Woodpigeon: For Paolo

woodpigeon, for paoloWoodpigeon: For Paolo
In their latest EP For Paolo, the Calgary based orchestral folk-pop band Woodpigeon, attempts to capture a moment in time as much as a physical landscape. For the uninitiated, Woodpigeon’s sound would best be described as a cross between Belle & Sebastian and Iron & Wine. Mark Andrew Hamilton, the groups lead songwriter, states the songs on this EP were inspired by the long drives across the prairies of Canada his family took while he was a child. And like an open road, For Paolo creates a soundscape that unfolds song by song before the listener.
The title track establishes a firm sense of movement that will carry throughout the recording. Hamilton’s voice hovers on the edge of a whisper, which blends nicely with the backing vocals. The layering of guitars, synthesizers, orchestral strings, and vocal harmonies, gives this song a sonic luster, a sound that envelopes the listener.
The next track, “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Mark?” uses a string section to create a much more somber tone. There is also a chorus effect used on the vocals and some guitar distortion that while true to the song, almost seems overproduced and out of place with the more raw sound of the other tracks on this particular EP.
“Winnebago” has a more stripped down feel, relying only on Hamilton’s voice and a single electric guitar to carry a sense of sober reflection. In contrast “By Lamplight” is a love song hidden within a lullaby. The song begins simply with piano and vocals and then layers are added as the song progresses, blossoming before the listener.
Over I’d have to say that I am impressed by For Paolo. Hamilton has an unaffected vocal style which draws you in, inviting his audience into a casual intimacy. While the instrumental melodies on this disc create a mood that seeps into the listener.
Rating: 8.0/10
MP3: Woodpigeon “For Paolo”
Buy: iTunes

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