‘Strangers Bring Me No Light’ by Jinnwoo
This debut album of unusual folk music is the ideal introduction to the unmistakeable talent of its creator, Ben Webb
Jinnwoo is the musical outlet of Brighton-based visual artist and songwriter Ben Webb. For his debut album, he has worked with a carefully chosen selection of collaborators, in order to augment his own distinctive folk sound. The result is a record of bold ambition, genuine originality and rich emotional depth.
I Am, I Am The World’s Oldest Man conjures twisted atmospherics, which collide against Webb’s voice and a guest appearance from Malcolm Middleton. It’s this atmospheric nature that marks Jinnwoo’s debut as a something needing your full attention. You Should Be Feeling This, Elliott has a floating quality to it, with lifting strings and percussion. The unbalanced waltz timing adds to Your Baby’s unease and Wicked Hare fuses together myriad rhythms. With Birds is one of the more penetrable songs on the album – addressing the loss of his father, he sings: ‘My dad sits on God’s roof… with birds.’
To call Webb’s singing style a nasal whine wouldn’t be unfair, but it’s a surprisingly effective tool and never annoys. There’s a moment of yodelling on Waiting For ‘P’ To Have A Vision, which turns it into as much an instrument as a medium for communication. Strangers Bring Me No Light is a heartfelt introduction to Webb’s distinctive sound.
Verdict: Folk with flair