As someone smart has probably already said, you can’t appreciate what you hear without knowing the intent and Kev Denny – whose day job, as it were, is the guitarist in Glasgow band Woven Tents - never really makes his intent clear at any point during his album “Winter Moon”.
For a start, and especially considering this is the work a guitarist, there is little in the way of fretboard pyrotechnics to be heard almost as if Kev Denny went down to the crossroads and then decided not to ask the Devil for enough virtuosity to get through an entire album. Instead the songs, too upbeat to be regarded as shoegaze and yet not nearly saccharine enough to be dream pop, are held together by fragments of sound and a positively stoic reliance on repetition. It doesn’t help that our Kev’s androgynous voice melds in with the music as if part of some drug fuelled folked up mind expansion and even the addition of Nico Miller, on loan from Sharptooth, on a couple of songs - “Secret Trip” and “The Growing Sun” – provides reinforcement rather than clarification.
So, even after the passage of inspirational quantities of Duvel Tripel Hop, I conclude that I have no real idea what this album is about. However, I do have my suspicions. There are hints of sentimentality and even social commentary in there but, that said, you will be well past the half way mark before the traffic lights in your mind will even consider turning from purple to green. “Sinkholes” marks that turning point and that song achieves the focus that the preceding tracks lacked with a strange hypnotic quality then colouring all that follows especially as the nine minutes of “Roswell New Mexico 1947” loops itself slowly into the land of electronically echoed deconstruction. Throw in “Volume Pedal”, a level headed parody of proto Glasgow guitar pop, and you are right back where you started. Perhaps we are just hearing evidence of a musician wanting to exceed the cultural limits of the conventional pop song?
“Winter Moon” is therefore a curious album. Kev Denny rambles and repeats himself but still manages to both follow his own path and provide something a bit different to a waiting world full of jaded ears. Credit is also due to knob twiddler Sam Smith for taking these songs of lo-fi pretension and cinematic scope and polishing them up without losing their deliberately wearied patina.
The album is available from Bandcamp and the usual download sites (I assume).