Album ReviewsReviews

Review: Songs of Green Pheasant - Soft Wounds (2012)

artist: Songs of Green Pheas­ant
release: Soft Wounds
format: CD
year of release: 2012
label: Rus­ted Rail
dur­a­tion: 38:08

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

From the cat­egory ‘albums that need a few spins to click’ comes the latest release on Rus­ted Rail; it is Shef­field’s Duncan Sumpner and his fourth album as Songs of Green Pheas­ant. At first listen it seemed a rel­at­ively aver­age bit of indie rock / folk cros­sover mater­ial, but over time the sub­tleties and qual­ity of these com­pos­i­tions reveal them­selves.

The style descrip­tion above is more or less valid, though. In a num­ber of tracks, acous­tic gui­tar and Sumpn­er’s wispy voice are com­bined with a steady back­ing of bass, drums, and piano, lend­ing a light rock touch to the songs. Other tracks are stripped down, rely­ing on an inter­play of gui­tar and accents on trum­pet and piano.

This includes two of my favour­ite tracks, which are even instru­mental: “For People” and “Sad Flowers (Viva Hap­pi­ness)”. Both are won­der­fully under­stated mel­an­cholic works. Speak­ing of which, there’s a beau­ti­ful sad­ness in “Mir­ror” as well, and the long “Flesheat­ers” has its own share of lovely moments.

Soft Wounds is only the latest in a row of releases that cement Rus­ted Rail’s repu­ta­tion as one of the finest altern­at­ive folk labels in Europe at the moment. For me, this is another warmly gentle record to cher­ish, a gem that comes recom­men­ded to all lov­ers of indie folk, singer/songwriter, and the like.

Reviewed by O.S.


1. Teen­wolf (5:14)
2. Self Por­trait With A Dog (2:53)
3. Deaf Sarah (4:21)
4. For People (2:19)
5. Mir­ror (4:09)
6. Flesheat­ers (9:37)
7. Sad Flowers (Viva Hap­pi­ness) (5:34)
8. Lemon Yel­low (4:01)