Label: The Leaf Label Release date: 23/08/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon One of the most interesting and experimental groups floating around at the moment are Wildbirds and Peacedrums The Swedish duo is made up of Mariam (vocals) and Andreas (drums, percussion) and interestingly that is all the instrumentation they use. The intriguing new album Rivers is made up of the songs of two EP’s released earlier this year Iris and Retina. The album is to be released as a double CD and also as a download. The album was recorded in Iceland, which seems like a perfect setting for the atmospheric and sinister music this album holds. There is also an added choir on the tracks of Retina and the duo will be touring with a choir in September following the release of this album. The first half of the album which comes from the Retina EP has quite a haunted and sinister feel to it. The choir swoops alongside Mariam’s gorgeous voice. The songs are all linked to the theme of water as a reflection of emotions and the purity and beauty of the tracks is quite striking in places. The first track ‘Bleed like there was no other flood’ is incredibly powerful and experimental. There is a melody but the formation of it is very distorted resembling some music from art composers such as Steve Reich. There is very limited percussion on this first track, and it simply adds raindrops to the swooping storm of the voices. The third track ‘Under land and Over Sea’ is hauntingly beautiful and sounds almost like a requiem, Mariam’s voice is flawlessly beautiful. ‘Fight For Me’ like second track ‘Tiny Holes in this World’ starts with heavier percussion and the pace is increased from the last track. ‘Peeling off the Layers’ ends the Retina section of the album ending. From the start of Iris you can immediately sense a change in the album. Retina is strong and unpredictable, Iris is dreamy and Mariam’s voice stand’s alone, swooping between the gorgeous steel pan percussion sounds. ‘The Wave’ is the most catchy song of the album as the ending is much more conventional than the previous tracks. ‘The Drop’ is a steady build-up before a much layered sound at the end. ‘The Lake’ is my favourite from the album. The melodies are beautifully unusual. The last song ‘The Well’ is the perfect ending to the album. It is much heavier than the other tracks on the Iris section of the album which works wonderfully with Mariam’s voice. It feels like the most complete of the tracks of the album which can often sound a little scarce. Overall Wildbirds and Peacedrums have created an captivating and very beautiful album. Not one you want to listen to on repeat, but one which makes you stop and listen. Some of the tracks are a little empty sounding but when listened to as a collective, not one should be missed out. This is an album to be listened to from start to end and one which I hope many more people do. Photobucket