Everyone has a different entry level artist who has introduced them to the work of Leonard Cohen, even if they don’t know it. To some unfortunates, it may be Alexandra Burke et al on The X Factor. For me it was Ian McCulloch when he cited Cohen as a big influence on Echo and the Bunnymen. To others, it may soon become London based singer songwriter and purveyor of ‘Dream Folk’ – Luca Wilding that opens this particular door.
To is Wilding’s debut EP and consists of four tracks – Johanna, Ruby Don’t Cry, Master, and the title track To. Each track is a captivating, poetic narrative delivered in Wilding’s superb falsetto. The songs are melodic tales of romance, heartbreak and vulnerability presented with hymn-like reverence and ethereal vocals.
As we enter the middle phase of our second lockdown period the timing of Wilding’s poignant release seems impeccable. Wilding himself says, ‘I only hope that it might help, if only a little, anyone who is dealing with sadness in any form…I hope that in hearing it they might know that they are not alone’.
Wilding’s poetic lyrics heavily mirror Cohen’s work. Take these examples, ‘I held her like a crucifix, I should have known better than to act like this’, (Johanna), or ‘I knelt in the dark and confessed I could not go on’ (Master), and you can’t help but be reminded of Cohen’s classic So long, Marianne, ‘You held on to me like I was a crucifix, As we went kneeling through the dark’. You can tell Cohen is a major influence on Wilding’s style and output.
The hymn-like quality of the songs on To is reinforced by the instrumentation and production. Gentle acoustic guitar, and brushed percussion, accompany harmonium, and blend beautifully with Wilding’s soaring falsetto vocals to produce something hauntingly original.
To is released on November 27th. If you’re a fan of singer-songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, or enjoy bands like All About Eve, you’re sure to enjoy this offering from Wilding. If you’re looking for something interesting, intriguing, up-lifting and just a bit different then do give Luca Wilding a listen, and show that you do really care for music don’t you?