Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
You can't be sure what the heart that Wildbirds & Peacedrums' lead singer Mariam Wallentin sings about here is filled with, other than blood. Without a doubt the blood shares the space with other substances, vapors and who knows what else. It's a patch of wilderness that sounds as if it will never be tamed, just seduced here and there, when the moon is right. Everything in there hangs in a delicate balance, between a fire and an out-of-control blaze that eats houses and can take down thousands of acres of trees before it's ever snuffed out.
The beating organ packed into the chest of these songs is one of mysterious content that heightens the experience of feeling. The soft, mechanical maneuverings of its thumpings are gentle, but they're sure of something. They're willing and able to capture. They've grown their own claws and they're seeking, they're hunting. They will grab and take. There are holes to fill and there's waste to take out. The heart is a wily little thing. It will look you in the eye and you will still be unsure what it's trying to tell you or what it's getting at.
Wallentin and her husband Andreas respect this sidewinder, this insistent third party, on all of its wild goose chases. The Swedish duo encourages it to be itself, to not hide. It's a rushing, heavier than it looks, handful, but it tells the greatest stories. It's a pretty good listener too, when it wants to be. It's certainly at the mercy of a lot and most of the time, the deck's stacked against it. Mariam sings, "Don't run/Cause you see I'm lost without your rhythm," but the same goes for the rhythm. It would be certainly lost without the franticness of its master's instabilities. It would be bored to death.