A slow violin bow moving, a piano dropping notes like rain and it’s a spellbinding introduction to Wooden Arms’ new EP. Then come the haunting backing vocals before a stunning and maudlin voice effortlessly glides through the fascinating instrumentation. By the time it takes off you are already sold. It’s a magnificent opening and takes hold of the listener so well.
‘December’ is classical, pop, weird Beirutjazz, and many things besides, but for this EP it is a heavenly opening. Second track ‘Vicenarian’ is also highly beautiful, though quite different. It’s a little more ‘pop’, for want of a better word. The way the songs are dressed up by piano and strings fits the voice and the essence of the songs so well.
By ‘Tide’ it is obvious that this is a special piece of music that paints many pictures. There is a sense of nostalgia, of magic, of linking the listener to his or her past, the memories that keep us driving forwards to create new ones. It feels like the sea, like the sky, like nature and the wonder of its force. It feels like love, in music, in life, in everything and the way it grows. The band has composed a its own mini-symphony, combining classical and pop music to perfection.
‘Waiting’ is more of the same but different, as every track is defined from the last. The band has its own sound, but ideas that amount to a nice collection. ‘Noah’ starts like a fairytale and then goes off in strange directions that once more make the act impossibly lovable. The female vocals on this track are exquisite as she sings “wouldn’t have it any other way.” An absolute treat, from start to…
…Yes, to finish. ‘False Start’ does not disappoint, and here is a band to put your life in the hands of, without doubt. It’s a stunning EP, there won’t be a better one all year. In fact, it’s longer than some recent albums. Wooden Arms second EP is a masterpiece. It’s hard not to think about when the band will drop a full album, but for now let’s me happy with this colossal gift of an early Christmas present to take us into and get us through the oncoming winter.