Saturday, October 1, 2011
Artists I'm Following: Woodkid
So, Woodkid is not a group, but a single person's musical project name, which you probably got by the very peculiar picture depicting the artist in question. His face is warped by metal coating with no distinct features except his cap and his five-o'clock shadow. That's to represent the title of his one and only EP, Iron, which you probably saw right there at the bottom of the picture. The title is for one of the only four songs, "Iron," an epic battle hymn complete with heavy brass and percussion. If you were interested enough in Ubisoft to watch their press conference in its entirety from this year's E3, you've already heard the song during the Assassin's Creed: Revelations trailer. You must know by now how wonderful it is.
The name of the artist is Yoann Lemoine, a French music video and film director. His works include Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" and Taylor Swift's "Back to December." I guess he felt creatively inclined to make music rather than film it, so he decided to start a music project under the stage name Woodkid. His French accent is heard heavily in his singing, which makes it a little hard to understand most of the time, but in a way that's one of the music's draws. Trying to listen for recognizable sounds and words several times over means listening to the music and having it grow on you. He takes a very classical approach to his music. You won't hear any electric guitars and synthesizers, drum sets or anything like that. Instead, you'll hear entire orchestras, solo pianos, brass sections and compelling percussion.
Those who were expecting more epic battle hymns from the EP, however, are bound for disappointment. What they will find instead are three other sentimental pieces. "Brooklyn," a trio guitar, piano and vocal song honoring the city in the name, "Baltimore's Fireflies," a song about attempted suicide that goes back to the brass section, and "Wasteland," which doesn't really resonate with me. There are also a couple of remixes by Mystery Jets and Gucci Vump, but both of them kind of suck (especially the latter) because they pretty much destroy the original intent of the song. This is why I don't enjoy dance remixes, though the song does kind of lend itself to dubstep. This I might like to hear.
Lemoine says he's working on the forthcoming album from his Woodkid project, and he predicts a release date of some time in the fall of 2012. I don't think I'm alone when I say I can't wait. I hope I've introduced you to someone you will find both enjoyable and compelling.