Monday, 28 October 2013

Review: Wolverton – Horse Head Dawn

Wolverton – Horse Head Dawn (Woodpile Records)
The six-track “Horse Head Dawn” EP is Wolverton’s third release. The multi-generational San Antonio quartet (plus friends) have already released a pair of full length albums since they formed in 2010/11, and they show no signs of slowing down. The core players, Caralyn Snyder, Hills Snyder, Kate Terrell and Jeremiah Teutsch came together through a series of performances, including a gig in a huge penthouse bathroom suite (that’s Texas for you…).

With a list of influences that includes country, folk and jazz, together with the classic late ‘60s San Francisco groups (Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, etc.) and songwriters like Donovan and Richard Thompson, the results were always going to hark back to earlier times, and they don’t disappoint – though, importantly, “Horse Head Dawn” never sounds like an exercise in nostalgia.

Acoustic instruments dominate, and lyrically, a loose, hippy surrealism is present, which encourages the listener to pay attention, and inevitably draws them into a world of natural sculpture, where pop stars are replaced with newer models, and the planet warps and distorts. Standout songs come thick and fast, especially “No Big Deal” and the elegiac “Fresh Mint”, and the combination of boy/girl vocals, gentle melodies and heartfelt sentiments are impossible to ignore.
Phil S.

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