Album Reviews

Swaying Wires

I Left a House Burning

Artist:     Swaying Wires

Album:     I Left a House Burning

Label:     Battle Worldwide

Release Date:     01/15/2016


Finland four-piece, Swaying Wires, gently rouses sentiments of love, loss and sadness with soothing yet melancholic melodies accompanied by haunted, gossamer vocals. Like a lone wintry day on the rain-spattered seashore, their songs fade like cloudy skies into the gray sea, distinguished only by the soft movement of white-capped waves. The Nordic Americana sounds of I Left A House Burning are beautifully smooth and sweet amidst tales of sorrow. The disc is drenched in a perfectly constructed, syrupy sadness.

“Nowhere” incorporates Americana guitar and storytelling under a blanket of nostalgia. Tina Karkinen sings of a weary heart and a sorrowful regret. Lyrics solemnly convey a loss not only of love but communication. “Living in a silent movie… what would I say anyway?”

“Tuesday’s Bells” arrives in melded guitar strums, metallic percussion and silky yet emotional vocals, while “Surrender” has a definitively Western sound with a notable harmonica line. Imagery includes November daylight and a warm and gentle haze. Songwriter Karkinen is delicate in conveying sadness, letting it arrive like a winter day as the nostalgic summer slowly melts away. “I just hold my hands up higher,” repeats Karkinen toward the end of the track, as she lets go.

“Dreams” stands out with staccato keys and drums in unison, with Karkinen’s voice echoing overhead. “The waves were high/ they took me under/ you know/ close the windows/ rain is coming/should I stay here under cover?” “Suddenly” begins much the same way, before letting hazy guitar strings and vocal harmonies provide a chorus above broken percussion: “Suddenly, the waves surround me.”

“Fear” drives with dangerous tension, while “Hope” first has to deal with failure, suffering and rejection before it can emerge from the gloomy mist. The piano keys reminisce in “Ways to Remember,” before the “New Year” breaks through the sonic echo of the past, with hopeful organ runs and rejuvenated vocals.

– Kalyn Oyer

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