Wildbirds & Peacedrums Rivers

Wildbirds & Peacedrums Rivers
Sweden's Wildbirds & Peacedrums (made up of husband-and-wife duo Andreas Werliin and Mariam Wallentin) have merged their previous releases, Retina and Iris, into their third full-length, entitled Rivers. It's a sweet package, given that individually, the two limited edition, vinyl-only EPs were well received. Recorded in a Church in Reykjavík, with the Schola Cantorum Reykjavík Chamber Choir (who also appeared on Björk's Medulla), Retina features choral arrangements by Hildur Guðnadóttir (Múm), as well as Bedroom Community members Ben Frost and Valgeir Sigurðsson, who lend their recording and mixing talents, respectively. The album showcases Wallentin at her best. Her vocals reverberate in a soulful, jazz-like timber, pitch-sensitive and so transparent that every modulation is emotionally charged. Werliin's intricate steel-pan syncopations on Iris are equally engaging, so neither towers above the other. The duo's pristine brilliance surfaces from within dense, experimental arrangements, creating a contrasting echo of eerie sparseness that's as equally dark and luminescent as the record's aquatic concept suggests. (The Leaf Label)