Energetic, bold and unashamedly unique; there is almost an arrogance in the latest album from Sussex trio The Wilderness Yet, which provides a delightfully fresh and youthful injection into the British folk music scene. The band were founded in 2020, comprising of three already critically acclaimed musicians: folk singer Rosie Hodgson, fiddler Rowan Piggott and guitarist/flautist Philippe Barnes.
They released their eponymous first album during the same year and their most recent offering, What Holds The World Together, doubles down, refines and builds upon the musical brand established by it. The opening song Wild Northeaster provides a perfect introduction into the world of sounds and songwriting that The Wilderness Yet occupy. The aforementioned assuredness about the band certainly comes across in this strong and beautiful initial track, with an audibly flawless performance from all three musicians teamed with unobtrusive yet punchy work in production.
Even on the acapella tracks of Old Brock, Emigrantvisa and The Banks of the Bann, the deep,
bassy tones of Barnes’ voice come through fully, and in a way that does not compromise the poised melodies from Hodgson or the gentle harmonies of Piggott. It truly is an expertly produced album.
Unsurprisingly, from a band called The Wilderness Yet, the lyrical content of the album is almost solely inspired by nature, as can be deduced from some of the track titles: Charlie Fox, The Carol of the Flood, and The Nightingale’s Lullaby, just to name a few. Charlie Fox is the standout track of the album and is a perfect blend of storytelling and musicianship, conveying what feels like a fantastical tale of a fox consistently outsmarting an armed farmer. Wes Anderson would be proud.
One might assume that folksongs written about nature would be either cliched or cheesy, yet, these works are expertly penned, feel truly original and are works of poetry of the highest order. Storytelling at its finest.Harvey Coates
Self-released on CD and digitally July 21 2022. Recorded and mixed by Rowan Piggott.
1. Wild Northeaster
2. Old Brock
3. Charlie Fox
4. What Holds The World Together
5. The Carol Of The Flood
6. The Banks Of The Bann
7. Of All The Gods
8. The Last Shanachie
9. Midnight Accountant / The Optimist
10. T Stands For Thomas
11. The Nightingale’s Lullaby