think I’m growing an affinity for bands named “the noun and the noun”. Although I’ve seen the name The Hogweed and the Aderyn floating around for some time, I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing their sounds until just now. It’s clear that this was a vastly unfortunate oversight on my part. Wounded Wolf Pressis quickly becoming one of my favourite handmade labels currently releasing today with their del- and intricate packaging & attention to detail.
Needless to say, this was the perfect way to start my morning. Outside of my desire to hear tape reels grinding acoustics and halted voices wandering into the dead of night & mind, the other side of the folk production spectrum has its straight-to-the-heart kicks. The vocals comfortably float atop the music, always finding their place amongst other instruments… the hand-played percussion sits so well in a pair of headphones that one can get lost in nothing but the beat for hours on end. Strings stretch and sing to each other from across the earth, cradled in talented hands. This mystical duo from Turkey displays a thorough knowledge of and general respect for the classic and traditional styles while managing to destroy and reattach them with absolute determined finesse.
The vocals, sung in English, have the slightest lilt to them, which adds a unique notch to the standard british accent one becomes accustomed to with this sort of group. There are elements of A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Calexico, and other eastern-inspired modern day groups, but The Hogweed and the Aderyn take their sound to an entirely different plane of existence.
Opener The Pariah, written, recorded, and reworked over the course of an entire year (alongside Sacred Alchemy), showcases a beautiful tapestry of sounds both eastern & western, current & ancient.
There is something so serene and just a tad bit unsettling about the intertwining compositions and demanding, hypnotic vocals, shimmering acoustic guitar & ukelele duets all but drowned in a shallow, sparse ocean of foreign flutes and ethereal drawls. The blend of earthly organic and unearthly electronic psychedelia is enough to keep you coming back for both sides of the spectrum over & over.
Lore Bodhran stands out as an exercise in pure acoustic ecstasy, melting the mind in a rush of instruments and piranha-esque whispers from unseen waters.
Sacred Alchemy is a twisting, turning little number, with a rhythm so perfect it could transcend its own shaky genre boundaries and become an inherently synthesised electronic masterpiece.
Not letting themselves be pigeonholed (like that’s possible at this point…), the duo is, on closing track Life At Countryside, found employing techniques and soundscapes typically reserved for post / ambient-rock & shoegaze, only with far more self-awareness. Drifting electronics bow and bend around the hop-skip rhythm, frollicking hand in feathered hand with the gorgeous vocal melody.
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