If you like your sound and production huge then look no further than West Yorkshire artist Woes and Wonder (aka Liam Stokes). I find this latest released track In Your Arms something of a chameleon. Each time I listen to it I can think of yet a different artist that it slightly reminds me of. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of original vibe in this magnificent Woes and Wonder track, but there are also hints of hooks and clues to trigger the old memory banks. The best of both the old and the new world.
It is those shifting sands in this Woes and Wonder tune that keeps this track interesting; it’s a little musical Gordian Knot, a reet little puzzler. I’m so pleased Liam sent it over a few weeks before release day as I’d really struggle to unpick it in just a few plays.
So, what is going on in my head? Well there’s the grand sweeping ambition of someone like Radiohead or Sylvette; you know that kind of intense, strong vocal overlaid on top of a swirl of complex rhythms and tunes. Woes and Wonder is not one of those artists who would sound almost the same in a power cut. There’s a huge full sound with In Your Arms, but it still feels pure. The music really does envelope you, so it fits the theme of the song perfectly.
Then there’s something of a good solid pop artist, you know, someone who knows a great sound pleaser and a hook? I’m thinking Larkins perhaps, a band I admire hugely with their modern minimalist cool pop. I’m next going to reference someone rather off mainstream, but hey it’s my blog. I get something of the feel of Roy Wood, and his debut solo album Boulders (haha rather than his I Wish It Could Be Christmas (Everyday). Boulders is a seriously underrated album, a bit quirky, rather tasty and very complex. Ha, I bet there won’t be another track compared to Boulders this year.
Liam is a music producer and multi-instrumentalist and here he demonstrates his skills perfectly. There’s a real danger with huge songs in my view which is that the honesty and heart of the song can get overlayered in varnishes of complexity, but with In Your Arms, this is pitched perfectly – in the finished piece there’s a direct link back to the soul of the song.
Pretty much 100% wonder, no woe with this one.
* Images taken from the artist’s own social media and press pack