White Willow is doing its best to keep the progressive rock torch burning with its latest release, Signal to Noise.
On this album, White Willow moves from a more traditional prog-rock sound to a more modern sound, with a bit of a goth metal edge. The group, made up of, Trude Eidtang (vocals), Lars Fredrik Frøislie (keyboards, electronics), Jacob Holm-Lupo (guitars), Ketil Vestrum Einarsen (woodwinds), Marthe Berger Walthinsen (bass guitar) and Aage Moltke Schou (drums, percussion), has more of a mainstream sound as a result, but should still appeal to classic prog fans.
Eidtang sounds a bit like a cross between Kate Bush and Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins. Her vocals are put front and center throughout, and the emphasis on guitars helps give the CD more immediate appeal than some prog. Whether or not the vocals appeal to you may depend a lot on what you think of the lyrics, which have a strong goth bent to them. All the tracks on the CD are about darkness. Night Surf starts with the phrase “Black rain falls heavy on the ground; dark water shadows crowd out the sky,” and even Joyride has lyrics like Turn the brights up, it’s too dark to see the curves that lie ahead….”
Though the emphasis is on vocals and guitar, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of interesting keyboard work. Froislie does the business on Mellotron, Hammond, Minimoog and Fender Rhodes.
White Willow is taking prog in a new direction that may challenge a lot of prog fans; whether it appeals to you will depend a lot on what you think of the goth influence.
You can check out some tracks from Signal to Noise at the band’s MySpace site.
- Night Surf
- Dark Road
- Chrome Dawn
- Dusk City