VIDEO: A Crossing Song by Wickerbird

Wickerbird is the atmospheric dream-folk project of Blake Cowan rooted in the sylvan beauty of the wild foothills of Mt. Rainier where it all began. From early albums like The Crow Mother (2012) and The Westering (2013) to the masterful The Leaf Maker (2015), he has carved his own path by distilling daydream-filled walks in the woods into hymn-like reveries woven from finger-picked acoustic guitar and contrapuntal choir-like vocals steeped in allegory and metaphor. It is music that is palpably haunting and deeply autumnal, so I am especially happy to see a new Wickerbird album arriving just in time to accompany my own meanderings and ruminations amidst the slanted light of a new Fall season.

First announced by Blake early in 2017, The Sea Weaver has finally come to fruition, but any sense of the passing of the seven years since The Leaf Maker dissipate as opening track “Mottled Light” unfurls with crackling pastoral textures and distant bird calls as a backdrop to the chorus of its plaintive melody. It is welcomingly familiar, but there are signs of new growth here as well such as the sublime mastering touch of Taylor Deupree and a sprinkling of more direct hummable tunes such as “Little Weavings”, “The Lamplighter”, and the arrestingly gorgeous title track. Clearly, Cowan has been honing his craft and carefully cultivating new ideas in the intervening time and the album is replete with subtle touches that reward repeated listening.

As a tantalizing preview ahead of its November release, we have the new single and video for “A Crossing Song” has just been released which is emblematic of the musical and narrative themes that permeate The Sea Weaver, themes which clearly emerge from a deep well-spring of thoughts & emotions relative to the destructive forces of change we find ourselves having to navigate. Blake explains he sees the title of the song as capturing a vision of ephemerality that resonates throughout the album and conveying the idea of “a world caught in transition, part way from this side to the next.”

A Crossing Song” was written in reference to the parable of “the Sword of Damocles”, and sort of seeks to explore my nihilistic impression of it. The song is a quiet lament for those born beneath the various proverbial swords of modern day– specters of societal regression, environmental decay, and a looming sense of impending collapse. We are involuntary doom-scrollers, all. So how much hope can there really be to flourish, to grow as a human being, with this perpetual sword hanging over your head? And if we are bereft that hope, what remains for us but to imbibe the little motes of beauty and love that we can, while we can, eking out the divine hidden in the mundane, and grasping at what light has been left to us.

Original Footage by Yaroslav Shuraev; Edited and re-contextualized by Yigit Bearborne

… this, much like the rest of the record, is a personal struggle with my own fears and impressions of our grave trajectory. But I hope that the emotions themselves can translate, and resonate and scratch at the greater existential numbness that inspired this album; not quite terror or despair, but more an accepting fascination with ephemeral beauty. 

Links: https://wickerbird.fanlink.to/acrossingsong

The Sea Weaver will be released November 11, 2022 via Lost Tribe Sound in a limited CD edition accompanied by a digital booklet of lyrics and additional artwork (200 copies). The album was mastered by Taylor Deupree and features layout & design by Ryan Keane.