Hailing from the South-east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, Wren Hinds grew up with a musician for a father and a landscape painter for a mother. As a kid, watching his dad recording and overdubbing inspired Wren to keep a tape recorder with him, recording whatever and wherever he could. Later, he would compare the layering of instruments and textures to the mediums and paints of his mother’s chosen artform. For Wren, songwriting became “painting with sound”, using light, shade and a sense of space to communicate powerful impressions and feelings.
Wren brought this schooling to gorgeous fruition across his first three albums, initially available on Bandcamp and now released on vinyl through Bella Union Private Pressings. Made with an eco-friendly manufacturing company, each record will be available as a special edition limited to 200 copies, available through mail order and the Bella Union store. Either way, the trilogy plots the growth curve of a major talent, released in readiness for the now Bella Union-signed artist’s incoming fourth album. The first of the three retroactive releases will be “A Child’s Chant For The New Millennium”.
Wren Hinds brought fresh thematic cogency to his third album, recorded in early 2020. The linking matter is his unerring ability to apply himself to each new situation, in this case a longing for connection – to humanity, nature – in a world tilted towards digital disconnection. While the lockdowns intensified the album’s dystopian fears, the beauty and artistry in Wren’s songcraft counterpoint the shadows eloquently. The title-track laments “digital modification” over gamelan-ish flutters across six delicate minutes. All spectral voices and pining, ‘Sign of Life’ yearns for “some act of human kindness” to a wind-caressed cowboy lollop. ‘The Pearl’ longs for blissful quietude, while ‘Wrenbird’ evokes Sam Beam at his dreamiest. ‘River’s Song’ adds soft, sure layers of accordion and guitar, before ‘The Path’ marshals misty harmonies and finger-picked guitar for a gentle declaration of resistance. “Bang your freedom drum,” sings Wren, mapping out a singular path with understated assurance.
“A Child’s Chant For The New Millennium” is available HERE.