songwriting team and studio recording project.[3] The Folk Implosion released Walk Through This World with the Folk Implosion on cassette in 1993 on the Communion Label and as a 7" EP in 1994 on Drunken Fish.[4]

The band's status was relatively obscure before Larry Clark's film Kids, and its soundtrack, most of which contained original compositions by Barlow and Davis. Both Sebadoh and Folk Implosion contributed to the soundtrack, with the track "Daddy Never Understood" attributed to Deluxx Folk Implosion. Deluxx Folk Implosion included Barlow, Davis, and members of the band Deluxx, Bob Fay and Mark Peretta.[3][5] The introduction of Fay and Peretta to the band allowed the Folk Implosion to realize its songs live.

"Natural One", one of the Folk Implosion songs from the Kids soundtrack, became a hit single.[2] It peaked at no. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100, no. 4 on the Billboard Modern Rock Charts and no. 20 on the Mainstream Rock Charts.[6] The track peaked at no. 45 in the UK Singles Chart.[7] The video for "Natural One" was included in MTV's Buzz Bin.[8]

In 1995, the band contributed the song "Indierockinstrumental" to Red Hot + Bothered, a benefit album for people with AIDS, produced by the Red Hot Organization.[9]

In 1996, the band covered the song "I'm Just a Bill" from Schoolhouse Rock! for the tribute album Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks as "Deluxx Folk Implosion".

Though the band attempted to duplicate the success of "Natural One", their subsequent releases were not as successful.[2] Dare to Be Surprised was released by Communion in 1997 and received 6/10 when reviewed in SPIN Magazine.[10] The group had started work on the album in 1995 before "Natural One" was released.[11] After the success of the Kids Soundtrack, Folk Implosion signed to Interscope Records and recorded the 1999 studio album One Part Lullaby. While it was well reviewed, Barlow and Davis chose not to tour for the album and the project in its original incarnation slowed to an end.[3][12]

After Davis left the band in 2000, Barlow recruited Russ Pollard and Imaad Wasif from the band Alaska! to record The New Folk Implosion. In 2002, the band appeared as the backing musicians for the main character played by Alessandro Nivola in the film Laurel Canyon.

John Davis returned to teaching and began to release music again as a solo artist in 2013.[13][14]

As of 2021 they have begun recording new material, and played a small acoustic set live.[15] They also released an expanded edition of the Walk Through This World EP on Bandcamp on September 11, 2021.[16]



Singles and EPs[edit]

Other appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Ex-Implosion". 13 March 2003.
  2. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 159. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  3. ^ a b c Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0.
  4. ^ Moed, Andrea (June 1997). "Folk Implosion: Homespun, Widespread". CMJ New Music Monthly.
  5. ^ "The Deluxx Folk Implosion Did More Than That One Track on the 'KIDS' Soundtrack". Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  6. ^ "The Folk Implosion Songs • Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography • Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 207. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ "The Story of How Lou Barlow and 'KIDS' Soundtracked the Summer of 1995". Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  9. ^ "Red Hot + Bothered: The Indie Rock Guide to Dating - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  10. ^ Binelli, Mark (May 1997). "Dare to Be Surprised (Review)". SPIN Magazine.
  11. ^ Rosen, Craig (March 22, 1997). "Folk Implosion Forgoes Major for Indie Label Communion". Billboard.
  12. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (October 1999). "Enjoy the Silence". CMJ New Music Monthly.
  13. ^ "About JD". johnhdavis / inundation records. 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  14. ^ "John Davis". People's Alliance. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  15. ^ "John Davis / Lou Barlow on Instagram: "We did a few songs at the Durham NC stop of Lou's solo tour…."".
  16. ^ "Walk through this world w/ The folk Implosion, by the Folk Implosion".

External links[edit]