You know those moments to be truly special when all becomes otherworldly. As the layers developed we found ourselves, by the end of the evening, blanketed by an ethereal sonic wall. London based three-piece, Hilang Child, gave us beautiful insulation as support, with echoed dreamy vocals reaching the far crevices of the room. Whilst the electronic accompaniment of the synths and bass guitar enhanced Ed’s expansive vocals that were slight reminiscent of Amber Run.
As the crowds gathered, we thought ourselves prepared for headliners Mt Wolf, but we perhaps didn’t quite expect to be overwhelmed by the enchanting voice of frontman, Bassi. A London based trio of four years, recently undergone a change vocally, though I never knew of them then, having listened to their Soundcloud I feel this new arrangement has no doubt accentuated their sound, and is vocally pleasing to fans of Bon Iver.
It has been a while since I’ve seen two acts create such an expansive, close and polished sequence live. What a way to commence Secret Sessions 2016. The night felt like a careful curation of two bands that complemented each other beautifully as a simultaneous set.
Mt. Wolf gave us a set-list that provided an almost filmic scape where each track married one another effortlessly, a backdrop of which distanced us and ultimately gave us the opportunity to escape to our own world. It was that otherworldliness created through delicate falsetto vocals that was majestic accompaniment to the part electronic part acoustic style.
There was such a wonderful connection within the band, you could see how each of them spoke to one another through their instruments. I was taken on a reflective journey, a thought provoking experience. Though what was communicated lyrically didn’t seem to control my trail of thoughts, it was the movements of the ambience that could take you away to a world of your own, someplace remote. I could hear the lapping of the not so distant waves, and feel the coarseness of the high-grass and heather around me.
Even when the noise of the crowds started up I found myself still far away, distanced and transported elsewhere to this place altogether calming, mediative, and all the while poignant. I think by the end of the night we all felt moved. If ever you needed music therapy for the mind, this is the band to provide you with such serenity. These would be a treasure to have in session for Lauren Laverne’s BBC Radio 6 Music show, not least be shared with us listeners for an otherworldly ‘headphones moment’.
(Mt.Wolf, Secret Sessions 19/01/16)
Written by Rachael Crabtree for Secret Sessions