These Wilder Things

These Wilder Things

by Ruth Moody


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These Wilder Things

These Wilder Things, the second solo album by Ruth Moody of the Wailin' Jennys, is both a piece and apart from her 2010 debut Garden. While her lyric concerns seem similar on the surface and the music remains rooted in contemporary folk, this ten-song collection ranges farther and wider. Acoustic instruments still dominate the landscape--Moody plays many of them--but the stylistic diversity is a step down the road. She wrote all but one song here, a playful, acoustically driven cover of Bruce Springsteen's '80s hit "Dancin' in the Dark," but her reading of it -- sans pulsing keyboards and desperate masculine voice -- makes it fit seamlessly with her songs here: they all seek connection with something larger, in life, love, and spirit. The bluegrass gospel in "One Light Shining," with dobro from Jerry Douglas and backing vocals by Aiofe O'Donovan, projects that bigger reality inside a small frame. So does the broken love song "Pockets," with its minor key, silvery guitar and backing vocals from Mark Knopfler. This is Moody at her darkest; one can feel her protagonist's desolation in the grain of her airy soprano, and Knopfler's grainy baritone comes from the ether. In the role of the absent lover, he sings in tandem with the narrator across time and space. The title track features the trace of a Moog by producer David Travers-Smith, but it merely underscores Moody's piano and determined voice. Her protagonist is addressing her fear and doubt, and lets them know solemnly that she will move past them into a wide-open future. Travers-Smith's flügelhorn and e-horns add a ghostly gospel affirmation in the backdrop. Her bandmates help out with backing vocals on the sweet country love song "One and Only," with its slow chugging guitars. Mike McGoldrick's low whistle and John McCusker's fiddle provide traditional Celtic flavor to "Life Is Long," which reinforces its simple yet profound poetry of passage and return. Closer "Nothin' Without Love," finds her on banjo in this aching, jazzy, romantic paean that juxtaposes economic and emotional poverty; it aches to transcend both. Moody's gaze on These Wilder Things remains an interior one, but it's more confident and sophisticated musically and lyrically. The protagonists in these beautiful songs accept what they encounter; they variously recount their (mis)adventures to the listener through the vision of a songwriter with open ears and a wide open heart.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/07/2013
Label: Red House
UPC: 0033651026624
catalogNumber: 266
Rank: 29415

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ruth Moody   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Piano,Ukulele,Vocals,fender rhodes
Jerry Douglas   Dobro
Mark Knopfler   Electric Guitar,Vocals
John McCusker   Fiddle
Kevin Breit   Bouzouki,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,national steel guitar
David Travers-Smith   Percussion,Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Hammond Organ,Melodica,Peck Horn
Andrew Downing   Upright Bass
Richard Moody   Viola
Aoife O'Donovan   Vocals
Joshua Grange   Pedal Steel Guitar
Nicky Mehta   Vocals
Christian Dugas   Drums
Sam Howard   Upright Bass
Heather Masse   Vocals
Adam Dobres   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Ukulele,Hi String,Guitar (Baritone)
Adrian Dolan   Fiddle,Mandolin,Piano,Accordion,Viola,Mandola
Mike McGoldrick   Low Whistle

Technical Credits

Bruce Springsteen   Composer
David Travers-Smith   Producer,Engineer
Dawn Landes   Engineer
Lloyd Peterson   Engineer
Joshua Grange   Engineer
Ruth Moody   Composer
Joel Bock   Engineer
Adrian Dolan   Engineer
Jud Haynes   Graphic Design
Mike Merenda   Engineer
Rob Stokes   Engineer
Mike Costello   Artwork
Joe Kearns   Engineer

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