Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Here’s something for folks who like their music a bit stripped down and raw. Regular readers of this blog will know that I often like my music unencumbered by unnecessary embellishments, but Wildbirds and Peacedrums take this ethic to (almost) its natural conclusion. Their template is simple: voice and drums. That’s it. But what a voice. Its owner is Mariam Wallentin, graduate of Gothenburg’s Academy of Music and Drama, and she’s got an amazing range – she can do everything from soaring soul inflections to tortured wail. And the drums, hit by Mariam’s husband Andreas Werliin are pretty impressive too.

I don’t need to give you any more info about the couple/band, because there’s heaps on this Drowned in Sound interview. What you do need to know is that their album Heartcore is a remarkable thing. It was actually recorded a couple of years ago, but only came out here at the end of April on The Leaf Label. If anyone was waiting for it, it was worth it. For the rest of us, we can be grateful that it’s got a release and we can hear it in all its rhythmic, haunting and soulful glory.

Sure enough, Andreas and Mariam throw the odd extra instrument into the mix – glockenspiels, sitars and zithers are used – but it’s still beautifully simple. From the gorgeous downbeat ballad I Can’t Tell in His Eyes to propulsive percussion of The Way Things Go it’s all stirring stuff. It may be a bit what Bjork would sound like if she lost the numbers of her hotshot producers, or what if Shara ‘My Brightest Diamond’ Worden would end up with if she was stranded on a desert island with only a drum for company. Highly recommended.

Download: Wildbirds & Peacedrums – I Can’t Tell in His Eyes
Download: Wildbirds & Peacedrums – Pony

Buy Heartcore from Amazon or download from Bleep.


benjamin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Great artists. 'I Can't Tell in His Eyes' is amazing. Thank you!

Richard said...

Well described!
Discovered this a couple months ago and like it a lot. Been airing it fairly regular on "Dancing in Circles" KAOS radio.

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