Swedish experimental-bluesy-rock duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums, consisting of husband and wife Andreas Werliin on drums and Mariam Wallentin on vocals and extra percussion, are gearing up to release their fourth album, Rhythm. Their last release, 2010's Rivers, found the band building on their core sound with the addition of a large choir, and Wallentin went solo last year on one of 2013's greatest records, Blood Donation, which contained lots of angular guitar, bass, and synths. But now the duo are back, and it seems they're up to their old tricks.
"Keep Some Hope" opens with big, heavy drums and shakers, before Wallentin comes in. Her vocals have pretty much always been WB&PD's biggest asset - they're so full of soul and power, and she has an uncanny way with melody, often going places we would never expect. There is something very elemental about their sound, and it's nice to see their sound growing bolder with each record. There's an implacable aspect to their sound, wonderfully illustrated by this single: this song falls squarely in their wheelhouse, and yet I don't think it could fit comfortably on any of their prior releases, or even Blood Donation. A plea for hope leads to an oddly catchy chorus, and this song (as well as lead single "The Offbeat") leave me eager for this record.
Rhythm is out November 3 via Leaf Label.