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Rivers Import


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Biography

Mariam Wallentin (Stockholm, Sweden)
Andreas Werliin (Stockholm, Sweden)

An almost unclassifiable mix of spiritual pop, primal blues and powerful drumming, Sweden’s Wildbirds & Peacedrums are singer Mariam Wallentin and drummer Andreas Werliin.

The pair met in 2004 at Gothenburg’s Academy Of Music And Drama, and married the following year. Frustrated by the ... Read more in Amazon's Wildbirds & Peacedrums Store

Visit Amazon's Wildbirds & Peacedrums Store
for 7 albums, 10 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Rivers + Heartcore + The Snake
Price For All Three: £20.74

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Aug 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: The Leaf Label
  • ASIN: B003TLXL4E
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,711 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Retina: Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood 5:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Retina: Tiny Holes In This World 5:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Retina: Under Land And Over Sea 3:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Retina: Fight For Me 4:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Retina: Peeling Off The Layers 4:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Iris: The Wave 4:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Iris: The Drop 3:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Iris: The Course 5:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Iris: The Lake 3:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Iris: The Well 3:45£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

The third album from Gothenburg’s connubial percussion and vocal duo Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin began life as two, 12” vinyl EPs released earlier this summer. Now spread over a brace of CDs – named Retina and Iris, respectively – Rivers is a fully-fledged album, echoing the EPs’ division between imposing, choir-enhanced songs (Retina) and haunting, steel drum-propelled essays (Iris), all of it themed around notions of reflection, light and water.

Recorded in a week in Reykjavik, this is music inevitably imbued with Iceland’s stark grandeur and glacial eeriness; even if Wallentin’s strident but wounded vocals retain a distinctive bluesy quality (albeit a blues closer to the funereal ceremonials of Diamanda Galás than Muddy Waters). Retina’s opener, Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood, sets the first disc’s tone; the wordless descants of the 12-piece Schola Cantorum Reykjavik Choir, arranged by cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir, interleaved with numinous poise behind Wallentin’s oceanic incantations (turtles feature heavily) and Werlinn’s precise, airy percussion.

Tiny Holes in This World repeats the formula, the choir adding further layers of monastic atmosphere which contrast with Wallentin’s worldly “I want to lie down with you” invocations. Fight for Me is the most clamorous thing here, with Werlinn’s pounding tom-toms to the fore, the choir verging on dissonance and Wallentin’s vocals at their most theatrical – it’s reminiscent of My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden in seriously spooked mode. Peeling Off the Layers’ martial snare drums and sermon-like lyric (“Water Will Keep running / Rivers will turn) is as strangely beguiling as it is inscrutable.

The second disc eschews the choir but welcomes Wallentin’s steel pan – an instrument more associated with bubbly Caribbean party music than desolate, Arctic Circle wistfulness. Using it to play minimal, repeating patterns, she leads pensive, introspective essays The Wave and The Drop, while Werlinn busies himself with miscellaneous orchestral percussion oddities. Unlikely tropical intimations pervade the otherwise brooding The Course, lending an ominous song about giving away “a big piece of my black heart” an incongruous jauntiness, while closer The Well blends further loquacious steel percussion with the unbridled attack of a full drum kit, to more characteristically stirring effect.

--David Sheppard

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Review

A study in contrasts, Rivers finds Wildbirds & Peacedrums exploring the conceptual possibilities of their approach. Once again, Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin limit themselves to voice and percussion, but this album -- which combines the limited-edition EPs Retina and Iris -- features some of the duo's most ambitious and fullest-sounding music. Wallentin and Werliin ventured to Iceland to record these songs, recording the expansive Retina in Guðríðarkirkja church with cellist and arranger Hildur Guðnadóttir and the Schola Cantorum Reykjavík Chamber Choir. Trading the fiery outbursts of Heartcore and The Snake for a deeper dive into Wildbirds & Peacedrums' wintry, introspective side, Retina feels at once sacred and avant-garde. The choir underscores Wallentin's expressive vocals, adding to her ethereality on "Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood," shadowing her like a battle cry on "Fight for Me" and echoing her joy on "Tiny Holes in This World." The dark, meditative feel of these songs recalls Björk's later work -- not a surprise, since the Schola Cantorum Reykjavík Chamber Choir worked with her on Medúlla. What is somewhat surprising is the amount of restraint the duo shows not just on Retina, but Iris as well. Recorded in Reykjavík's Greenhouse Studios, Iris focuses on Wallentin's voice and the watery tones of the steel pan. Though "The Wave" suggests that these songs will be more like the band's previous work, a calmer, softer Wildbirds & Peacedrums presents itself on songs like "The Drop" and "The Lake." While the duo's more explosive side is missed -- they don't really cut loose until Iris' final track "The Well" -- a more sophisticated and soulful aspect of their music surfaces on "The Course," where Wallentin sings, "I need a prayer to hold my course/To get a god to give me the force." That Werliin and Wallentin recorded all of these songs within a week is impressive enough, but the new directions they hint at for Wildbirds & Peacedrums are even more exciting. Rivers isn't as immediate as either Heartcore or The Snake, but fans should find it satisfying once they've had time to let it soak into their ears, brains and hearts. -- All Music Guide, August 2010

For all that's written about Sweden's drums-and-vocal duo W&P harnessing a primal urge to holler wildly and bang
stuff, the two EPs paired here suggest rather more ingenuity is involved in their craft than simply awakening their inner troglodyte. With assistance from wintry soundscaper Ben Frost and the eerie incantations of Bjork's preferred hired-hands, the Schola Cantorum Reykjavik Chamber
Choir, Mariam and Andreas tread gently this time.
Emerging from a foreboding ambient mist in the
'Retina' half, they ring with hope on the stunning 'Iris'
songs, steel pans flashing prismatic melodies around
Mariam's soulful wallop like the dawn light through icicles. A fine evolution. -- NME, August 21, 2010

Recorded in Iceland, two vinyl-only EPs Retina and Iris collected as an album.

