Handful #6: Tree Of Wolves

Tree Of Wolves BandThe ill-fated Handful section returns as once more I try and get artists to do my job for me, pretending that it’s a chance to get an insight into the music that influences them to go out and be creative. This latest batch of tracks comes from Gruff of Tree Of Wolves, a Welsh band that are rapidly gaining some much-deserved momentum as they provide listeners with thoughtful offerings filled with delightful harmonies and a sprinkling of pure aural gold. Make sure you check out their brilliant track ‘Shapes‘ here.

Here’s their handful;

Kate Bush – ‘Hounds of Love’

‘Hounds of Love’ has to be there, the album is just so perfect and this song is a glistening jewel on it. Within it’s 3.02 minutes you’re taken on a roller coaster of an emotional journey, it has innocence, longing, fear, lust, love aaaahhh and a killer melody. As you can see we’re big big Kate Bush fans.

Datblygu – ‘Y Teimlad’

I think a lot of people would know this song from the inspired cover of it by Supper Furry Animals on their ‘Mwng’ album. But it’s the original that we go back to, David R. Edwards who still fronts Datblygu to this day is such a gifted lyricist. We are so lucky to have collaborated with him on a song for our new EP. Datblygu are such a seminal band, a band that instilled the idea in us that you must follow the music and it is by being trough to your self that you can create uncompromising work like this song. It was such an important song for me as a teenager and to this day it still has this spell in it’s ramshackle beauty.

Nick Drake – ‘Northern Sky’

Northern Sky has to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written. It’s one where you need to be lying down with headphones in the dark and you can feel it enveloping you totally. John Cale’s piano is like warm summer rain on your skin.

I heard it for the first time in a second hand record shop in mid Wales when I was 16 and it changed everything over night for me. From it I found John Martin, Richard and Linda Thompson, Fairportconvention and fell in love with the rich sound of late 60s and early 70s British folk. That folk sensibility is very much part of our melodies especially coming from Charli.

Also lyrically he is my biggest influence. Nick Drake was unashamedly romantic in his world view even in his darkest songs. That sense of being forever part of nature he had in all his songs we really relate to, living as we do in such a rural yet picturesque place.

Fleetwood Mac – ‘Dreams’

We are all massive Fleetwood Mac fans and that 70s LA sound from Jackson Brown, Tom Waits to Rickie Lee Jones first few albums. I think Lindsey Buckingham and Steve Nicks harmonising has slowly seeped into our sound with Aled and Charli without us noticing somehow, it’s part of our musical DNA since childhood. Also how can any one not be moved by this song. When she hits the first line of the chorus ‘Thunder only happens when it’s raining, Players only love you when they’re playing’ it’s that perfect pop moment that elevates you to another place. It’s that hard thing to pull off, a sad song that makes you feel better.

Song by unsigned Artist:

Taylor & Marie – All I Need

We got to know Taylor & Marie and this track when we were recording with producer Owain Fleetwood Jenkins in rural Pembrokeshire. Taylor & Marie also worked with Owain on their first EP and I believe they are back in the studio working on a new one. I’m really exited for that to come out.

‘All I Need’ is a perfect country duet in the great tradition of Johnny Cash & June Carter and especially Graham Parsons and Emmylou Harris. The spirit of Graham and Emmylou and the ‘Cosmic American Music’ they created is strong on ‘All I Need’, especially in it’s blend of the two voices. This song, like the rest of our selection, transports you to another place and that is magic.

Find out more about Tree Of Wolves here.

Ciaran Steward

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