Friday, July 29, 2022

‘Wilderness Begins’ – A Poignant Cut

From the colourful, psychedelic album cover to the first shimmering strums of the guitar, ‘Wilderness Begins’ from duo Alpha Mare is a truly mystical track throughout, while at the same time holding a strong sense of home and nostalgia for the listener. 

Their debut album ‘The Colt of the Virgin’ was recorded this year in the mountains of Haleakalā, Hawaii. If that doesn’t set the scene for the entirety of this enigmatic album, as well as its internet-shy creators, nothing else will.


The second song from the album, ‘Wilderness Begins’ stands alone for the especially mesmerising vocal range of Izé Yeng Goodfriend. The comforting steadfastness (at first) of the guitar and drums by multi-instrumentalist Andrew Fowler contrast with Goodfriend’s impressive range, allowing his vocal talents to shine through. 


The lyricism and tone feel earnest as we experience a romantic storyline filled with a desperation for connecting paths, but which is met each time with a “wilderness” instead. With the ethereal time changes in the middle eight, causing the listener to hold their breath in disorientated anticipation, the whole song feels like a fever dream on a midsummer night. 


One repeated line stands out as particularly painful, ‘It’s just that God has changed so many times’. We can feel the lack of direction towards what they deeply yearn for, which makes the “wilderness” seem comforting, yet equally shrouding. 


The entirety of the song leads us down a wandering path, through the wilderness, and Alpha Mare joyfully gives us new directions to turn to every second.  


Lois Beasley 


Image: ‘The Colt of the Virgin’ Official Album Cover 


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