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The first thing that strikes you about the second album by Wildwood Kin, self-titled because it captures the band’s artistic vision so completely, is just how natural it sounds. The voices of three young women harmonise effortlessly, there are shades of Simon & Garfunkel, Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac and the churchy cadences of the first Fleet Foxes album in the beautifully gentle folk rock melodies, and lyrics address profound themes like love, loss and spirituality in an unforced fashion. But above all, there is a spirit to the record that is as wild and free as the West Country moors Emillie Key, her younger sister Beth, and their cousin Meghann Loney grew up on.
Wildwood Kin’s collaborative approach means one of the three will have the bare bones of a song, she will bring it to the other two, and they will work up the instrumental and harmony arrangements together. Unlike in most bands there is no leader or principal songwriter, which is why the process takes so long. “Perhaps because we’re family we don’t want to bulldoze each other,” says Meg. “There is a lot of refining before the song gets to a place that everyone is happy with."
“We aren’t similar at all… but in a way we are,” Emillie concludes. “We’re family, we bicker, but we share the same sense of humour and that’s our saving grace. And we love each other. Whatever happens, nobody will walk away and never see the others again.”
That connection, acceptance and, ultimately, love is captured on the beautifully reflective second album by Wildwood Kin. It is a tonic for our times.