Wildwood Kin are otherworldly.
Believe me, their mesmerising three way harmonies are like magic to the ear, their poetic lyrics like golden goodness to the soul. Latest single ‘Taking A Hold’ sounds as though it was crafted in a faraway place. Ethereal vocals tiptoe against organic, rousing acoustics. They spin together in a slightly psychedelic, yet honeyed pot.
A family trio consisting of two sisters and a cousin, the chemistry is unbreakable and undeniable. Stirring the love from their progressive church background into ambient electronics, and using literature and symbolism to intensify their electric folksy story-telling, Wildwood Kin are a powerful force to be reckoned with.
This is their culture.
‘Taking A Hold’
Em: “So we started the song with just a guitar riff that I’d written and had been playing around with for ages. I bought it to Beth to jam out on her bouzouki and we came up with a tune we hummed together. It wasn’t for ages until Beth decided to write a verse and then bought that to the three of us when we started to work with our producer Jamie Evans in Belgium. We were motivated to make what we already had into a whole song and then as a three, we jammed out ideas and sung possible choruses until we had something we were all excited about. Along came Meg’s drum arrangement, a switch to electric guitar, and a demo that we worked on and were excited from that moment to develop and later share with everyone.
“The lyrics were inspired by a verse Beth had read about a strong sense of purpose inside each of us waiting to be ignited! For us personally, this meant singing and writing songs for people, hence “sing sing oh you weary, light the fire and feel it rising up in your soul””
Beth: “We all have quite different styles – Meg is quite surfy and is found often wearing a beanie, whilst Em is more feminine classic/rock and roll. We’re all quite grungy, I’m into 90’s clothing, I love my Doc Martens, skinny jeans and jackets. Meg’s style influence is a cross between Stevie Nicks and her own big brothers.., I’d say I’m inspired by 90’s fashion and just people I see in the street, whilst Em doesn’t take inspiration from a particular person and likes to put stuff together herself from outfits she’s seen others wearing. I think we’d all agree that working with a stylist for recent shoots has helped us experiment a bit more with our outfit choices and create more of a style for ourselves individually as well as collectively.”
Meg: “Musician life can get pretty intense sometimes as you are pretty much constantly on the road travelling, which becomes quite disorientating after a while. It can be a lonely lifestyle to face on your own, so we feel incredibly lucky to be able to do this together as a family. It helps so much to have that uniquely strong bond, which gets us through the difficult times. The best and worst thing about being family is that you are sort of stuck with one another, meaning we have to work through stuff and help each other out when things happen! We also share the same family sense of humour and know each other so well, which means we tend to have a great laugh together when we’re on tour. There’s been loads of awesome memories which we’ve been able to share together as a band, which would never have been as much fun if we were solo artists!”
Meg:”It’s a really tough call to say what our favourites would be. As funny as it sounds we always grew up singing Carols with our family at Christmas time and the traditional ones especially are just built for harmonies, and we’ve had loads of fun singing them and coming up with arrangements over the years. In terms of our own music, we really enjoyed coming up with the harmonies for ‘The Author’ as we got to experiment with unusual notes and clashy vocal chord progressions.”
Em: “We take a lot of influence from writers who are inspired by faith concepts and life journeys; “out of the box thinkers” who try to make sense of the soul, spirit or heart. When we first started out we were really inspired by Marcus Mumford’s songwriting from Mumford and Sons’ first two albums. For us a lot of what they wrote about was heavily based on faith and spirituality which resonated with myself and the girls.
“We all grew up reading C.S Lewis and Tolkien books. A lot of their writings and concepts are very thought provoking and enable readers to come to their own decisions about this world and about the human heart and the trials and life lessons that we come to face by using analogies and characters to symbolise different roles and personalities.
“We hope that our lyrics provoke deeper thought processes and that through our lyrics and music we can create a space for people to feel like they’re experiencing something that we often feel when we ponder about our own faith and spirituality, but also that listeners feel uplifted and encouraged and that we can make a positive impact in the music industry in this way.”
Beth: “We’ve all been brought up in church and it’s where we originally started singing and were encouraged to sing as a trio before we were even Wildwood Kin. The first song we put together a harmony arrangement for was a song called ‘Lord Reign in Me’ that we’d learnt in church – it would be our ‘party piece’ at family gatherings for a good while. I think being in a church community was where we grew in our ability to harmonise & was a massive place of influence and growth for us. It’s where we started and were encouraged to grow in our abilities and is where we began playing instruments & where we unintentionally formed an unofficial band together.
“We have many favourite teachings, but to sum them up in one, it’s the gospel that we base our lives upon, that the same great measure of grace and sacrificial love given to us is what we want to live out and share with others that we meet.”
“For all of us, probably Stevie Wonder, he’s just wonderful!”
Meg: “We are super excited for the release on the 18th! We are really interested to hear people’s response to the record as we feel like it is quite an eclectic body of work and represents many different aspects of our musicality. It’s also quite a vulnerable thing to put yourself out there as an artist in that way, as the songs and lyrics are kind of a window into our lives over the past few years, and it’s a bit scary to know that it’s about to go under the public eye! We really hope people enjoy it though.”
Words by Tanyel Gumushan