Kris Woodbird: “Monsters of Heart” – tasteful, delicate, and ineffably gentle
Kris Woodbird aka Krister Svensson was born in the south of Sweden. He played and was a part of the punk, new wave and art music scene in Lund before moving to Stockholm. He went on to play drums in various indie bands before getting into vocals and songwriting in a band called Wan Light, which he formed with Magnus Karnock, releasing three albums and two EPs. In 2016 Kris Woodbird began his journey with the release of the single “Alien & River”. This led to the album “Monsters of Heart” recorded in Kris’ apartment by producer Håkan Folkesson from Ambitus Production.
I fell in love with this album at first listen. It’s rare to hear an album in its entirety and genuinely enjoy every track, but each of these songs take your mind and your heart on a wistful ride through our collective experiences of life, love and getting to know ourselves in good and bad times.
You can tell Kris Woodbird took great care with “Monsters of Heart”. He’s an everyday guy with the not-so-everyday ability to translate life into lyrics in a meaningful way. His easygoing nature when it comes to love, life and self-discovery are unmatched right now, in my opinion.
Add in his simple guitar accompaniment, and every song becomes a rich story you will want to hear again and again. There is also a nice flow to the album.
There’s a mile-long list of musicians who’ve used rock and roll to try and transmit there messages and moods, and although it might be something of a stretch to call Kris Woodbird a rocker — maybe ‘purveyor of persuasive folk’ works better — his new album, fits right into that rich tradition.
The songs are tasteful, delicate, and ineffably gentle, never sounding anything other than sincere. The end result is an inestimably worthy collection, one rife with hushed melodies and airy arrangements. Woodbird’s playing squarely in his wheelhouse here, and if its confines can occasionally be asphyxiating, it’s hard not to respect an album that evokes a mood so carefully and confidently.
Although lofty praise might reek of hyperbole, there’s no denying the comforting appeal of Kris Woodbird’s sensitive songwriting, which feels like the musical equivalent of a cozy old sweater.
Some of his work, could easily earn comparisons to tortured Irish troubadour Damien Rice, while his kinder, gentler melodies and warm vocals are more akin to Samuel Beam of Iron & Wine, which he wraps in cozy sound acoustic guitar beds designed to lilt and lull rather than challenge the listener.
The opening title track “Monsters of Heart” catapults listeners into Woodbird’s sublime songwriting abilities and his tranquil voice is tantalizing. With a great mix of intensity and passion, it starts the collection in the best way possible. From there on out what stands out the most is his lyrical genius and how every song paints a beautiful picture in the listener’s mind.
In songs such as “The Worst Man In The World”, “The Woman In Me” and “Hand To Hand Time”, it is difficult to fault the seemingly effortless work he produces. As an artist, Kris Woodbird is certainly gifted in telling a story and you definitely get that with these pieces.