It was a great shame for me that I was unable to attend the launch night at the Birdcage for the single launch by the amazing Wooden Arms. I did however put in my order for this lovely single and it arrived very soon after.
The packaging itself is a lovely work, hand crafted and printed on card with an aged, weathered look and wistful feel, befitting of the mood of the songs. Separate the Verb starts by diving straight into a powerful mood, Alex’s piano soon joined by the strings of Jessica’s violin and Fynn’s cello with Lydia’s haunting backing vocals floating delicately above. Lead vocals are by Alex himself, with some great lyrics, including – appropriately – some words I have never heard in song before, quite an achievement. Intelligent and intricate it is captivating throughout and fades out with some exquisite plucked violin strings.
It is a song I have known for quite a while now and love very much having heard it performed live many times and having its demo version. It is five minutes of ethereal and haunting beauty. I look forward to seeing them playing live again soon, Lydia’s vocal duties now currently being undertaken by the equally brilliant Milly Hirst
The other track on the single is the relatively new – to me anyway – “Gerascophonia” (fear of growing old), which I think I heard for the first time when Alex and Jessica performed as a duo at the Arts Centre. It immediately grabbed me then and is sure to add to their already strong set. It had the incredible line “If there’s one thing worse than growing old maybe it’s the fear”.
A lovely band of lovely people making beautiful and highly original music. Please investigate them and try to catch them live if you can, they have a string of forthcoming dates around the country. They are impossible to pigeonhole, playing a blend of classical, folk, baroque, which just works.
Do also check the video:
The single itself is available for the ridiculously cheap price of £2 from http://www.woodenarms.co.uk which also includes two digital download bonus tracks (Separate the Verb solo, and a Sohla remix).
Also available from Alex’s Bare Feet Records (BFR) http://barefeetrecords.co.uk/
See them at: London @Tipsy in Stoke Newington on the 2nd of May, Liverpool Sound City in May http://www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk/profile.aspx/View/363
Wooden Arms perform at Norwich Arts Centre on 1 June 2013 as part of a BFR showcase. Tickets available now.
review and photos by richard shashamane