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Alexander Wildwood - EP Review: South of No North

19 Dec 2014 // A review by Peter-James Dries

South of No North; the name of hands-down, Bukowski's best collection of acerbic, misogynist short-stories, and also the debut EP from Alexander Wildwood. Any Bukowski worship beyond the title are thankfully absent or obscure enough not to bring the music down to the level of that drunken, albeit brilliant, curmudgeon.  

South of No North, unlike its namesake, is bright and catchy, full of optimistic refrains, positive self-reflection, and what sounds like a genuine love of life. Wildwood is no doubt a skilful multi-instrumentalist who knows how to craft hooky pop-songs with that indie sound.

If you have seen the artistic and unusual video for opening track, Bad Blood, or heard the first single, Summer Skin, on the radio and wanted to hear more, I'm sorry to tell you this isn't that more.

While the short nature of EPs makes them the perfect medium when you're pressed for time, or if you want to get a feel for what a band is like, this shortness can become a problem if you really enjoyed the music and wanted to hear more, which is the case with South of No North. This isn't that more, this is a cruel tease, only the smallest of tastes.

Luckily, looking at Alexander Wildwood's Musicbed page (https://www.musicbed.com/artists/alexander-wildwood/12405) and knowing that the five songs chosen for this EP came from a collection of thirty, there is still a lot of Wildwood material out there that could potentially form another EP or two, or hopefully, a full length album. 

If the South of No North EP is a test of the market for more Alexander Wildwood, let it show that there is room for a lot more Wildwood in the mainstream.

You can stream South of No North from Alexander Wildwood's Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/alexanderwildwood/sets/south-of-no-north) or purchase it from iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/nz/album/south-of-no-north-ep/id940155260).


About Alexander Wildwood

Alexander Wildwood was raised on the seas, sailing the world on a yacht as a boy to a soundtrack of Neil Young and The Beach Boys. And it is by the sea that his music was born. In a home studio only moments from the beach on New Zealand’s picturesque East Coast, the songwriter and producer (PleasePlease, Neesh) is creating a new noise inspired by his surroundings. US blog All Things Go says Wildwood's debut release is “the start of something special” and “recalls current greats like Bombay Bicycle Club and The Neighbourhood”.

His music's already making waves having supported Australia's Boy & Bear on their New Zealand tour. The songs showcase Wildwood’s musical and poetic maturity, channelling the prose of literary pioneers Hemingway, Salinger and Bukowski. The lyrics – like journal entries laid bare – are delivered over genre-defying soundscapes of layered guitars and vocals. The multi-instrumentalist produces and records his own music, using studio time to experiment, innovate and reflect. This freedom allows songs to evolve, and creativity to flow naturally – and it shows. The result is an organic hybrid of indie-rock/folk with a polished pop sensibility. Wildwood’s first offering, mixed by Nic Manders and mastered by Andy Vandette (David Bowie, The Beastie Boys, Metric) in New York, is a journey through the realities and existential pains of life. Each song is a story that surges and recedes like the tide. “I’m always writing,” Wildwood says. “People often think I’m in a day dream away from the world, but in my mind I can hear this song that exists in potential and I’m trying to write it.”

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Alexander Wildwood


South Of No North
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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