Wildbirds & Peacedrums


Image of Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Iris
Record Label
The Leaf Label

About this item

The "Iris" EP is Wildbirds & Peacedrums' follow up to "Retina" – forming a set of two limited edition vinyl-only 12" EPs released by the Swedish duo, renowned for their ecstatic reinvention of gospel, blues and pop. The release follows two phenomenal UK appearances, premiering songs from the EPs with a 12-strong choir (as Wildbirds & Peacedrums with Voices) at the Pavement-curated ATP Festival, and a sold-out show at the 500-capacity Bishopsgate Institute in London (described by The Guardian as 'fantastic' in their five star review).

Released in May, "Retina" was recorded in a Reykjavík church in January with the Schola Cantorum Chamber Choir. Completed at the same time, but featuring a completely separate sonic character, "Iris" is intrinsically linked to its partner by a common aquatic theme. "Iris" was recorded in Reykjavik’s Greenhouse studios by Australian émigré sound artist and engineer Ben Frost, and mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson (Camille, Björk, Bonnie Prince Billy). The five songs focus on the unique resonant sound of the steel pan – vocalist Mariam Wallentin’s current musical passion.

Iris further explores the motifs of water, reflection and surface light with an unusual sonic texture and production quality. With its pitter-patter and rippling steel drum, "The Wave" finds Mariam contemplating a spiritual connection through all things – blood, hunger, passion, hope, sorrow, faith, love – all moving like a wave. A kind of somnolent calypso flavour runs through the contemplative, morning-after feel of "The Drop", while "The Course" builds up gentle, brimming tonal shades of the steel pan with Mariam again delving deep into her emotional reservoir, singing with an honesty that is pure and affecting. "The Well" is a restless, shimmering vibration, hinting at Wildbirds' constant desire to move forward.

"Iris" is complete as it stands, but heard in conjunction with "Retina", the songs are elevated to an extraordinary body of work. There are really no limits to the reach and ability of this sublime duo.

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