2017 has been a fantastic year for Irish music artists, not least for trio Wyvern Lingo whose stream of percipient releases has reflected a striking, stylistic evolution that has seen their music move to a whole new level. To bring their stand-out year to a rather festive close, these adventurous pioneers of alt-r&b have unveiled soulful new single, Snow II.
Snow II is a re-imagining of the song of the same title. A quasi-acoustic track coloured with subtle hints of synth and some mellow flute sequences, Snow originally featured on the 2014 EP, The Widow Knows. Underpinned by a rolling tumbleweed of acoustic guitar, the song’s expansive instrumental spaciousness allows the trio’s close-harmony singing to take a much-deserved centre-stage.
In the re-worked Snow II, Wyvern Lingo have retained much of the spaciousness of the original. The key change comes in the form of additional textures and atmospherics. While the same interwoven vocal harmonies preside, the instrumental takes on more prominence with the inclusion of pulsating synth beats – recalling the heart beating in the “womb” – and a more vocal electric guitar.
The track opens with repetitive solo beat and sparse synth chords that provide the perfect open soundscape for Caoimhe Barry’s intuitive vocal, one into which she pours just the right amount of expressive nuance. Textured layers and subtle strands are interwoven into the song’s melodic and harmonic progression as it evolves into sensual, bass-driven bluesy RnB. The overall effect is one of soulful, unnerving intimacy.
“It sifts from leaden sieves, It powders all the wood, … Then stills its artisans like ghosts, Denying they have been” – Emily Dickinson
Snow obscures familiar objects, rendering them strange and ghostly to us.
Snow II captures the spectral beauty of snow, as well as its unerring ability to eradicate our personal landscapes. The falling snow covers the world outside, creating a disconnect that causes us to retreat indoors, just as during the dog days of a dysfunctional relationship, we pull down shutters to cut ourselves off, creating an emotional no-man’s land that keeps us outside touching distance.
Snow II is the version of the original the band “always imagined it would sound like“. Inspired in part by the Simon & Garfunkel classic, I am a Rock, the song was written from the perspective of the person trying to reach an ex lover who is in that dark place, cutting themselves off from the world.” explains Caoimhe Barry. “It’s about wanting to comfort them, but you can’t speak to them or hold them like you might have when you were in a relationship, and how sad and confusing that is.”
“Darkness falls, The sky is white, Street lights, Inside the candle burns … And I know my love grows, Like the silence of snow”
Snow II was mixed and produced by Berlin-based Cork musician and producer Wife and London-based Mix Engineer Neil Comber (Glass Animals, Florence & The Machine), who were drafted in to work their magic on the band’s new material.
This captivating track is yet another taste of what we can expect from Wyvern Lingo’s upcoming debut album, which they started recording in February 2017.
An album launch party is set to kick off a nationwide tour in February 2018, with UK/Euro dates coming down the tracks. The launch, which was originally planned for No.22 South Anne St. (tickets for which are still valid), has been moved to the larger Button Factory venue and is scheduled to take place on 23rd February, 2018, tickets from http://www.wyvernlingo.com
Wyvern Lingo is: Caoimhe Barry (vocals/drums), Karen Cowley (synth/ bass synth/vocals) and Saoirse Duane (guitar/vocals)
Snow II is out now on Rubyworks. Wyvern Lingo play the Button Factory on Friday 23 February. Tickets €19.50 including booking fee are on sale now. Follow Wvyern Lingo on Facebook to keep savvy … you can give us a follow as well, DervSwerve x