- 13 Apr 22
Alternative singer-songwriter Carol Keogh has returned with riveting solo project/alter-ego The Wicc, with artwork by Mirona Mara.
Carol Keogh has outdone herself on a gleaming, ethereal new creative project. Now performing under the moniker The Wicc, the new format will encompass multiple albums under the Wolf Chronicles banner.
With all music self-composed, recorded and mixed over the past few years after Keogh's move to Wexford from the Dublin-Wicklow border; the album's string instruments and bassoon fuse with Keogh's majestic vocals with otherworldly results. The stars, sea and landscapes of Wexford's fairytale fields and coastline influence the soundscapes.
Opener 'Wolf' places the spotlight on a hunter and its prey, with the narrator aching for an escape. "Physic heal thyself," her delicate yet strong voices urges. She later wakes up to find the wolf has vanished, having found someone in a nearby town. "Who would have thought I'd miss a wolf?" the protagonist asks, potentially acting as a metaphor for a toxic relationship leading to a strange form of Stockholm Syndrome.
Violin, viola and cello are infused into Keogh's lycanthrope tale, with 8-minute second track 'Sheep's Clothing' telling the story of an apocryphal wolf meeting his sticky end. There's flourishing rhythms that forge an eerie atmosphere throughout, electric and unpredictable. Her desire to create Wolf as a multimedia project is clear, with dramatic imagery and visual narratives throughout. Spinning mythology-inspired offerings focused on lore, ritual and place appears to be Carol's thematic emphasis.
"The wolf has moved on/I woke up and he was gone/I heard he found a washerwoman in a fishing town/And she has a great big barrel/For washing out his sheep’s apparel/I must find a pen and page and put this burden down."
'Powder' is a down-tempo folk gem, with layered harmonies acting as a blanket for Keogh's haunting, emotion-driven voice. A sense of feeling overwhelmed underlays the track. There's a sense of transformation, heartbreak and evolution on 'Appetite' and 'Pyre', while 'The Fold' is a fitting conclusion to the immensely detailed project.
The artist formerly of Plague Monkeys, Tycho Brahe, and Autamata, as well as a collaborator with with Natural History Museum and City Fathers; Keogh has managed to successfully forge her own path as an independent, non-commercial talent.
The feeling of despair for the treatment of the earth and our natural environment seeps through Keogh's words, with conflicts in Ukraine as well as Yemen, Syria and Palestine painted as a ruthless coloniser razing and extracting for capitalism's benefit. Overall, Carol has created a magical project full of tradition, storytelling gifts and exquisite elegance.
Listen: 'Sheep’s Clothing'
Download Wolf on Bandcamp below.