Saturday, 13 December 2014

Snowpoet - torchbearers of the art of song

Snowpoet are Lauren Kinsella and Chris Hyson. This is a fantastical union.

I haven't been able to get enough of Lauren's voice since I first stumbled upon her soundcloud account a few years ago - there was some solo voice stuff on there that was totally fresh - almost like a child tuning a radio - the sounds amazed me.

Chris Hyson has been central to a few of the projects I've been most excited about this year, including Tiny Beast, as well as his solo piano compositions performed by Kit Downes. And then there's Snowpoet.

There was a video on youtube that hinted at Lauren and Chris working together. They are both sat behind a piano, and they both seem a little hypnotised - you could tell watching it that they were imagining a lot more than the youtube clip could capture. It was certainly new, and given my only run-in with Hyson at this point had been in Tiny Beast form, it showed me again that sometimes the most exciting musicians are the ones that surprise you.

Here we are then, at another milestone for this outfit: the debut EP. It's a phenomenal record. And they are rightly getting plenty of buzz from some of the hippest blogs off the back of it. What listeners expect of 'jazz' does not remotely cover what it is that Snowpoet do, even though they seem to have hand-picked star players from the scene for the band - Dave Hamblett, Matt Robinson, Nick Costley-White and Hyson's Tiny Beast bandmate Josh Arcoleo.

I would dare not label what they do other than simply as 'song'. They are the torchbearers of song, and have created a sound around their art - from looming structures right down to chaotic dust settling between surfaces - that puts them on a path that rolls off into infinity - back to the first ever song by the first ever person, and onwards to the end of time.