With Matt Berry’s ‘Witchazel’ album declared ‘multi-instrumental pysch-folk genius’ by The Times and ‘coming from a place of real eccentricity and imagination’ by MOJO his follow up ‘Kill the Wolf’ is likely to be met with high-expectations and the English psych-folk themes are all in there.
The album opens with a re-recorded ‘Gather Up’ which would sit very comfortably within the Wickerman sountrack, English psych-folk pastoral pagan choruses about gathering herbs that build with ritual like intensity with not a human sacrifice in sight. I couldn’t shake off the ghost of Bowie on ‘Fallen Angel’, not a bad thing, whilst the mid-point ‘Solstice’ lets the prog-synth ride which slips along nicely for just over nine minutes “musically tracking the distance from the shortest to the longest day”. The more acoustic numbers made a bigger impact but then that’s maybe a more taste bias on my part. Berry’s influences get flexed throughout which include those of Mike Oldfield: “I remember looking at the back of ‘Tubular Bells and all the instruments and thinking, fuck, that’s what I need to do, I can actually do all this myself”. The album feels like a mid-summer solstice film soundtrack an idea that is heightened by the song titles: Bonfire, Village Dance, and a lovely finale Farewell Summer Sun based on his previous outputs that shouldn’t really come as a surprise.
Kill the Wolf is released on Acid Jazz 17th June 2013