The Last Mixed Tape reviews Fallen Bird, the latest extended play from Waterford alternative-folk act In The Willows.
Texture is essential to an E.P. like Fallen Bird. There has to be a heft to the music to support the airier folk harmonies that rest on the record’s outer-layer. This has sometimes been an issue for In The Willows, but that no longer seems to be the case.
First seen in the closing moments of ‘Tempting Me’, the turbulent rhythm in Fallen Bird’s undercurrent comes to the fore. Pushing the floating strings and ethereal vocals into the foreground, the “want” expressed in the song’s lyrics is carried across perfectly.
In this way Fallen Bird almost feels like a demonstrative record. It’s the sound of In The Willows giving us a snapshot on how they are progressing as a band, and all the signs are positive. The alternative-folk via trad nuances of the group’s music is now a clearer, more fully realized version of what we have seen before.
Nowhere is this better expressed than in ‘Wait On The Water’. In the past, as I mentioned before, In The Willows seemed to have just missed the mark when it came to moody dense atmosphere. But on this slow-burner, the beguiling feel of the song builds until the sonic heft of the E.P’s overall production comes bounding in for the finale. A high-water mark not only on Fallen Bird, but also for In The Willows themselves.
Fallen Bird is the sound of a band finally finding themselves. It’s been a learning curve for In The Willows dotted with some real high moments along the way, but Fallen Bird points to some very promising times ahead.
Fallen Bird by In The Willows is out now.