For years, various music journalists have fixated their ears on up-and-coming musicians and labeled them “the next Bob Dylan.” Indeed, Bob Dylan is highly regarded as one of the most important musicians and songwriters of our time, having churned out iconic hits such as Blowin’ in the Wind and Like a Rolling Stone. Despite all these achievements under his belt, Gala Bingo’s ‘10 Top Entertainment Facts’ post, highlights how Bob Dylan has never had a number one hit on the Billboard Chart — even with his impressive songwriting skills and exceptional achievements, such as winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. Of course, at the end of the day, awards don't define an artist and their impact on society. On that note, it's possible that no artist will ever be able to surpass Dylan’s legacy. However, there are a few artists who emulate the same kind of lyrical writing and poetic musicality. If you're a fan of Dylan, they're definitely worth checking out. Here are some of them:
British singer/songwriter Laura Marling has been able to emulate Bob Dylan’s formula of placing the listener in a new world and frame of mind with only a few words. Her discography consists of seven excellent studio albums and several 'anti-love' folk songs such as Master Hunter and False Hope. If that’s not enough to convince you that she has the same kind of grit Dylan has, you should listen to her cover of A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall.
If there’s anyone who comes close to Bob Dylan’s masterful lyrical storytelling, it’s Sufjan Stevens. Some music journalists even regard Steven’s Carrie & Lowell as this generation’s Blood on the Tracks. The album presents itself as a raw dissection of Stevens’ relationship with his mother, which is comparable to how Dylan portrayed his failing marriage in Blood on the Tracks. If you want to listen to indie-folk music that can tug at your heartstrings while masterfully telling stories of guilt, heartbreak, and joy, give Stevens a try.
Hailing from Australia, Courtney Barnett is an exceptional artist who will remind you of Dylan’s sharp and observational songwriting, as well as his carefully jagged guitar sounds. Barnett’s music is both personal and social at the same time — evidenced by her ability to make listeners cry their hearts out and punch their fists in the air at the same time. The only glaring difference between Barnett and Dylan is that Barnett’s music is punk, while Dylan kept his folk beginnings all throughout his discography. Father John Misty
The former drummer of highly acclaimed folk band Fleet Foxes, Josh Tillman was able to prove that his solo project is just as powerful as the great Bob Dylan's. Going by the band name of Father John Misty, Tillman released his debut album Fear Fun back in 2012. And just like Dylan, Father John Misty is just as great of a songwriter and aversive to the press. His lyrics tend to allude to cynicism and hard-to-swallow topics, but he’s able to present it in a way that’s enticing and bright. Be sure to check out our other posts for music reviews and stories of new and emerging musicians.