Wildbirds & Peacedrums, 'Rivers' (The Control Group)

7
Rivers
Critical Mass
Label: The Control Group

by Jessica Hopper

For their third full-length, this Swedish husband-and-wife, drums-and-vocals duo alchemize two sonically divergent earlier EPs -- Retina and Iris. The former's witchy tracks, recorded with an Icelandic chamber choir, are more incantations than indie rock, but their hazy enchantment sets the stage for the twinkling, rattling steel drums of the latter, which sounds like a Nordic goth approximation of Carnival ("I gave a big piece / Of my black heart," frontwoman Miriam Wallentin warbles on "The Course"). Wallentin has reined in her seductive-foghorn voice, and Wildbirds & Peacedrums are a more subtly compelling band for it.

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