An almost unclassifiable mix of spare, bluesy vocals and powerful drumming -- with some pop and jazz elements mixed in for good measure -- Sweden's Wildbirds & Peacedrums feature singer Mariam Wallentin and drummer Andreas Werliin.
The pair met in 2004 at Gothenburg's Academy of Music and Drama but, frustrated with the institute's rigid format, they began making music on their own the following year (and also got married). They released two limited-edition CD-Rs on their own before recording their full-fledged debut album, Heartcore, in 2006; it was released in 2007 by the Swedish label Found You
reissued the album internationally in spring 2008; that year, the band also toured with Lykke Li
and was named that year's Jazz in Sweden artist. Wildbirds & Peacedrums's second album, Snake, arrived in 2008 on the Swedish jazz label Caprice
. The album was released in the U.S. a year later. The duo embarked to Iceland to record two EPs within a week: Retina, which they made with cellist and arranger Hildur Guðnadóttir
and the Schola Cantorum Reykjavík Chamber Choir, and Iris, which they recorded in Reykjavík’s Greenhouse studios. The EPs were given limited-edition releases in May and June of 2010; a few months later, they were combined as the album Rivers. After spending much of 2011 touring with the likes of St. Vincent
, and Konono No. 1
, the duo began work on their fourth album late that year. Inspired by their busy touring schedule, Wallentin and Werliin stripped their music down to its most essential elements on Rhythm, which arrived in November 2014. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi