Wounded Knee are psychedelic Celtic voice-artisan Drew Wright – they played the other night at Sneaky Pete’s in support of Lichens. Since I missed part of his set, I figured I needed to give him a review all to himself.
Wounded Knee’s EP, Shimmering New Vistas, is out now (and has been since 2009) – and has received positive reviews to date. The Skinny said it was “Whether looping and harmonising single lines to the point where minimalist repetition becomes a cacophony, or creating lush, menacing soundscapes akin to Godspeed!’s cinematic oeuvre, Wounded Knee is evocative, at times witty, and, on occasion, haunting.”
It’s bizarre, but undoubtably mesmerising. Wounded Knee’s only instrument is his voice; but by looping and layering it, he transforms his vocals into something much more. Sure, the word “a capella” might conjure images of Ted from Scrubs’ band – but don’t fall back on the stereotype. Wright’s voice is evocative and emotive, his lyrics winding and compelling (touching on Gaelic folk, bowling and lost love). His mix of experimental celtic folk is reminiscent of some ancient, dream-song from ages past. Live, he was modest and unassuming – until he started singing, at which point his voice transformed, growing into a prehistorical primal dirge. His songs are not tracks, they’re chants, mantras, fungal organic growths that build up with time, rooting themselves deep into your musical conscience.It’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely worth a listen.