Nottingham born, London based artist Blood Wizard may be a relatively new addition to the alternative indie scene, but founder Cai Burns has made sure that his project makes its mark. Branding their sound as “wonky folk”, Blood Wizard released their debut album Western Spaghetti last year, after an exponential rise, driven by a slew of catchy singles. Whist some musicians might take some time out to work on the next step of their sound, Cai has stormed ahead, and arguably come back with Blood Wizard’s most ambitious and creatively stimulating song to date.
The dissonant chords that start proceedings bring to mind Soundgarden. Jangly guitars ring out in a rhythmic pattern that resembles that of a mid-nineties grunge song, before the full instrumentation comes in, bringing with it a more indie aesthetic. The spoken word verses are lifted by stabs of bright horns, and are layered as the track progresses. There’s a hypnotic quality, both with the guitar parts and the vocals. They gel beautifully, while the bass fills in the sonic gaps. Backing vocals in the chorus lighten the mix further, with the brass being allowed space to breath. Lyrically, there’s themes of sudden change, and embracing the knowledge that change is never-ending. As Cai states in the opening lines “this is the slip // this could mean anything”. They’re written to be deliberately vague, and meant to be up to individual interpretation.
If this single is representative of Blood Wizard’s next body of work, then listeners are in for a dramatic shift in tone, and even somewhat in style. ‘The Slip’ is an existential crisis, wrapped in a layered, mesmerising experience that could be the soundtrack to a helter-skelter ride. That being said, it’s a great listen, and one that will be well worth returning to once it is in its place amongst the tracklist.
Words: Ryan Bulbeck // Photo: Adrian Vitelleschi Cook
‘The Slip’ is out now via Moshi Moshi. Stream and purchase the track via Bandcamp.