Jinnwoo: dreamcreatures | Folk Radio

All of this ensures raw, quiet, uncompromising and thoroughly captivating listening.

Jinnwoo – dream creatures

Square Leg Records – 2021

The cracked fragility of Ben Webb& # 39; s voice is the first thing you notice about dream creatures. Repeated listening brings further revelations: the unusual arrangements that form an exciting contrast to the supposedly lo-fi presentation of the sound, the disarmingly honest lyrical content, the strings that come in unexpected waves.

And that's just the first song, London, Brighton, written in response to a friend's health fears, but increasingly encompassing the more general fears that seem to be such a large part of our daily lives. Although this album was written before the Covid pandemic was even a wink in the eyes of an unhappy pangolin, there is foresight in dealing with heightened anxiety and nostalgia for a time when life may have been less insecure.

Nostalgia is very important Jinnwoo Occupation. Milk, who finds it in its most denominational form, dissects the past with obsessive details, supported by a surprising and almost carnivalesque piano part that sounds like a descent into a very contemporary madness.

Musically, the softly eccentric folk acts as a kind of sleight of hand that hides the belly beat of the lyrics until the last moment. The Mark's melodic strangeness, for example, imperceptibly shifts from a quiet exploratory beginning to an unstoppable dissolution, while Letter To SL is the simplicity personified – a frugal guitar line that gives free rein to Webb's vocals – while the lyrics are a story with real detail weave and moral complexities.

In the five years since Jinnwoo's first album, Webb has been more of a collaborator than a solo artist, enjoying some stint in traditional favorites Bird In The Belly and a cappella supergroup Green Ribbons. Up has been at the forefront of Webb's thoughts for some time. The truth is not that simple. Some bad experiences with record labels and with the music business in general led him to put the project on hold shortly after the songs were written. The new recordings had to be coaxed from Webb's friend and Bird In The Belly co-member Tom Pryor. The result is that the album has a kind of double life: its past self exists as a kind of ghost, a translucent skin that has been shed and left behind.

With their fixation on the past and on personal change, the songs seem to recognize this double life in an uncanny way. Wonderland is all about the inability to escape an ancient way of life. Bambi And Beef, written when Webb was a teenager, is about the death of a friend. It's also about the difficulties of growing up as a gay man in rural England. Together with Your Right Side – a delicate reminder of the colorful London pub scene – it forms the deep, queer heart of the album.

Some of Dreamcreatures' finest moments come in the closing songs. The aforementioned Milk is a highlight, as is the strangely psychedelic The New Ghosts Move, another song about the passage of time and the physical aging process associated with pressing electric guitar sounds. The last statement on the album, Your Table, is perhaps the most moving. A powerful, sometimes almost unbearable display of emotional and physical yearning, Webb's voice becomes a conduit for need and loss.

Dreamcreatures draws its strength from mysterious sources: There is a tension between Webb's confessed lack of self-confidence and his obvious and outstanding talent as a songwriter and singer on the other hand. All of this ensures raw, quiet, uncompromising and thoroughly captivating listening.

dreamcreatures is available now and can be ordered through Bandcamp: https://jinnwoo.bandcamp.com/


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