Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Couple of really good ones...Woven Hand and Michael Chapman

I'm not sure if the reviews are any good, but the music is...My review of semi-legendary (and also little-known, if that makes sense) folksinger Michael Chapman runs today in Dusted. There'll be a live review of his show at the Bookmill sometime, as well. Also, the new Woven Hand, which on a first cut, fell at #3 on my best of list for 2008.

Artist: Michael Chapman
Album: Time Past Time Passing
Label: Electric Ragtime
Review date: Oct. 29, 2008

Like many of the songs on Michael Chapman’s Time Past and Time Passing, “Dewsbury Road/That Time of Night” can be divided into two pieces. The first, either a long introduction or a separate but related composition, is a delicate web of picked guitar, serene, sunny and unhurried. The second, starting at about three minutes, introduces Chapman’s voice, a dark-toned, rasp-edged instrument that immediately turns the mood darker. The song changes when he starts singing, like a country lane suddenly turning into a shadowy forest. “You know I don’t scare easy….but I do get scared,” Chapman intimates at regular intervals as the song proceeds, in the kind of voice that raises the hairs on your forearm. It is as if Chapman made Robert Johnson’s deal at the crossroads, but traded his voice, instead of his soul, to the devil.


Woven Hand
Ten Stones
(Sounds Familyre)
US release date: 9 September 2008
UK release date: 8 September 2008

by Jennifer Kelly

Fiery visions

David Eugene Edward’s Woven Hand has been on an increasingly rock trajectory lately. His Mosaic in 2006 was considerably more electrified than 2004’s Consider the Birds, built on pounding, Joy Division-esque rhythms and slashing guitars, and with only small islands of acoustic respite. Now with Ten Stones, the fifth since Edwards disbanded 16 Horsepower, the volume and intensity creeps up another notch, in some of the most viscerally powerful songs yet from the Woven Hand catalog.

This is perhaps partly due to Edwards’ partnership with Sereena Maneesh’s Emil Nikolaisen. Like Edwards, Nikolaisen has a fascination with rock rhythms and spiritual striving. He shares Edwards unusual combination of born again Christianity and love of Joy Division. He adds, perhaps, an understanding of the powers of guitar distortion and blur, an otherworldly sheen that encases “His Loyal Love” and other cuts in battings of tranquility or that launches “Not One Stone” from a My Bloody Valentine-esque howl of guitar.


“Beautiful Axe”

“Not One Stone” (Not actually a video…but a damned good song)


Syd The Squid said...

you know, woven hand really do my head in... they sound closest to DUSTdevils than anyone else ever has (i mean, for goodness sake who would want to!!!)... but i just can't cope with his voice... just reminds me of Pearl Jam... damnit!


jenniferpkelly said...

Really? I like his voice. I might have kind of liked Eddie Vedder's voice, too, though...did you ever hear him cover "Masters of War"...but I have to think about the DUSTdevils thing, that's interesting and not something that I would have come up with on my own.

BTW, there's a song called Dustdevils on the Chapman album. Maybe you should sue his ass.

Syd The Squid said...

i think we should be sued for ripping off Echo & The Bunnymen so much...