Review: ‘Sunrise Mountain’ by Russell Swallow and the Wolf

June 27, 2012 9:58 am

Album cover art

Russell Swallow and the Wolf released their debut album, ‘Sunrise Mountain’ on 26 June 2012. The trio have developed and honed their dreamy acoustic sound for the six-track album, which is out now.

Russell Swallow is joined by The Wolf, AKA Jess Kennedy (piano, organ, vocals) and Alison Jones (violin), and it’s fair to say that the band’s sound has moved on significantly since they performed at The Stow Festival last year. These songs came together during a period of time spent on long walks across Walthamstow Marshes in 2011, after Swallow left work to become a full-time musician. He describes this as a very cathartic process, and it’s clear from the record that Russell Swallow is a man with stories he wants to tell.

Photo of Russell Swallow and the Wolf

Russell Swallow and the Wolf: (l-r) Russell Swallow, Alison Jones, Jess Kennedy

The album itself, produced by Gavin Hammond, is a slice of luscious acoustic pop. Opener ‘Christmas Eve’ uses the contrast between Kennedy’s backing vocals and Swallow’s voice well, as does ‘Paper Aeroplanes’, my personal highlight of the album (you can listen to this track below). The musical arrangements elevate what could otherwise be fairly straightforward singer/songwriter pop into something more interesting. The track ‘Sunrise Mountain’ is a case in point – it starts off perfectly pleasantly but really comes to life in the second half of the song, where the violin and backing vocals kick in.

You can download ‘Sunrise Mountain’ from the band’s Bandcamp page. You can also check out their website for videos and links to information about tour dates and the like.

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