Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Wildbirds & Peacedrums – Retina (The Leaf Label)

Less is more, so they say, and Wildbirds & Peacedrums are definitely working by this rule. This experimental folk two piece from Sweden really know how to capture the listener; their songs are built from very little apart from interweaving vocal melodies and softly pounding drums. The EP also features the vocal talents of the Schola Cantorum Reykjavik Chamber Choir (previously heard on Björk’s album Medulla).

Retina’s stand out song ‘Tiny Holes in This World’ begins with a simple drum track enriched by effects and loops. As the drums create the mood of the piece, vocal lines come in one by one gradually building to a crescendo of drums and chamber choir counter melodies. The song is powerful and chilling leaving you eager to listen on... Disappointingly that which follows is just more of the same. By the time the third song on the five track EP has arrived, you know exactly what to expect – vocals and drums. It’s a real shame as there really are no bad songs on the EP, it just starts to drag a little. I listened hoping for anything like a string section or piano to come in to add a little more depth to the music, but was left disheartened.

They do say less is more, however this is a touch too much ‘less’ for my liking. 5/10


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