Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Rivers - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Rivers

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2010-08-23

Wildbirds & Peacedrums, besides being a mouthful of a name to get your tongue round, have thrown their hat into the ring as one of the finest acts to lighten the Scandinavian skies of Sweden and swim to the shores of the UK.

The Swedish duo have released Rivers which is a combination of their two vinyl EP releases this year: Iris and Retina. Their sound is distinctly minimalist and compromises mainly of a host of percussion instruments with a small smattering of electronica. In no shape or form can I pick out the sound of a six string. The vocals are very haunting and at times almost church choir like. Its very reminiscent of Low, but with a more possessed feeling being emitted from the duo.

The vocals don't come any closer to a poltergeist feel than on 'Under Land and Over Sea'. The music is sparse and plays a minor part against the soaring vocals of Mariam Wallentin while her husband Andreas Werliin frantically searches for something to do in the background. However, the album is not all low key and 'Fight for Me' with its hypnotic kettle drum thump and doubled up vocals cant fail to whip up a hybrid of mystery and sinisterism.

The vocal range of Mariam is huge and while a huge amount of her vocals focus on a religious feel, she sings divinely and soars her way through 'Peeling Off the Layers' while a military drum refrain glues the whole lot together. The drums play a huge part in W&P, and no doubt the meticulous micing up benefits the sound as it's distinctly at the front of the recording and not merely playing a rhythm section bitpart.

'The Wave' highlights the use of Caribbean steel drums and flits in and out of the song, while bringing some bright light to the album. There is something distinctly soothing about listening to a non-guitar based outfit and it's an enchanting hark.

This their third offering could be the duo's breakthrough and I fail to see how anyone with a decent ear couldn't pick out its beauty.

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