A whisper of wind through the trees, leaves rustling underfoot, a crackling fire, the smell of dirt after the rain. Mother Nature is a thread that weaves through Out of the Woods, a collaboration between Polish singer-songwriter Basia Bartz and British folk guitarist and producer Ben Walker.
The instruments these songs showcase take us across the world to the musical places Bartz has visited, using not only the violin but also drums, bass and piano. Themes of traditional Polish folk music are also a key element and the EP is performed almost entirely in Bartz’s native Polish tongue.
It is a wonderful snapshot of her considerable talent, each track unique in its own way. ‘A Girl At Dusk’ eases in, as though peeking out from amongst the trees, then confidently strides out into the open. It conjures up the mystery of the dusk hours, of dances around the fire and windswept steppes. In ‘To The Moon’, the vocal line glides over the top of the driving beat, carrying the listener up to the skies.
‘Red Apple’ is ponderous, reminiscent of a slow tango, of dancers circling each other with hints of uncertainty and suspicion whilst the bass digs into the listener’s heart. ‘Happy Hops’ thrills with passionate vocals and flavours of the Hispanic tango rhythm and klezmer melodies.
Finally, sung in English, ‘Careless Hunter’ enters quietly, on soft paws, like a predator stalking its prey. It has a dreamlike, slightly eerie quality, with beautiful vocals floating above the proceedings. With the soaring violin line fading out tantalisingly at the end, this EP gives us a taste of what’s to come. Those eager to hear more are in luck, as Bartz and her band are currently recording their first album – certainly one to listen out for!