Having slipped out of the spotlight when 2010’s ‘Rivers’ marked the end of a run of three albums in as many years, a relocation to Stockholm for Swedish husband-and-wife duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums provided a chance to reflect, rebuild and realise a record which fizzes with its titular rhythm.
Despite working on dozens of other albums by different artists in the interim, this self-produced set was an important milestone for the pair. Aiming to capture their frenzied live delivery, the nine songs were largely recorded in single takes.
For the uninitiated, Wildbirds and Peacedrums’ music is ultimately a melodic tussle between inventive percussion and the riveting vocals of Mariam Wallentin. The sense of a swelling and subsiding storm at the heart of her performance on ‘Gold Digger’ is staggering, while the constant sense that the drums are chasing the words on ‘Soft Wind, Soft Death’ evokes memories of Björk’s ‘Volta’.
It won’t be for the faint-hearted, but if the primal throb of Neneh Cherry’s ‘Blank Project’ ensnared you in the early months of 2014 – and it’s hard to imagine how it wouldn’t have – then there is similar pleasure to be found in the utterly absorbing company of ‘Rhythm’.
Words: Gareth James
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Listen to ‘Rhythm’ in full on Deezer…