There’s a bit of everything in The Wanton String Band’s exciting blend of musical styles: their energetic brand of folk is as much influenced by indie-pop and electronic dance music as it is by Celtic and other traditional sounds. The result is a mesmerising, immersive wall of sound that makes you want to move. The band describe their music: “The sound of the Wanton String Band is ecstatic and shamelessly danceable, combining the melodies, warm string sounds and hypnotic repetition of the old time canon, our own disparate influences and an unwavering commitment to the joy and hedonism of losing yourself in music. Our main drive comes from the joy of making music that in turn gives people joy.”
The Wanton String Band are famed for their raucous, hedonistic shows and now they’re bringing their live experience to the studio. The debut single, ‘Deb’s’, is a pulsing, throbbing explosion of punky, dance and trance-inducing folk. This absorbing instrumental, built upon pounding drums and fast fiddle, is a dark, smouldering song that has been a favourite in live sets for the last couple of years. The video is suitably atmospheric with swirling smoke mirroring the swirling psychedelic sound. The accompanying video captures the verve of the band’s live performances and introduces an ethereal sense of sinister folklore brought right up-to-date with dancing, rollerskating goat-devils. It’s a powerful moment when their skates first crash down. The band say of the song: “We know this as Deb’s Cajun Tune, despite it definitely not being written by Deb and probably not even being cajun. Ewan and Nathan heard their friend Deb play it at one of many long sessions at the Clifftop festival of Appalachian music in West Virginia, and liked it so much they promptly forgot it. Several weeks later, however, it bubbled back to the surface during a long car drive. We’re unsure quite how much it strayed from the original version during its wanderings through the unconscious but decided to bring it to the band anyway.”
The six-piece group certainly pack plenty of power in their strings. Their entrancing, hypnotic take on traditional music is thoroughly absorbing. We’re looking forward to the upcoming self-titled debut album. In the meantime, enjoy this.