Redwood - 'Lay Your Love Down' EP Review
1. In Your Arms
Hertfordshire band Redwood are set to release their new EP “Lay Your Love Down” in October, following on the heels of 2016’s debut EP “Blood Moon” and last years single “Night Garden/Aster”. Redwood are Alex Birchall (vocals/guitar), Jamie Richards (guitar/vocals), Conor Bond (bass/vocals), Toby Fassioms (drums) and Edan Brown (guitar) and the EP features current single “Mother”, along with new songs “In Your Arms”, “Denaline”, “Magnolia” and “Yellowstone”.
Opening track “In Your Arms” lays the template for the rest of the EP, with James, Conor, Toby and Edan providing a perfect backdrop to Alex’s great vocals which manage to be both forceful and, in places, palpably heartfelt and delicate. Current single “Mother” is a great Rock song and really highlights the effectiveness of good backing vocals – Jamie and Conor doing a cracking job and really enhance Alex’s vocals. This song takes me back to the early 90’s – it reminds me of bands like The Dylans who could mix sumptuous vocals with brilliantly complex and melodic tunes.
“Denaline” is all about the guitars and drums – awesome guitars with Toby’s drums powerful and strong falling back to lovely little infills in places…it’s a ‘noisy’ track to listen to in the car but put the headphones on and it comes to life. If “Denaline” is all about the guitars and drums, then “Magnolia” is all about the vocals…for around 3:27 it’s Alex’s voice sounding plaintive and soulful, mixing beautifully with Jamie and Conor’s backing over a lush track – it’s stunning. The remainder of the song is back over to the music and it’s then you can really appreciate the skill and quality of the playing – what was just a simple, melodic tune reveals itself to be intricate and almost hypnotic.
“Yellowstone” is, for me, the best saved until last…opening with a kind of static and simple guitar accompanying Alex’s voice, adding in kind of Beach Boys backing vocals then exploding into glory; guitars powering each chord, drums beating a call…just urging you to turn up the volume and bask. It’s a simple song, with the same refrain repeated but it’s different and just works for me.
It’s one of those EPs which doesn’t immediately grab you, but encourages and rewards repeated listening. October is a long time to wait until the full EP is released, but the wait will be worth it.
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Review - Chris Watson