Atmospheric and complex
Whippoorwill’s self-released debut The Nature of Storms introduces a band mature beyond its years – this album is as coherent as it is complex.
Each member of the band—Alysia Kraft, Stacie Foster, and Tobias Bank—bring their own unique personalities to the album which feed off each other. There’s a familiarity to the sound that feels like they’ve been playing together forever.
The album begins with something of an epitaph. The first ten seconds of “Premonition” are a jarring mix of distorted guitar and heavy percussion until we are ushered out of this storm and into the warm folksy atmosphere of the album. The epitaph gives us a feel for where this album emerged: from chaos arises the beautiful harmony of The Nature of Storms.
Whippoorwill constructs a dark and mysterious tone for the album which is tempered by Kraft’s vocals, which soar above the music, adding rich layers to the sound. “Premonition” is one of her best examples of this.
The angelic quality of her voice contrasts with the down-to-earth folk tone that forms the foundation from which they depart. Each song is neatly polished and layered. In Foster’s hand, the banjo and harmonica become her hallmarks of folk, yet still they transcend that genre with versatility in form. In “Eventide” the delicate banjo is a bright stop against the somber tone, while other songs display that country influence more prominently. (“Martindale,” “Washin’”).
The atmosphere of the album is its biggest success. Lyrics are often difficult to discern but the crystal-clear sound of the singing and the dreamy backing vocals clearly convey what it is that the band want to put across. Alongside this is the the unmatched drumming of Tobias Bank, which he uses to bring a diverse and expressive character to each song. It’s in the softness of his touch, the punchy hits, and the unexpected fills – a sound that feels inevitable once you hear it.
Whippoorwill have consciously crafted a unity in their sound that also lets the soul of each musician shine through – a success that few debut albums are able to achieve.