“In vocalist Hanna Tuulikk they have a voice that puts them somewhat apart. It’s an odd, high pitched enigma, early Kate Bush, maybe a slightly be-heliumed Beth Gibbons.” – Dara Higgins on Two Wings‘ debut LP Love’s Spring.
Glasgow’s Two Wings are folk band, in the rockier sense. Rather than a couple of acoustic guitars and an open fire, or songs about horses and soldiers, it’s straight up, electrified, hiberno-rock. They play a kind of music you’ve heard before if you’re familiar with the whole folk scene of the seventies. To do this you either have to be really, really good at it, or bring something new to the table to avoid sounding like a facsimile of a movement that was spent thirty years ago. In vocalist Hanna Tuulikk they have a voice that puts them somewhat apart. It’s an odd, high pitched enigma, early Kate Bush, maybe a slightly be-heliumed Beth Gibbons. It saves the record from occasionally being plodding, rustic rock. She adds the required oddness.
On the opener, Eikon, she’s in immediately. You can’t help but notice. The song it self is punctuated by brass phrasing straight out of St. Dominic’s Preview. On Feet, there’s more Van Morrison-esque winds, and the vocals are given over to a three way harmony between the band’s main voices, augmented by some Nashville slide swells in the background, right out of the manual.
The title track is where they indulge their psychedelic folk side. There’s even an annoying flute meandering away in the verses. By the end, when the guitar and the winds are repeating a little pastoral figure, it sounds right on the money, but the songs end is presaged by a fairly superfluous guitar solo. It’s as if to say; there should be a solo here, so lets put one in, and play it by the book. It’s a shame, because the dancing around the maypole coda IS the real deal, like Lindisfarne, or Steeleye Span, or some such clog-clad troupe.
Overall the production is very raw, it sounds as if it were recorded live. It gives a charming looseness to the playing, no anality over spare notes here and there, and the playing is natural, if perhaps occasionally too straight. Two Wings touch upon nearly every subtle style within their chosen field, soft acoustic strumming, harmonies, swelling wind and brass, Richard Thompson-lite guitar noodling that’s bound by ability rather than ambition. It’s like a faithful reconstruction of a time since past in 9 separate parts and were it not for Hanna’s oddly affecting vocal it would all seem to be stuck in the idiom that stopped evolving many decades ago.
Two Wings will release Love’s Spring on 30th April via Tin Angel.