Wonderful Oblivion: Charm of Finches take us through their new album track by track

Charm of Finches

Indie-folk duo Charm of Finches have been casting their spell on listeners with a stream of singles from Wonderful Oblivion, their third album, the most recent being the emotive and melancholic “Heavy”. Finally, the date for the release of this much-anticipated record has arrived for sisters Mabel and Ivy Windred-Wornes.

The album was recorded at home by the sisters, and co-produced remotely with Canadian producer Daniel Ledwell, and mastered by Melbourne’s Isaac Barter. The sisters are multi-instrumentalists and have shared the load, with Mabel on vocals and cello, and Ivy on vocals and violin. Ledwell added some percussion to round out the sound.

About the album, the sisters stated: “Working remotely with Daniel Ledwell in Canada, we were in a place of new possibilities and adventure, both with sounds, as well as the stories we wanted to tell. We feel there was a spirit of discovery and playfulness.

“There are new landscapes, not just emotional, but outward-looking and far horizons. “Heavy” is the first song where we have expressed our fears about the environmental crisis. Lyrically we were inspired by artists like Sufjan Stevens, Joanna Newsom and Aldous Harding to take a finer paintbrush and create vivid scenes with absolute minute details.”

The album traverses themes such as lost childhood, environmental concerns and lost friends.  A constant across the tracks is the grand beauty of the harmonies. They are vast and breathtaking.

The pair have some shows lined up in late October and early November in Melbourne. Details are below.

To celebrate the release of Charm Oblivion, the sisters have put together a track-by-track breakdown of the album. So do sit back, relax and delve into the background of this beautiful record.

 

Wonderful Oblivion from Charm of Finches – Track by Track

“Concentrate on Breathing”

We wrote this song last year during Melbourne’s long lockdown. We started to look for ways to find calm and strength in a time where feelings of isolation and frustration could easily consume. Meditation was one of those ways and we found just concentrating on breathing was a simple way to melt away stress. This song is a simple self reminder to do that. The actual practice involved slowing down your breathing and seeing all the objects in front of you as just a play of the light, without assigning any meaning to them. And then realising that your body is also a part of that play of light and colour.

“Gravity”

This song reflects on toxic positivity and how this can often be a way of avoiding feeling (and acknowledging) sadness and grief. Popular culture has sometimes suggested that if we just hope for the best everything will be okay but often just hoping blindly cannot solve things and creates false hope, leading to being disheartened and disillusioned. Sometimes there’s a kind of false optimism as a way to mask fear of loss, whether this is fear of ending a relationship or a fear of death. When writing this song we combined our experiences of being in a relationship and using hope to avoid the difficulties as well as using hope to cope with the fear of losing a dear friend.

“Heavy”

This song is an expression of the sadness and frustration we feel about the state of the world. The song reflects on how, in this modern world, we have in many ways lost our connection to nature. Consumerism and a culture of narcissism are coping mechanisms to fill the void where that future shock, emptiness and sadness resides.

“Pockets of Stones”

During lockdown in 2020 I reflected and read a lot about how your past childhood experiences shape your behaviour.
I found myself reflecting pretty deeply on emotions that before lockdown I felt too busy to really confront. This song is about the experience of being able to really open up to someone and tell them confronting truths about yourself – whether this is about body insecurity or admitting the silly little things that cause you pain. It’s very frightening to be honest to yourself and others sometimes, but in the end it feels liberating.

“As a Child”

This was the last song that we wrote on the album and we wrote it about growing up and losing the carefree innocence of childhood. We were thinking about how beautiful everything seemed when we were children; the belief in magic, the absolute mystery and wonder of nature and the inner world that can be so vividly conjured by the imagination.This song expresses the mourning of this wonder, fading as we grow older.

“Miranda”

To make myself feel a little better about my own feelings of jealousy, I (Mabel) started writing this song about a fictional character called Miranda who struggles with jealousy – things get a little grim. Over the years we have played trad folk murder ballads like The Two Sisters and Lord Lankin, so there had to be at least one type song come through. The shadow side of humanity makes great fodder for art!

“Treading Water”

This song captures the bittersweet reminiscing of a relationship that was mutually ended. Some of my favourite songs carry the essence of a place. I like how this song conveys the character of Melbourne’s inner west. The journey is across a city, but also across the somewhat trickier terrain of navigating the transition from lovers to friends.

“Goodnight”

I (Ivy) wrote this song about missing my best friend who passed away when I was younger. Songwriting was a way for me to process the intense feelings and shock of grief. When you’re grieving it’s easy to tell yourself that maybe you could have done something differently to prevent it from happening, but then you have to surrender to the knowing that you can’t and couldn’t change it.

“Canyon”

Both of us keep a dream journal. One week we both dreamt about leaping into the unknown – one was leaping out of a huge tree, the other off into a canyon. It’s strange and beautiful the way your subconscious can show you things through bizarre little dream journeys. This is our little leap of faith song.

“Into the Well”

Enter the swirling watery well as you approach Wonderful Oblivion.

“Wonderful Oblivion”

This is a whimsical song about death full of our musings about what happens after our last breath. Where do we go and is it fated? And is there some liminal space between life and death? It’s partly inspired by one of our favourite TV shows “Six Feet Under” – we won’t spoil anything, we’ll just say Season 3, Episode 1.

 

Justin Stewart Cotta

Charm of Finches Tour Dates

October 30, 2021  |  Westernport Yacht Club  |  Balnarring    VIC
November 5, 2021  |  Lighthouse Arts Collective  |  Point Lonsdale    VIC
November 26, 2021  |  Brunswick Ballroom  |  Melbourne    VIC

You can give Charm of Finches a follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Spotify

Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker

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