Emerging into the spotlight in 2015 with their debut Salt of the Earth EP, Wildwood Kin had been preparing for this moment for years. Emillie, sister Beth and cousin Meghann first performed together at primary school and have been on a path to records and subsequent tours ever since. But while the acoustic tones of their debut EP could evoke scenes of the great outdoors, their debut LP is most definitely trapped indoors. Too much thought has been put into the production to make it modern and radio-ready. Therein lies its downfall but does it have any soul left to salvage?
First impressions would suggest not – their beautiful harmonies get lost in an echo chamber on ‘The Author’. The instruments are drenched in sonic trickery rather than natural acoustics. ‘Run’ is as commercially sound as the Foo Fighters’ recent single of the same name. Both groups playing it too safe.
Assuming instant success, the trio has created material for the road rather than sticking to the acoustic sound which made them so attractive.
I proceed through the album and I find little to change my mind. Their voices are too processed and detached from the music which has lost much of its folk connection. Even ‘Hold On’, which appeared on their debut EP, has been heavily edited. It’s such a shame. Of course, what most of this material will suit is the bigger live arena, rather than their more intimate shows of the previous years. This is even more disappointing on reflection. Assuming instant success, the trio has created material for the road rather than sticking to the acoustic sound which made them so attractive.
It’s as if Wildwood Kin have completely ignored what has got them to this point. They’ve turned the tide in a bid to sell their roots in the hope of seeing mainstream returns.
Over-produced and underwhelming
Abandoned originality to become HAIM wannabees
‘Warrior Daughter’ remains the stand-out single
|1. The Author|
|4. Steady My Heart|
|6. Warrior Daughter|
|7. Hold On|
|8. Taking a Hold|
|9. On and On|
|10. The Valley|
|11. Turning Tides|