This ‘Night Beds’ article was written by Natalie Whitehouse, a GIGsoup contributor

3.5*Often, music is at its greatest when it’s pure, raw, unbridled emotion. That’s the type of sound Winston Yellen, or Night Beds, as is his moniker, produces. It’s the music best listened to at night; it relaxes you, yet it brings to the surface the type of feelings you’d rather keep at bay.

With that in mind, it is safe to say that Ivywild, Night Beds’ second LP, isn’t an album full of sunshine and happiness, but there is a certain beauty to it still. The kind of beauty found in music that is full of emotion and honesty, as is the theme running throughout Yellen’s impressive sixteen-song LP.

We are welcomed into the album by violin and synth; as a slightly hypnotic, very soft sound is created. All focus is on Yellen and his voice, which is incredibly moving and strong. ‘Finished,’ the cleverly titled first track, is an interesting opening, but perhaps slightly too long at six minutes. But it is different, and originality like this should be rejoiced in, not ridiculed; especially when there is clear talent behind it.

The majority of the songs on Ivywild are of a similar vein to the opener: melancholic, heart wrenching songs rich in exceptional vocals. In one sense this makes many of the songs sound almost too similar, but when each and every track oozes pure talent and creativity, it’s hard to cite this as a negative aspect.

Despite the slower, softer songs, there are occasions when the album threatens to get more upbeat. ‘Tide Teeth’ has much more of a bite to it, and ‘Sway(ve),’ which follows, has a pulsating beat and the introduction of backing singers give it an added edge to it – making it stand out somewhat from the rest of the tracks.

Nevertheless, you feel like there is more to give from the entirety of the sixteen-song LP. Yellen, quite clearly, has undeniable talent; but doesn’t quite reach the heights you know he could. Even so, ‘Ivywild’ is impressive release.

‘Ivywild’ is out now on Dead Oceans

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3.5*

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