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ARTIST
TITLE
The Bird School of Being Human
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
RER 014CD RER 014CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
10/9/2012

Woodpecker Wooliams aka UK singer-songwriter Gemma Williams has an unnerving, sweet tremolo voice. Her songs are unusual, modern and intriguing. Originally comprised of vocals and harp, the odd bell, chime and whistle, they have more recently begun to encompass an altogether fuller, electronic, droney sound. Bold and fearless, live she delivers an alluring, understatedly dramatic set. Woodpecker Wooliams was born -- the more she sang, the more she learned to play, the more well she became. Gemma grew up in the concrete shopping malls of Crawley. Music was pretty much absent at home as her mother suffers from a rare condition where she cannot tolerate repetitive or high-pitched sound. Once on the road to musical composition, Gemma quickly became bored of the saccharine, twee folk-y sound her music was falling into and in textbook rebellious fashion, found herself moving toward "mental, horrible, distorted noise," in an almost compulsive effort to bring some balance to her music. The album takes as its springboard harsh life experience, then journeys through an exploration of passivity and violence, responsibility and blame, gender roles, personal and familial histories. The songs are always thoroughly compelling, dark but never miserable. From both sides of both fences she looks at questions of identity, female hysteria and male aggression. "Assuming various personas to deliver her astonishingly dark, heartfelt, and resoundingly odd compositions, [Woodpecker Wooliams] leaves much of the crowd crammed into the indoor, intimate second stage in stunned silence. You can guarantee you've never seen anything quite like it." --Subbacultcha