Wildbirds and Peacedrums
Rhythm


4.3
superb

Review

by greg84 EMERITUS
November 23rd, 2014 | 41 replies


Release Date: 11/03/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Swedish duo fuse infectious art pop with primal minimalism on their thrilling new album.

Swedish husband and wife duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums are aware that sometimes less is more. On their fourth aptly titled full-length Rhythm they strip back their sound to bare essentials. Only vocals and percussion sparsely augmented with bass lines signal the minimalist approach that captures the intensity of the duo's live shows. In addition, both singer Mariam Wallentin and drummer/percussionist Andreas Werliin show greater artistic maturity that's a direct result of their numerous collaborations with other musicians including the big band luminaries, Fire! Orchestra. In consequence, the album sounds wonderfully expressive, refocusing attention on immediacy that's been absent from the act's previous releases. The songs are not only ingeniously thought out, but also oftentimes supremely accessible mostly on the grounds of infectious vocal hooks.

Wallentin's delivery is in a class by itself as she finds a comfortable middle ground between playful jazz-inspired vocalizations and powerful vocal harmonies deeply ingrained in blues and soul. Take her remarkably assured performance on the album's highlight, 'Keep Some Hope.' The singer's charismatic articulation has become more refined without losing its trademark impetuosity. She's adept at handling complex rhythms on 'Ghosts & Pains,' but also proves incredibly nimble in her phrasing on 'Mind Blues.' Her commendable power and range as a singer especially shine through 'Gold Digger' where she augments the booming chorus with a spectral piece of backing vocals. Clever vocal layering also makes for unexpectedly dark undertones that permeate through the cryptic closer, 'Everything All The Time.'

There's no play with contrast on the album since the massive and omnipresent drums don't allow it. Werliin ups the ante as regards the use of ingenious kit patterns, adding auxiliary percussion parts, frequently without overdubbing. Snare drums and cymbals are the main tools in his musical arsenal that never fails to create resonant, dense textures. Rhythm is filled to the brim with versatile playing that oscillates between jazz-rock tendencies and exotic flourishes taken straight from the world music. Werliin is particularly resourceful on 'The Offbeat' whose supreme deep groove is embellished with cowbell to scintillating effect. His cooperation with Wallentin remains hugely intuitive and swift on most tracks. The only jarring moment comes with 'Soft Wind, Soft Death' where The Knife-echoing hypnotic beat stands in stark contrast with gospel hues of the vocals.

Rhythm revolves around atavistic instincts and celebrates rhythm as a form of primal expression. Expanding on the concept of their debut Heartcore, the new record replaces intimacy with ecstasy and elation. Yet the male/female dynamic still remains. The artwork for the album is as ambiguous as relationships themselves, presenting the couple embracing each other either in a passionate dance or in an act of violence. Similarly Rhythm can be described by a series of contradictions. It's both primal and audacious, raw and approachable, unnerving and at times comforting. Most of all, though, it tackles the relationship turmoil in a brilliantly inventive and thrilling fashion.




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user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Emeritus
November 23rd 2014


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Offbeat:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MdFprpSURw



Keep Some Hope:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Epm_tGrsQXs

Digging: Black Midi - Schlagenheim

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
November 23rd 2014


6718 Comments


listening now.. the vocalist seems to really outshine the percussion. Great voice

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
November 23rd 2014


16175 Comments


this is some cool stuff

Digging: Russian Girlfriends - In The Parlance of Our Times

greg84
Emeritus
November 23rd 2014


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah, it'll be in my top10 of the year

ExplosiveOranges
November 23rd 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just jammed this, pretty good stuff. Nice writeup, Greg.

Onirium
November 23rd 2014


3035 Comments


Sounds interesting, I'll definitely have to check this out

Douglas
November 24th 2014


9286 Comments


I really dug The Snake, i'll be checking this.

greg84
Emeritus
November 25th 2014


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Only 4 ratings? This site is seriously missing out on some amazing music...once again.

Jethro42
November 25th 2014


15911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's amazing how the drums sound off-beat and yet they're tightly adjusted to the playing of the bass and to the apparition of the vocals.



Nice review, Greg!

EaglesBecomeVultures
November 25th 2014


5537 Comments


primal physicality huh?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2014


8374 Comments


Only 4 ratings? This site is seriously missing out on some amazing music...once again.

Every piece of music is bound to "meet" its audience sooner or later.

That SC track sounds cool.

Digging: Norman Shores - De L'Ombre Surgit La Lumière

Funeralopolis
November 25th 2014


14343 Comments


That one song posted from the soundcloud was really interesting, need to check

Greyvy
November 30th 2014


5841 Comments


this is ite

TheBarber
December 4th 2014


3794 Comments


this is awesome cheers greg, might get the vinyl/cd for me bird for christmas, looks appropriate

Digging: Falls of Rauros - Patterns in Mythology

greg84
Emeritus
December 4th 2014


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers man. I'd love to get this for Christmas.

Cygnatti
December 8th 2014


32832 Comments


i must jam dis

TheBarber
December 9th 2014


3794 Comments


grooves

greg84
Emeritus
December 10th 2014


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is just too good. Rating bump.

greg84
Emeritus
January 5th 2015


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

An amazing new track available for free download:



https://wildbirdsandpeacedrums.bandcamp.com/track/set-it-free-bonus-track

Lord(e)Po)))ts
January 12th 2015


43287 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

album is so fucking real



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