I can scarcely believe it’s been almost two years since I reviewed Owls of the Swamp’s stellar album Go With River. I hadn’t realized how much I missed his gentle folky tunes until I heard the man his mum calls Pete Uhlenbruch is back!
I don’t just mean with a new single either, although “The Hypnotist” is gorgeous. What an apt name for a song that serves as a kind of modern lullaby. It’s made even sweeter with heavenly guest vocals from Marketa Irglova, who folk fans will know from her time working with Glenn Hansard on The Swell Season.
No, I mean Owls of the Swamp is planning to be back on home soil by the end of the month. “Owls” spends most of his time in Europe, but he’ll return to Australia for a quick tour to celebrate the single release. Here are all the places folks in the major capitals can see him play!
30 May 2013 – The Newsagency, Sydney
31 May 2013 – The Hideaway, Brisbane
2 June 2013 – The Workers Club, Melbourne (afternoon show)
Image used with permission from Maths and Magic
Ordinarily when I set about reviewing an album I listen to it with a notepad beside me. I take copious notes about my thoughts as the music washes over me, and then I somehow piece them all together to create my review. But not this time. As I listened to Go With River, the brand new album from Owls of the Swamp, my notepad lay untouched.
Perhaps that’s going to make reviewing the album a bit harder, but I know why it happened. This is a CD that demands to be listened to. Its music was too beautiful for me to be distracted by analysis and dissection. I was just too busy enjoying it.
I shouldn’t be surprised. I was bowled over by the song “So Far Away” on its release, and I’m just as impressed by this recording. It’s more of that organic, honest music driven by gorgeous lyrics, acoustic guitars and a few well-placed strings. “Skywaters” is my current favorite tune; Aluka’s ethereal voice is the ideal foil for Owls sf the Swamp’s own, and the combination is bittersweet and incredibly moving. But this isn’t an album of obvious singles. Its tunes are much subtler, gently woven together to create an album of real beauty.
Sadly that means Go With River will be overlooked by many people. They won’t hear the songs on the radio or see Owls of the Swamp featured in their favorite magazines, and so they’ll never come across it. But I implore you to seek it out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Image source: Owls of the Swamp Bandcamp page
Every now and then I hear a musician, and I wonder why on earth I’ve never heard of them before. Melbourne’s Owls of the Swamp, or Pete Uhlenbruch as his mum calls him, is one of those special artists.
He’s just completed his fifth European tour, and he’s preparing to release his second album Go With River. The album includes the gorgeous single “So Far Away,” which has some of the most stunning acoustic guitar and cello work I’ve heard in some time, and exquisite backing vocals from Icelandic songbird Myrra Ros. You can download the track now exclusively through Triple J Unearthed. Do it; you won’t be disappointed.
And if you like what you hear get out and support Owls of the Swamp as he launches “So Far Away” at Melbourne’s Bar 303 on 18 March. The $10 tickets (available at the door) are a bit of a bargain as they include a free limited edition copy of the single, complete with B-side!
Image source: Lauren Bamford/Owls of the Swamp website