10 June, 2013 in Music Reviews
Megan Wyler soundtracks the promise that love makes and how it can be broken over those who trust in it
merican-born but London-based, Megan Wyler has a familiar sound. This is aided by the fact she’s been leaking into your ear-holes regularly, sound-tracking television and theatre, as well as advertising campaigns for Levi’s and Ford. Her career includes various musical projects, such as coordinating a Balkan choral ensemble, touring with gypsy string band Luminescent Orchestrii, and being the musical director of several off-Broadway plays. She has now arrived at her first solo outing, Through The Noise.
The title track drifts in over a banjo line and introduces the album’s recurrent theme – love. Tender and bittersweet in sound, lyrically it begins to document a relationship built on a promise made, a promise to remain true the love shared in a relationship.
The sound of Through The Noise is consistent. Acoustic songs given lush yet sparse orchestration, designed to give Wyler’s harmonies space to take centre-stage. In the case of Kelebek the verses are delivered over finger-picked guitar, before the orchestration breaks through for the chorus.
Wyler’s vocal harmonies dominate in The Fool, initially over a persuasive, chiming glockenspiel before the song ends to a building beat and ambient guitar theatrics.
By the time of The Fraying, the relationship is coming apart at the seams. The song is set apart from the rest by a male voice echoing Wyler‘s (possibly previous collaborator Adem). This gives it an effect that could easily make it a Damien Rice break-up ballad.
Know You Know sees Wyler blessing her ex-partner’s new love over cello and stabbing strings. Can’t Sleep sounds suitably sleepy and restless until it again picks up for another orchestrated chorus. Zither has a lightness of touch yet is inevitably another tale of him and her.
Finally, I’m Sorry starts with the maudlin quality of Pink Moon-era Nick Drake before becoming a highlight by giving the finale of the album some life and pace. It ends the story, and talks of the same promise mentioned in the first song.
This is the soundtrack to a relationship, to a love story. Yet in this love not all runs smoothly and a promise made is a promise broken.
Verdict: Subtle instrumentation provides the backdrop to the broken promise of love.