[sic] Magazine

The Whiskey Priest – Wave And Cloud

A few weeks back we featured The Whiskey Priest in our first glances section. His label, Rainboot, believe that they have something special on their hands with Seth Woods . Wave And Cloud may sound like the title of a shoegazer or electronica release. Yet, as Woods own choice of moniker suggests, this music is steeped in Americana. Most songs here are built around a busky acoustic guitar. Percussion, where it exists, is of the -rat tat tat variety. But all of this is superfluous information. All you need to know is that Seth Woods has had his fair share of heartbreak and crucially, he knows how it sounds.

You will too when you listen to Wave And Cloud. Opening track ‘A Seafarers Lament’ is incredible, building for a full ten minutes towards its tear-drenched climax. This is where the Bon Iver comparisons rear their head. And it’s fair to an extent, ‘Seafarers…’ could easily follow on from a ‘Stacks’ but the rest of this record is more varied. I don’t say the Bon Iverisms begin and end with Seafarers. Rather that the album is a bit more three dimensional. The clumsy reviewer in me might point to Josh Pearson , Red House Painters , Seasick Steve and all manner of alt-country names as reference points for our vice-ridden Minister. I could go further. ‘Winter Secret Army Blood’ weirdly brings The Smashing Pumpkins to mind, with Seth crooning “Bleed into me” not unlike Billy Corgan. (He even sings “tonight tonight” at one point). ‘All The Way Back’ is like a Travelling Wilburys song.

Some songs here overstay their welcome, the title track being one such. Others feel like ideas which didn’t really go anywhere. Yet for the most part, Wave And Cloud is a really nice surprise. I don’t think it’ll have the same word of mouth phenomenon as Mr Vernon’s opus, but for those who think Emma seems like forever ago, you could do worse than audition this release.