7 Jul 2022
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Edge Of The Woods - EP Review: Lookin' For Somethin'

05 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

This six-track EP from West Coast trio Edge of The Woods shows there is still plenty of room in this musical world for well thought out and delivered music with real soul and heart. They bring together folk, alt-blues. Americana and roots in a way that feels so incredibly real and honest. This is deep and rich, powerful yet driven only by acoustic guitar, drums and warm bass (plus a few guests) with everything built on the gravelly baritone of singer Wes James. It is Wes who also provides the guitar, and his partners in crime are Matthew Mahood (bass) and Jarrod Hooper (drums), and I am sure that Matthew cannot be as young as he looks in the cover photo.

The six songs are incredibly diverse, all coming at us from different directions, with Frown Upside Down undoubtedly one of the highlights. This is swamp blues with a real groove and swing, and the only way describe it is as being downright filthy in its mood and tempo. This is where Wes pours emotion into a gravelly performance where his voice feels incredibly broad, and in many ways, this reminds me of classic Dr. John. But contrast that to Eruera, and it is difficult to realise it is from the same band. Sung in Te Reo, this is a tribute to Wes’ friend, Eruera Tuhura Mita, who passed away in 2016 aged just 43. They met at the University of Waikato in 2016, where Eruera would often lead study groups in karakia and whaikorero. This is far more reflective, more pastoral, and thoughtful, leading us in a solemn tribute, saying how much he mourns his friend, who he sees as a chieftain. Matthew and Jarrod stay much more in the background, providing just the right amount of support to ensure that the focus is very much on the vocals. The picked guitar solo on this song is just right, totally in the moment.

There is a delicacy within this EP, yet also a hidden core, and this resonates with the listener who understands this is reality, real music being performed by real musicians with no studio trickery. I can imagine that in concert they are quite a bit rawer, as there is a feeling of the emotion ready to burst through which is probably more palpable when in front of an audience. There is a strong understanding between the guys, and no need to play six notes when just one will do, with everyone prepared to sit back at the right time and dive in at others. This is an incredibly strong debut EP, and I for one am going to be keeping an eye out for more from these in the future.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Edge Of The Woods

Through a combination of folk, alt-blues and roots, Edge Of The Woods weave stories about love, loss and life to create soul-stirring music. Formed on the rugged west coast, below Maunga Taranaki, the shifting landscapes are reflected in their music as they blend genres and grooves to deliver touching ballads, swampy blues, untamed folk, and tellurian roots. Engaging with live audiences is where Edge Of The Woods thrive and deliver their organic sound.

As a trio, the band creates surprising and diverse arrangements combining guitar, bass and drums. Wes James leads the songs on acoustic guitar along with a deep baritone voice that ranges from gravelly rumbles to contemplative crooning. Jarrod Hooper brings a wealth of experience and precision on the drum kit with teasingly tight beats and grooves. Being the youngest member, Matthew Mahood adds an energetic playfulness on the bass guitar to complement the trio.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Edge Of The Woods

Releases

Lookin' For Somethin'
Year: 2020
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Sonic Delusion - Single/Video Review: Fingertips
06 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to come across the incredible album When Turkeys Fly by Turkey The Bird which meant I was determined to see them when they came to Auckland and had an amazing evening. One member of that trio is André Manella, who has also been touring as Sonic Delusion, and over the last eight years he has played more than 800 shows and released five albums.
Read More...
Gig Review: T-Bone @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 03/07/2022
03 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Down to Tuning Fork for an early start with doors opening at 5:30 and the whole thing expected to be over by 9:30! I was so glad that Al from Hoop sent me the running times in the morning otherwise I would have missed their set altogether as well as possibly missing the beginning of T-Bone!
Read More...
EP Review: Ange.Mac + Shaun Garea
03 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
What we have here is the debut collaboration from Ange.Mac and Shaun Garea.
Read More...
Gig Review: Pale Flag @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 01/07/2022
02 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Tonight, I was supposed to be at The Tuning Fork for Ekko Park and Jordan Luck but the dreaded Covid had cast its spell and the gig was cancelled earlier in the week. I did a quick check to see what was on at Dead Witch and discovered there was a four-band bill and knowing three of them I could see it was going to be a good night so decided to head that way.
Read More...
Ayla Wesley - Single Review: Say To Me
30 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Normally, when I am reviewing singles for MNZ the turnaround time we work to is 7 days and it is not unusual for me to work on far tighter deadlines than that, but Ayla was incredibly well organised with the promotion for her second single, and I have been playing this for the last 3 weeks at least. In that time it has become a real earworm, and I have even found myself singing it as I walk around (not a pleasant experience for anyone in the vicinity, let me assure you).
Read More...
Ed Waaka - Single Review: E Kura
30 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
It did not take long for me to fall in love with this song, probably the first 30 seconds I guess, as there is something about it which grabs hold the listener, puts them in a safe place, and lets the singer bare their soul. Soul, yes, this is full of it in a musical sense as well as an emotional one, and when I discovered he was singing about the upcoming birth of his first daughter, whether he would be a good father, and the need to reconnect to his Maori heritage it made a great deal of sense.
Read More...
Danica Bryant - Single Review: Crush
30 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the lead single from Danica Bryant’s forthcoming EP, Ego Death, and if this is fully representative, then that is something to look out for. For a young artist she has already had considerable success, mentoring with Bic Runga while also gaining a support slot for Elton John on his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour, and while she has already tasted success on the NZ Hot Singles Chart, I am sure this is going to head the same way.
Read More...
Tia Ward - EP Review: Me and Me Too
30 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This is the debut EP from Hawkes Bay singer Tia Ward, following on from two singles which were released ahead of time, Under Wraps and Paint Dry, both of which are included here. The first thing which the listener notices are her vocals, which are both understated yet firmly to the fore.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • GLIMPSE OF US
    Joji
  • RUNNING UP THAT HILL (A DEAL WITH GOD)
    Kate Bush
  • AS IT WAS
    Harry Styles
  • GO (GODDARD. REMIX)
    Cat Burns
  • VEGAS
    Doja Cat
  • JIMMY COOKS
    Drake feat. 21 Savage
  • BIG CITY LIFE
    Luude And Mattafix
  • I AIN'T WORRIED
    OneRepublic
  • FIRST CLASS
    Jack Harlow
  • ABOUT DAMN TIME
    Lizzo
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem