River Song begins with the shifting, edgy dynamics of early 90s grunge, before drifting into something infinitely prettier, with vocals and strings interweaving to haunting effect. Of Ded Moroz kicks off like a medieval madrigal or one of those plaintive laments that floated across English hippy festival fields in the early 70s. It is music with that simple pastoral innocence that stirs the listener's imagination, helped by a mysterious lyric and a beautiful, stripped-down arrangement.
We Will All Be Changed is another instantly appealing slice of folk-rock. It's the kind of song that could have been recorded at any time in the last half-century, but the declamatory chorus and easy guitar figure nod familiarly to both REM and Simon and Garfunkel.
Seryn make music with a traceable ancestry, but put plenty of verve and inventiveness into their compositions. Their song structures and arrangements are particularly impressive, showing a brilliant feel for pacing and dynamics.
Comparisons are inevitably misleading, but it might be apposite to mention The Decemberists, an innovative, multi-instrument folk-rock band, who happened to have a number one Billboard US album.
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