Snowpoet: Butterfly – EP review
Out: 2 December, 2014
Ambient alternative folk ensemble, Snowpoet, release their debut EP. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
Some people would argue that all songs are poetry. Some people would be wrong. There’s a chasm of difference between lyrics and poetry, and if you don’t know the difference go and listen to your music collection again. Truly listen, are they words or are they structural masterpieces that have been skilfully constructed with music as a companion? Listen.
The fundamental nucleus of Snowpoet rests on the heads of vocalist Lauren Kinsella and bassist Chris Hyson, and the two of them put together melodies and words in an often improvised manner. Don’t be put off by the improvisation tag, on opener Always it actually works as delicate words almost whisper over an often incidental backing later to be joined by the saxophone of Josh Arcoleo (Joss Stone, Ghostpoet). The almost wild and free solo adds to the lyrical tale of the intricacies of the human mind.
Second track, 1953, comes in at little over one minute and its gentle Wurlitzer serves maybe only as a lead to the (almost) title track Butterflies which starts with an eerie brushed drum effect. The words describe the funeral of Hyson’s father where he witnessed butterflies fly around the coffin of the departed. The track is certainly reflective of the mood and the hypnotic backing moves wistfully along to a closing sparkling of synthesized effects maybe simulating the flight of the insects.
Alive With Closed Eyes closes the EP as Lauren both speaks and sings a re-work of the poem I Will Wade Out by American bard E. E. Cummings. Interestingly, the same verse has also been used by Bjork on her track Sun In My Mouth. With a backdrop of dripping rain and simple keys it is the highlight of the mini-collection and a timely reminder that there are constantly artists out there striving to be original and unique.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news.