REVIEW: Woodkid – Iron EP

Band: Woodkid
Album: Iron EP
Release: 2011
Label: Green United
Genre: Orchestral Folk

In a continuing trend from my last review on those who wear multiple hats, I present a man from a different walk of life. Yoann Lemoine, film and music video director extraordinaire who has worked with Katy Perry and Moby, has now turned his hand to creating music as well and created a small but potent offering under the moniker Woodkid, and Iron EP is an eclectic mix of piano, acoustic guitar, orchestral and tribal drums, with echoes of The Shoes and Iron & Wine.

4 original songs and 2 remixes are provided, each with their own individual personality but united with a common trend. “Iron” is like a soundtrack in quality, with melodious wind and brass arrangements interweaving with the drumwork for a powerful song. The three ones that follow are brilliant, but more low-key than the title track. “Brooklyn” is a warm acoustic-based homage to the New York borough, while “Baltimore’s Fireflies” and “Wasteland” are more piano-based, although all three have orchestral treatments, a noteworthy section being the strings in “Baltimore’s Fireflies”.
It is a shame that “Iron” is subjected to remixing, when the remixes are much weaker than the original. Logically they make sense; Lemoine directed Mystery Jets’ video so they must have returned the favor. But neither that remix nor the Gucci Vump one do much for me and they can be skipped quite easily.

“Iron” is a driving anthem with lyrics that mix in well with the promotional usage on Assassin’s Creed: Revelations: “A soldier on my own, I don’t know the way/I’m riding up the heights of shame”. Woodkid’s low and warm voice adds a lot of depth to all the songs, although his French accent obscures some of the words. I cannot find complete lyrics to the other songs, but they sound well-written from what I can make out, and he has a fantastic voice which fits in well with them.

What I love so much about this EP is how deceptively simple it is, and yet dissecting the layers becomes part of the fun. Iron EP is a great if short ride, and easy to spin multiple times, minus the pointless remixes. I’ve heard talk of a full-length to be released soon, and Woodkid certainly has piqued my interest as to how it will turn out.

Rating: 7.5/10

Song to try:

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