If you pull out the accompanying booklet and lyric sheet of Ruth Moody’s new release THESE WILDER THINGS and turn to page three, you will find a monochrome photograph of the Wailin’ Jenny’s songstress, treating herself to a blast of cool air. This is how the songs on this record come over upon the first listen through. The songs run through your hair (if you have any that is) like a refreshing breeze. It doesn’t seem five minutes since we were treated to Ruth’s debut solo outing last year with THE GARDEN, and now the Australian-born, now Canada-based Juno-winning multi-instrumentalist returns with another ten delicately produced songs, predominantly self-penned with the one outstanding cover, a delightfully laid back re-working of Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark.
Whenever we think of Ruth Moody, the word ‘graceful’ pops up time and again. Nowhere on this album does that word apply more accurately than on the stunningly beautiful title song These Wilder Things, a song that was the most emotional to record and the last one to be written for the album. There’s a tendency to be undemocratic when playing the subsequent six songs due to repeat plays of that particular song, which is both delicately atmospheric and heart-wrenchingly moving at the same time.
Produced by David Travers-Smith, THESE WILDER THINGS features one or two high profile guests including Mark Knopfler, Jerry Douglas, Mike McGoldrick and John McCusker, together with fellow Jennys’ Nicky Mehta and Heather Masse, with some exceptionally fine mandolin playing courtesy of Jacob Jolliff on the Springsteen song.