On their previous albums (2008's Heartcore and 2009's The
Snake) husband-and-wife duo Mariam Wallentin and Andreas
Werliin specialised in song sketches that mixed soulful
vocals with earthy percussion. The results varied in quality, veering from performance-art moody to self-conscious vaudeville. Here, however, they have ditched the quirk to make their most emotionally satisfying work yet. The highlights are crammed into the sea-themed first half on collaborations with the Schola Cantorum Reykjavik Chamber Choir. Melding the bands' sparse instrumentation and
Wallentin's pared-down vocals with the choir's gothic Greek
chorus achieves a spellbinding effect. Dreamy, otherworldly,
with an atmosphere akin to Kate Bush's work with the Trio
Bulgarka on The Sensual World, Rivers is a record that will haunt you long after you've heard it. -- Mojo, September 2010

The third album from Gothenburg's connubial percussion and vocal duo Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin began life as two, 12" vinyl EPs released earlier this summer. Now spread over a brace of CDs - named Retina and Iris, respectively - Rivers is a fully-fledged album, echoing the EPs' division between imposing, choir-enhanced songs (Retina) and haunting, steel drum-propelled essays (Iris), all of it themed around notions of reflection, light and water.

Recorded in a week in Reykjavik, this is music inevitably imbued with Iceland's stark grandeur and glacial eeriness; even if Wallentin's strident but wounded vocals retain a distinctive bluesy quality (albeit a blues closer to the funereal ceremonials of Diamanda Galás than Muddy Waters). Retina's opener, Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood, sets the first disc's tone; the wordless descants of the 12-piece Schola Cantorum Reykjavik Choir, arranged by cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir, interleaved with numinous poise behind Wallentin's oceanic incantations (turtles feature heavily) and Werlinn's precise, airy percussion.

Tiny Holes in This World repeats the formula, the choir adding further layers of monastic atmosphere which contrast with Wallentin's worldly "I want to lie down with you" invocations. Fight for Me is the most clamorous thing here, with Werlinn's pounding tom-toms to the fore, the choir verging on dissonance and Wallentin's vocals at their most theatrical - it's reminiscent of My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden in seriously spooked mode. Peeling Off the Layers' martial snare drums and sermon-like lyric ("Water Will Keep running / Rivers will turn) is as strangely beguiling as it is inscrutable.

The second disc eschews the choir but welcomes Wallentin's steel pan - an instrument more associated with bubbly Caribbean party music than desolate, Arctic Circle wistfulness. Using it to play minimal, repeating patterns, she leads pensive, introspective essays The Wave and The Drop, while Werlinn busies himself with miscellaneous orchestral percussion oddities. Unlikely tropical intimations pervade the otherwise brooding The Course, lending an ominous song about giving away "a big piece of my black heart" an incongruous jauntiness, while closer The Well blends further loquacious steel percussion with the unbridled attack of a full drum kit, to more characteristically stirring effect. -- BBC Music, August 18, 2010

Two EPs comprise this Swedish husband-and-wide duo's third album, which builds on their voice/percussion thrust without diluting its raw, expressive force. Retina uses a choir to hypnotic effect; Irish meditates on love's transformative power to warm steel-pan ripples. These elemntal paeans to passion breathe the rarefied air of Kate Bush and Björk, but they forge a language of their own. -- The Independent, August 21, 2010

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gannon on 24 Sep 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wildbirds & Peacedrums are fast becoming prolific. One could possibly attribute this to their being man and wife, a partnership that clearly affords spending their ample time together productively, as well as perhaps the long dark winters of their native Gothenburg offering little diversion. Whatever, Rivers is the duo's third barely-there long-player in not much over three years. However, it started life as two separate EPs, which explains why the release comes split over two discs.

The ghostly Retina EP was recorded with the 12-piece Schola Cantorum Reykjavik Choir who have previously worked on Björk's Medúlla album. The other, Iris, uses Andreas Werliin's steel-pan percussion as a base, veering off into frosty sleigh rides courtesy of Mariam Wallentin's theatrical quiver.

Retina kicks off with Werliin's minimal percussion set against Wallentin's reverent vocal and the rousing Gregorian contributions of the choir that combine to form an epic, experimental folk. Swelling with Beach House-like glacial melody, "Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood" has its eerie creep added entirely by the choir, as does its less successful successor "Tiny Holes In This World".

The stark beauty of "Under Land And Over Sea" comes on like some sombre midnight mass, which, though stirring, is perhaps not an everyday listen. In comparison, "Fight For Me" is relatively lively and builds into a huge composition of menacing urgency thanks to its watery percussion, Werliin's tom toms and the choir's deepest voices.
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