The Wilderness Yet: What Holds The World Together

This is a review of a fairly recent but not brand new album; this was released in July, 2022

This is my first contact with The Wilderness Yet and I was immediately taken with the band’s name and the beautiful album cover that features a fox, my spirit animal (no cultural appropriation here, ancient Finns were a forest people who had deep connections with animals of the wild).

The Irish-English trio has come up with an album, their third full-length release, that I found thoroughly enjoyable and, at some points, quite affecting. The songs feature, if I have understood correctly, both original and borrowed material, but it would be hard to tell the difference, so coherent is the whole.

In my ears, their style is between traditional and contemporary folk music, with a gentle overall approach and lyrics that reflect themes of nature and culture very nicely. The playing is excellent and so are the vocals. I particularly appreciate the a cappella harmony pieces Old Brock, The Banks of the Bann and the very commendable version of the originally Swedish Emigrantvisa, “Emigrant song”, about rural Swedes who moved to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

There are other notable songs as well, and I would pick The Carol of the Flood with its nicely flowing pulse and catchy chorus, Of All The Gods with its marvelous lyrics, and the joyful instrumental Midnight Accountant set that brings a bit more energy to the proceedings.

I would not necessarily choose What Holds The World Together in my “the year’s best” albums since it does not connect to my deeper instincts, but it is matter of taste more than the quality of the music. It is a fine outing that I can warmly recommend to connoiseurs of British folk music and I do look forward to their further releases.

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