As you might have already noticed, we here at TZEEEAC are still stuck in the past, mainly because we've been a glorious bunch of lazy fucks throughout 2013 and missed a ton of good releases. The guilt is killing us.
I'm here to repay a portion of that debt by dedicating my first review of 2014 to Omri Dagan and The Wild Willows' 2013 EP. What we basically have here are three indie-folk love songs. Now, you probably all know that I don't enjoy this particular genre because it's hard to discern whether the artist has put some soul and effort into his music or is just exploiting this niche in order to impress Pitchfork fanboys, acquire currency and plough wenches. It's easy to pick up a cello, punch the chords twice, write two verses about *some social issue that Oprah's been rambling about in the past few weeks* awareness, stick a '' folk'' label to it and call it a day. Anyone can do that, hell, even I did it. OK, I didn't, but you get my point.
But this EP is not covered in layers upon layers of pretentiousness and arrogance. It's quite soothing and chilling, actually. It's about, uh, feelings and stuff. Like, you know, love, nostalgia, sadness, happiness all mashed together in three beautiful love songs that will make you hug the first plush toy in the surrounding vicinity. But wait, Marco, how can a virile and masculine young man such as yourself get enjoyment out of a few silly love songs? Well, overly narcissistic self, I don't care about the subject of the song as long as it's executed well. In this case, they've added some local flavors (from Tel Aviv). Had I known more about Tell Aviv prior to receiving this submission other than that Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree splits his living time between it and London, I could have expanded more on the subject of how deep the relationship between their music and hometown really is. Having said that, you just have to trust me on this.
The chemistry between Omri Dagan and Lia Sherman is nothing short of incredible. Guard My Keep is probably the best example in this regard, where they both allow each other to shine. Even when singing in tandem, they never get into the awkward situation where one of them becomes background noise for the other. It might seem simple to do, but trust me, it takes a fuckton of rehearsing. As for the instrumental part, I found Izrael Nizri's percussion work to be really good and Mihai Cernia's (hello, fellow Romanian! Your name sounds Romanian, I hope I didn't fuck this up) harmonica--- OK, I have nothing to say about this other than that it blends well with the rest of the instruments; I was just looking for an excuse to point out that you're Romanian. The guys do a great job of creating a warm, intimate atmosphere for you to contemplate on life, love and the prospect of happiness while sipping from a cup of coffee on a park bench in the evening.
The only thing that irks me about this EP is that I had to listen to a Mumford and Sons song for research purposes. Don't ask why, I just had to do it.