# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Woven Hand - Mosaic

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 13 / 8 / 2006

Woven Hand - Mosaic
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Surprisingly accessible second album from Woven Hand, the new project of the notoriously intense David Eugene Edwards, the one-time frontman with 16 Horsepower

David Eugene Edwards, once the frontman for 16 Horsepower, follows up the last Woven Hand album, ‘Consider The Birds’ with another collection of intense, genre defying music. Like the music Edwards made with 16 Horsepower, Woven Hand albums are never an easy ride. Without exception with any album bearing the name of one of those bands, time must be allowed for the twisted beauty of Edwards’s musical vision to inhabit those dark corners of your soul. Once there, of course, those mournful songs settle into those 3am periods, the darkness and stillness of the night being the perfect surroundings to fully appreciate Edwards’s spooky musical sermons. But during the hottest summer for years those dark, desperate early mornings were thin on the ground which found me playing ‘Mosaic’ for the first time during a car trip on a hot summer’s day. Not the usual surroundings for getting the most out of these intense recordings. Now put it down to the sun if you will but this collection immediately struck me as Edwards’s most accessible set of songs to date. None of the intensity and passion has disappeared from Edwards’ voice but the first thing you notice is that his vocals are particularly strong. It has been mentioned in the past that Edwards' singing is an acquired taste, and, while that still holds true to a certain extent, he does sing in the true sense of the word on this album , more so than he has done before. Gone for the most part is the Nick Cave comparison. Edwards sings like Edwards on this album. The songs also have a more conventional structure to them. While still some way off having the postman whistle them while delivering your mail, some of these songs take no time at all to register, unlike previous albums where time was needed to fully appreciate the songs. Just now the instrumental ‘Bible And Bird’ is playing; the brushed drums and warm organ evoking a summer's day when all is well with the world, not something one would usually associate with the work of Edwards. It’s a little gem, in fact, and certainly a long way from some of Edwards’ previous work which you had to grow into to appreciate. The album starts with a short instrumental, ‘Breathing Bull’, on which Edwards plays all the instruments. It is a typical Woven Hand piece, atmospheric and recalling the soundscapes of the last album before the second song, ‘Winter Shaker’, starts. The first thing one notices is that there’s a Gaelic flavour to the instrumentation in this song which adds some texture to the usual Woven Hand sound. It works well and is taken further by the next track, ‘Swedish Purse’, which was based on a medieval melody and is the first true indication that Edwards has broken new ground with this album and produced songs which the listener can appreciate immediately and at any point in time. It is something of a shock to begin with, but before any shouts of ‘selling out’ can be fired the following song, ‘Twig’, is back into familiar Edwards territory but again, the melody of the song is much more accessible than that we have come to expect from Edwards. Lyrically, of course, Edwards is still on his own; some of the lyrics to ‘Twig’ are apparently from ‘Eternal Creator Of The World’ written by St. Ambrose (340-397 AD). Lyrically Edwards still inhabits the same themes (namely religion) but musically he really has moved on. The banjo which opens ‘Whistling Girl’ again makes the song more immediately appealing, while his lyrics still deal with the darker side of life the music is now more uplifting than what Edwards used to cloak his lyrics in. While fans of Edwards’ previous work will find much to enjoy here this is the best album for any newcomers to begin with. It feels that Edwards has made giant steps with this album. Keeping one foot firmly in his musical past he has also produced his most accessible work to date which should find him many more admirers. Not only coming up with the best album of his career to date, Edwards has also made one of the best albums of the year so far.

Track Listing:-
1 Breathing Bull
2 Winter Shaker
3 Swedish Purse
4 Twig
5 Whistling Girl
6 Elktooth
7 Bible And Bird
8 Dirty Blue
9 Slota Prow
10 Full Armour
11 Truly Golden
12 Deerskin Doll
13 Little Raven

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