About 14 years ago Wovenhand showed it’s first sign of life with their self-titled debut album. David Eugene Edwards’ main band 16 Horsepower was still active at that time, but their three members were slowly drifting apart. Yet in the same year they still managed to release „Folklore“ – a blistering album and their studio swansong. Long since has the former solo-project stepped out of 16 Horsepower’s long shadow.
Over the last two decades, Edwards’ prolific work in both bands has influenced and inspired a generation of musicians. His music has always had an unparalleled intensity. His rich, billowing and emotive voice is always the driving force of his music, but it’s catapulted by his spellbinding ability to transform instruments that many people might consider mundane relics – be it banjo, accordion, lesser-known folk instruments from around the world, or even an electric guitar – into devices of dark fury and poignant beauty.Wovenhand cannot be described in traditional terms. Their sound is a sweeping tapestry of gothic Americana, neo-folk, punk, alternative country and psych. Two years have passed since the release to the critically acclaimed “Refractory Obdurate”, 11 new songs were recorded. Sounds that despite their power and heavyness have lost nothing of its magic and hypnotics. From the apocalyptic revivification of antique Americana of 16 Horsepower in the 90s to the threadbare balladry of Wovenhand’s early releases, Edwards’ music has maintained its celestial heaviness as it evolved. But now in its current incarnation, Wovenhand is a band that fully expands that power with exacting and inventive skill. It’s a sound so distinctive and compellingly crushing that even the heaviest of metal bands can’t match.Those who thought there could be no progression after “Refractory Obdurate” will be convinced otherwise…
„Star Treatment“kicks off full tilt with the anthemic charge of “Come Brave” – the song’s galloping four-on-the-floor drums driving churning swells of droning, chiming guitars and organ as Edwards’ soaring voice compels us to rise and join the fray. “The Hired Hand” takes a more Western bent with swaggering guitars awash in reverb and a throbbing bass line before the chorus erupts with massive open guitar chords. Further, “Crystal Palace” sounds like Eastern European folk driven through a massive wall of amplifiers while a full gospel choir sings just beneath the gurgling surface of guitars. “Crook and Flail” sounds exotic in its twanging acoustic instruments and tabla/dumbec drum pattern. Elsewhere, “Golden Blossom” is a lush and beautifully unabashed love song, strummed out in a simple, catchy melody that builds to crescendo with the chorus refrain, “only you, my love and your light.” Throughout, Wovenhand deftly merge the outer reaches of rock and world folk sounds with increasing urgency and force.
While Wovenhand ought to be a familiar name to anyone interested in forward-thinking music, the album title„Star Treatment“isn’t a reference to our celebrity culture obsession. Rather, it’s a clever reference to concepts of astrolatry, or humanity’s enduring interest in the stars of the night sky: “It’s ethereal in its concept,” Edwards explains. “There are many layers, as always. I’ve been paying attention to the stars in the sky and in literature, and it’s a theme throughout the album.”
The current lineup includes guitarist Chuck French, bassist Neil Keener (both of Planes Mistaken For Stars) and drummer Ordy Garrison, now joined by piano/synth player Matthew Smith (Crime & The City Solution).„Star Treatment“ was recorded at Steve Albini’s legendary Electrical Audio in Chicago with engineer Sanford Parker, who also helmed Wovenhand’s 2014 album“Refractory Obdurate”.
„Star Treatment“ will be released as a joint release and collaboration between Sargent House (US) and Glitterhouse Records (EU) on Sep 9th. When asked about the forthcoming album and the following tour Edwards simply replied « give up your dead! ».