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Wildbirds & Peacedrums


    ”We wanted an album that was 100% us. The two of us. The sound that feels like you’re in front of us, like you’re inside” Wildbirds & Peacedrums, August 2014

    Rhythm is the career-defining fourth album by Swedish husband and wife duo Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin

    Their first album in four years sees Wildbirds return lean, hungry and defiant . In returning to their roots they have discovered an unblinking directness, a taut muscularity honed from years of intensive live performance. For the first time, the pair wrote, recorded and produced everything in their own Stockholm studio “We wanted it to feel like a live experience. Almost every song is one take. We recorded standing in the same room, no screens or isolation, looking each other in the eyes”

    Second single ‘Keep Some Hope’ will be released in early October, accompanied by another extraordinary videoOver the course of three acclaimed albums - Heartcore (2008), The Snake (2009) and Rivers (2010) - Wildbirds have established themselves as a powerful, single-minded proposition

    They have built an incredible reputation for their uninhibited live performances, working with choirs and orchestras and gracing festival stages around the world including Fuji Rock, Roskilde, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Latitude, OFF Festival and Sziget

    In recent years, Mariam and Andreas have been involved in an impressive range of projects and collaborations. Wallentin released her first solo album as Mariam The Believer and starred in Ben Frost’s celebrated Wasp Factory opera. Werliin has been working as a producer and performing with Fire! and the Swedish Grammy-winning Tonbruket.

    Wildbirds & Peacedrums


      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.

      Wildbirds & Peacedrums

      The Snake

        The liberated abandon of Wildbirds & Peacedrums' primitive soul music strikes an immediate and invigorating chord, as anyone who has seen them over the past year will attest. With "The Snake", they deliver an adrenalin shot of passion straight to the heart, with songs that draw on anger and frustration as well as the life-affirming ardour that propels their music. Improbable recipients of the prestigious Jazz In Sweden 2008 prize, Mariam and Andreas used their winnings to record at the Soundtrack Of Our Lives - owned Svenska Grammofonstudion in Gothenburg. Vocals and drums were brilliantly recorded live to tape, and the spontaneity of the resulting album captures the intense bond between the couple, while expanding their sonic palette to include steel drum, piano, xylophone, marimba, Rhodes and more. Mariam's uninhibited vocal expressions are matched by the kinetic sparks of Andreas' percussion. "Chain Of Steel" has a racing rhythm that flares into yelps of vocal anguish, while the album's first single "There Is No Light" channels the primeval spirit of rock'n'roll (and showcases Andreas' breathtaking drumming style). "The Snake" is balanced by slower, more resonant pieces such as the slowly unfurling opener "Island" and the eastern-tinged "So Soft So Pink". The album culminates in "My Heart", a wonderfully uplifting seven minutes that blossom into a full-blown gospel anthem, and feature Mariam's haunting, addictive refrain: 'I'm lost without your rhythm'.

        Wildbirds & Peacedrums


          Wildbirds & Peacedrums are charismatic singer Mariam Wallentin and drummer Andreas Werlin. Together the Swedish duo have forged an extraordinary hybrid of spiritual pop, primal blues and ecstatic soul music. Seesawing between pagan rhythms and sparse, bewitching ballads, their self produced debut is a declaration of intent; immediate, exhilarating, and just plain new. Mariam's uninhibited, skin pickling vocal expressions invoke blues performers like Bessie Smith through to the spookily evocative folk singing of Mary Margaret O'Hara. With a fiery passion of all her own that encompasses moods from the heavy spiritual lament of "I Can't Tell In His Eyes" to the raw gospel exclamation of "Bird" with just pulsing bass drums accompanying Mariam's ululations, to the rock & roll handclaps, crash, bang and wallop crescendo of "Douby/Hope", she is a mercurial talent with a breathtaking emotional depth.

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