Bethlehem is the debut single from local folk artist Scriber‘s upcoming EP, due for release in March this year on Rocking Chair Records. Upon first listen I felt that this was a good enough slice of indie-folk, the sort of song that you would expect to hear in a post-Fleet Foxes, post-Bon Iver scene. However, upon subsequent listens, the song grew significantly into a piece of music that genuinely left me eager to hear the EP in all its glory. Unfortunately, that will have to wait until March.
The song itself softly plods along through a soundscape that somehow manages to feel both hollow and incredibly dense at the same time. The finger-picked guitar and the wavering vocals that begin the song create this illusion of emptiness that runs throughout until you bring yourself out of the moment towards the end and realise that a whole host of crackling drums, delicate pianos and frail guitar lines have crept up on you unannounced. The song sways liberally in and out of tempo at times pausing for breath and at others rushing towards its conclusion, something that truly causes you to be drawn in even further to the song.
It’s a quiet and gentle single from an EP that we can assume will be of a similar ilk. However, in a world where a lot of local acts are still hanging on the coattails of early Arctic Monkeys or aiming for a heavy, almost punk-like sound, an artist with such a clear understanding of subtlety and the beauty of the understated is quite refreshing and Bethlehem is a track that is both understated and subtle as well as being an incredibly well written and well produced piece of folk music.
Unfortunately, we can’t share Bethlehem with you, but we can show you this video (recorded just a few days ago) of Scriber playing Branding Belt, another track from his upcoming EP. Enjoy!
Joseph Ainscough, @TheJoeSco