Only after repeated spins of their second album is it clear how appropriately named Wildbirds & Peacedrums are: the tribal tubthumping of Andreas Werlin being the latter and Mariam Wallentin’s primitive, visceral vocals undoubtedly assuming the role of the former. Backed by a cacophony of harmonicas, deep woodwind sounds, gospel choirs and plinking xylophones, the Swedish duo combine here to offer an otherworldly experience that’s sometimes confusing, initially frustrating, but ultimately excellent. Wallentin’s voice is the focal point and is constantly captivating; the only lucid sound to pierce the murk of dense psych-folk, it recalls Patti Smith’s iconoclastic psychobabble. Some of the tracks, like So Soft, So Pink are slow-starters, but persevere and they reward with wonderful, haunting melodies. Final song My Heart, perhaps the straightest song here, stops resonating in your ears in time to steal the show and feels destined to be recounted as one of the tunes of the year.
4/5Originally written for The Skinny, here
Video: Wildbirds & Peacedrums - My Heart (Live on Dygnet Runt Chat Show)