DEBUT ALBUM ‘WESTERN SPAGHETTI’
OUT NOW VIA MOSHI MOSHI RECORDS
Arriving with no fixed direction, Blood Wizard is a project that sees Cai Burns, frontman of Nottingham punk band Kagoule, explore himself as a brand new entity, an artist beyond boundaries and preconceptions.
His debut album Western Spaghetti, out now via Moshi Moshi Records, is an album that has a predominant folk undertone that also expertedly navigates through various textures and dark melodies. There was not an album in mind when Burns first started recording with Tom Towle at Random Recording Studio – just fragments of songs that all came together when the world paused in the spring and Burns realised that what he had been working on over the last few months could become a full record.
The album came together almost as a happy accident. “Blood Wizard began as more of a personal exploration than something I intended to package and sell,” Cai explains. “It’s an ever-changing idea of itself; something that’s evolved slowly and renewed my love for song writing.” The structure of the album follows suit, chopping and changing between harder-edged sounds and acoustic meanderings.
There is a forward honesty and a witty wryness to Blood Wizard. “Hooray to the big news, got my mouth around the spoiled fruit” he sighs on Fruit, a song about keeping happy for your friends’ achievements while your life feels static. Meanwhile, Total Depravity’s stand-out, bittersweet lyric “I’m never going to get that jacket back” pinpoints a singular moment amongst an anxious blur and a time he cannot return to. The infectious and fuzzy Carcrash draws on the weird ways love can be displayed, whilst in stark contrast, the subdued Somehow I Knew tells of the people you’ve never got to know.
Burns says about the album: “One day I would want to sound like Dean Blunt, another day I would want to sound like Bert Jansch. The record is a kind of mash-up of all the influences that I have had for a long time, but never had the opportunity to channel into something”
Western Spaghetti might draw inspiration from the likes of Arthur Russell, Alex G and Adrianne Lenker, but it is an album that marches to its own beat and builds Burns’ own sonic world to run around, be creative and be completely free within.
Throughout the record, Blood Wizard builds their arrangement working on various delicate layers, stacked with crisp yet soft vocal tones that captivate the audience with the raw lyrics. Blood Wizard‘s strength is producing and maintaining compelling and addictive orchestrations. Whilst lyrically, the song-writing skills show maturity and meaning. Embracing this emotive anguish within the words, that anguish corresponds with the harmonies on offer all of which provide charismatic complexities.
Mid-way through the album you experience ‘Total Depravity which is a track that talks about losing control. Through Cai’s impeccable songwriting skills and trademark wit, he navigates through the song’s darker theme of being driven by your anxieties. The release delves deep into delivering such genuine lyrics committed to reaching their audience as the words are wrapped in lashes of emotions. “Total Depravity” opens with these big addictive chords and changes focus from the desirable acoustic guitar which twinkles at the get-go, the notion of this track alters to spotlight the sublime vocal efforts and sincere lyrics.
As the record flows towards the final, Blood Wizard tackles the challenges of emotions within “Carcrash”. The distinct melodic vocals of Cai flirt with the bright riffs and the crashing kit, the expansive atmosphere replete with psychedelic undertones. Blood Wizard embraces experimentation throughout the track whilst focusing on reflective lyrics.
Western Spaghetti is the most complex yet edacious album. An entirely engrossing movement created throughout each of the 10 tracks, the album is best to be embraced in its entirety to understand the bold flow of this consuming record. Blood Wizard works this wizardy to create a flawless record filled with contrasting rhythmic explorations, tracks which emit this crucial urgency to those that slow the pace and meander through an unpredictable adventure.