Samstag, 9. April 2016

Woodpigeon - T R O U B L E























Apropos Wohnzimmerkonzert: Als Woodpigeon, a.k.a. Mark Hamilton, im vergangenen Sommer auf seiner Europa-Solo-Tournee auch bei uns gastierte, da hatte er wohl bereits viele Titel seines neuen Albums komponiert, denn mit "Canada", "Devastating", "The Falling Tide", "Picking Fights" und "Fence" wurden fünf neue Lieder präsentiert und stellten damit ein Drittel der Setliste.

Mittlerweile kann man diese Lieder auch im heimischen Wohnzimmerhören, auch wenn der Künstler selbst nicht gerade anwesend ist:  Das insgesamt elf Songs starke "T R O U B L E" ist in Hamiltons kanadischer Heimat bereits erschienen, eine Veröffentlichung in Europa ist für Mitte Mai geplant. Aber über die Bandcamp-Seite von Woodpigeon lässt sich das Album bereits als "lovely gatefold CD with illustrations by Marigold Santos" oder als "limited edition orange vinyl with alternate artwork" käuflich erwerben.
Das sechste Album von Woodpigeon entstand unter Mithilfe von Sandro Perri (Produktion), Daniel Gaucher (Percussion), Colin Edward Cowan (Bass) und Annalea Sordi-McClure (Keyboards), sowie Gastbeträgen des britischen Folkmusikers David Thomas Broughton und der kanadischen Sängerin Mary Margaret O'Hara.

Auch wenn Mark Hamilton "Avalon" (Roxy Music), "Tango In The Night" (Fleetwood Mac) und "Yeezus" (Kanye West) als einflussreiche Alben nennt, hören wir doch eher ruhigen, spärlich instrumentierten Folkpop für Fans von William Fitzsimmons oder Scott Matthew, der in "Faithful" und "Devastating" seine eingängigsten Songs findet. Das flotte "Canada" würde sich auch sehr gut auf einem Album von Belle & Sebastian machen. Häufig werden die Songs von einer, aus einer Trennung resultierenden,Traurigkeit, wie etwa in "Faithful" (“Sorry darling, sorry love / you thought me faithful but I was not”), überschattet.




The album features a variety of tasteful and restrained instrumentation. Great moments on the record coincide with sparse percussion and unconventional rhythms balanced by swooning synth or trumpets, as heard on "The Falling Tide." The tracks here are dominantly downtempo, but the occasional track such as "Canada" picks it up at just the right time. It can't be stressed enough that this album is about rhythms, and those guilty of desk-drumming will relish the variety.
 
An experimentalist in folk himself, producer Sandro Perri injects just enough of his personality in T R O U B L E's production to differentiate this from previous Woodpigeon works. Perri and Hamilton were careful to leave plenty of space throughout and as a result, the music breathes, never feeling overwhelming or busy. Plus, the attentive listener will detect ethereal sounds that are truly peculiar.
 
Ultimately, it isn't the lyrics that stand out but Hamilton's deliberate endeavour to craft intricate compositions that hold the attention of the listener. T R O U B L E is worthy of a second listen, and not only to pick up on the subtleties you missed the first time.
(exclaim)


T R O U B L E reads like a lucid dreamscape – you sense little lines and riffs and progressions that don’t quite form a pattern, especially noticeable on “The Falling Tide.” There are seemingly inconsistent percussive sentences punctuated with odd horn arrangements that seem to be playing somewhere far off. This creates an incredibly engaging, almost jazz-borrowed, effect.

“Devasting” is like some dark surf-rock from a Berlin nightclub. The percussion is a bit steampunk, but Hamilton sings so gently and beautifully, that even words like “guts” come across melodic and sweet. The syncopation of the word “devastating” (sung as dev – a – stat – ing) is the perfect effect to recapture the listener from the more dark and dreamy sections of the song.

Hands down, the standout track of the album is “Faithful.” This is track can only be called devastatingly gorgeous. It is the rawest song on the album,and Hamilton’s vocals are at their peak to match. Hamilton’s tenor is at a honey-like quality, with haunting ooh’s and ahh’s, intense piano chords overtop of a slightly psychedelic guitar. In the emotional vocals, you can catch alternating glimpses of self-loathing, isolation, frustration, and outright depression. Featuring the repeated line “don’t be faithful when you’re not,” followed by the empathetic “it all goes spiteful / it all goes wrong / no one’s fault,” this is one of the most honest songs I’ve heard in years.

The extra details top off this exceptional album, from subtle tambourine rattles, the creative percussion throughout, the horns, and the moments of hopeful vocals. It seems as though Hamilton was completely uninhibited and this has allowed him to give us his most creative and comprehensive work yet.
(for folk's sake)


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