By: Michaela Norton
One good outcome of 2020 is the birth of the duo, Wyllows. The folk duo is made up of Boston’s Ilana Held and Liverpool’s Elliot Oakley who worked together previously in a band called Glass Jackets. Though they encompass a similar style taste, Wyllows debuts their creative lyrics in their new three song EP dubbed “Wyllows EP.” The names of the songs are “Long Lost Love,” “Time Moves On,” and “Pebbles” which was used as the first single followed by the entire EP a week later.
“Pebbles” showcases Ilana’s voice that feels smooth as velvet to your ears. With hints of imagery in the lyrics singing “only pebbles in his wishing well,” the song makes you feel as if you are watching leaves change colors. It has a relaxed yet upbeat tempo to pull you into the magic of this new duo. “Long Lost Love” has an old western sound with a tall tale telling vibe of a love that has been lost. I imagined myself walking down a reamy dirt road wondering where I had gone wrong in my past relationships. Last but not least, there’s “Time Moves On.” The only song to feature Elliot Oakley’s voice as the lead, “Time Moves On” begins at an easy going tempo just to quicken the pace about a minute into the song leaving you to feel as if you are tapping along the rhythm of a train hitting its railroad tracks. This almost feels symbolic of the meaning of the song which feels like an anthem to let go and move on.
“Wyllows EP” as a whole provides a great story telling feel of one who is ready to move forward from heartbreak. Even though the EP came out in the summertime, nearly four months after covid 19 spread through the US, this debut release from Wyllows feels like Fall. The old timey folk sound mixed with the imagery portrayed in the lyrics is a perfect record for a color-changing naturistic aesthetic. Though Wyllows has mostly played and been recognized in the UK by stations like BBC Wales, the pair is starting to get some radio time in Ilana’s hometown of Boston by 92.5 The River. They have not let the virus or distance stop them from making music stating on Instagram “if a pandemic can’t stop us making music, neither can the ocean between us! Keep your eyes peeled next month for something special.”It’s a relief to know that more music is to come from this internationally collaborative duo. Listeners can’t help but to be impressed by the creative drive that must come from being locked up in a pandemic.