Woods End – Rowan Road
With internet algorithms clever enough to reorganize life as we know it, the moment I heard “Rowan Road” I was convinced Bill Gates had finally come true on his promise and designed a bot capable of writing a song based on my listening preferences. Or, perhaps, that’s just the conspiracy theory-favouring side of my brain acting up.
“Rowan Road” indeed sounds like a tune you should have heard until now. It possesses the kind of commanding gravity reserved for Nick Cave, or Scandinavian bands distilling cold winters into melodies.
Musically, it sounds like a poet fronting a particularly crafty goth-rock ensemble. As the song progresses, Woods End is capable of dialling up the drama. They’re able to summon a sound that is both regal and hopeless. If this band ever collaborates with the Fleet Foxes on a song, the world as we know it may be launched into the kind of sound destroying depression it will never recover from.
Tldr: I liked it.
Simen Mitlid – Smoke
Norwegian folkie Simen Mitlid makes soft music that seems to be melting away just as he is busy making it. And, while if we’re struggling to give out music labels, this could certainly fall under the “folk” umbrella, Mitlid is guided by much artsier ambitions.
The artwork for the single “Birds” resembles some kind of Brueghelian photoshop collage. His music is reminiscent of the slow, expansive sound of the Fleet Foxes of Sufjan Stevens. Here is not a man looking to hide his intellect.
And, although the lyrics don’t hesitate in doing a bunch of somersaults and pirouettes, they tend to arrive in much the same place as where they started. Despite this, Simen Mitlid shines through the character he injects into his compositions. Here’s a folkie on which keeping tabs is very much worthwhile.