White Willow — Signal to Noise
(Laser's Edge LE1046, 2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01Each successive White Willow album finds the band further along their evolutionary path, establishing their own unique sound amid numerous Scandinavian symphonic retro-prog bands. And each new disc holds some kind of surprise, this time being the addition of new lead singer Trude Eidtang; perhaps she is the strongest and most distinctive frontperson this band has ever had, her vocal style is riveting, seductive and packs a bit of attitude, unlike some of the ‘pretty’ singers who fronted the band previously. The compositions – again nearly all by guitarist and bandleader Jacob Holm-Lupo, have backed off the harder rock sound of the previous record, Storm Season, and the excessive symphonics and dynamics have been trimmed back a bit to better showcase the subtleties of their sound and give more clarity and space to the vocals. At the same time a bit more of the folk element of their early releases has been reintroduced, though in a bit more of a modern context. The melodies are strong and colorful, yet generally tend to the melancholic side, while the arrangements and instrumentation balance vintage and modern sounds in such a way that neither dominates. Opinions may vary, but this is my review, and to these ears this is White Willow’s strongest release to date. Recommended.
Related artist(s): White Willow
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more