I have a love-hate relationship with streaming sites but this is how sisters Beth and Emillie Key and their cousin Meghann Loney first came to me. As the music I was playing finished, the site decided to find similar sounds and it was the thumping opening of ‘Run’ that struck a cord, and they’ve been with me ever since….now, fast forward to the self-titled album number two.
Opening with the haunting and delicate ‘Never Alone’ and knowing that it was written about the isolation that Meghann’s brother felt that sadly lead to suicide, it is quite a hard one to grasp, especially personally knowing those taking/contemplating the same path recently. But the way this trio carry the lyrics, “when you’re heart is grieving, air is hard to breathe in, let me show you a place where you’re never alone” … well, when it hits the heart and give a true meaning to the saying, music is power and music is medicine.
Thankfully, ‘Time Has Come’ follows, otherwise this would be one soaking wet review. The second track lifts you back up and I am just imagining Loney’s drumming at a live show. To hear Wildwood Kin in the comfort of your own surroundings is one thing but translate that to a live show. That crowd had better be going wild if this is on the set list, because if I wasn’t writing this I think I might just be thumping my chest! Then we get to the poppier feel of ‘Beauty In Your Brokenness’. I remember reading that the trio were inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where you take broken pottery and mend it with a gold or silver lacquer which details the broken pieces coming back together into a new beautiful art form.
We could basically sum up this stunning sophomore album in the first three songs, but once you get the Wildwood Kin bug, it becomes a drug and you just want to break and mend with their lush harmonies and beautiful arrangement of the music that wraps around the lyrics. I was ready to go into big impressive words but lets not complicate something that easily sinks into the bones of your body. Take the 2minute 44secs of ‘Headed For The Water’ and that extra ‘wailing’ harmony on top of the already beautiful harmonies that carry you into the deep plucking of strings. That’s another stand out moment but you do need to listen for it!
There’s the lovely pop-folk moments too with a slight hint of country in ‘Wake Up Sleeper’, whilst the piano really comes alive at the ending of ‘Signals’ to bring a little smile. They also have heavier alt-folk moments with tracks such as ‘The Crown’.
This album is one where you can press play and listen from start to finish, getting carried away in its beauty. But it is also one where you want to let your soul have a conversation with every word that Beth, Emillie and Meghann are singing. It’s an album that makes you want to let it all out and cry and scream the pain away but then just curl up in comfort and let your heart smile. It’s an album that is so raw and real that if you’re reading this you’re thinking, “she didn’t really think about this review and just wrote it,” but let me tell you sometimes you just need to feel and not think and let your emotions just run with whatever is going on around you and that to me is a true testament of music. Wildwood Kin have really found a beauty in the brokenness to ‘set your soul into motion,’ with this album.