Woven Hand - Consider The Birds
Behind the strange band name is only David Eugene Edwards, the creative force behind the mighty 16 Horsepower. Though the latter is still nominally together, a few years back they all took a break in which Edwards released his first solo effort. Since then another rather leftfield release has followed, based on Edwards music for a Belgian modern dance performance.
Consider The Birds - a reference to one of Christ's parables - veers back towards more common ground. Edwards lyrical content has always tended towards the Southern Gothic elements tinged with apocalyptic visions and Bible-infused tales of sin and redemption and this CD is no exception. Kicking off with Sparrow Falls, Edwards's voice quivers on the soundscape enlarged with ominous-sounding tubular bells setting the scene: "Stars rise on the face of the water / Quiet come on the wing of a lark". His usual experimental edge is also present - a Spanish influenced riff here, a lightly distorted voice there and even some loops on Off The Cuff - but the overall tone is mostly acoustic. You can hear Edwards burning passion through his expressive deep voice, which occasionally seems on the verge of breaking. Mandolins, fiddles and bodhráns take their place on the subsequent songs (the heavy To Make A Ring, the dark lullaby Chest of Drawers) ending with the surreal and haunting Into The Piano ("There's a wolf in the piano / on the white keys" he tells us).
Fans of Nick Cave may find a kindred spirit here but dismissing Edwards as a Cave-like clone would be quite unfair. His output is deeply personal both musically and lyrically. Bold but still intimate, traditional but modern-minded, Consider The Birds is a bewildering effort that takes some time to unravel but is well worth the effort.