HERALD K – WANDERING AENGUS

We previously reviewed Herald K with his single, Arethusa, and now he’s back with another track; Wandering Aengus. We’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.

Austrian artist, Harald Halvorsen (Herald K) took his inspiration from the poem, Wandering Aengus by the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats on this occasion. The lyrics are not a version of Yeats poem, they are the exact poem set to music.

The song starts gently on acoustic guitar – as with the previous track of Herald K, we were reminded of John Prine in the picking style and general conversational feel to the song.

The pedal steel provided by Herald K’s friend, Markus Mayerhofer , provides a gentle country feel to the song and the very simple double bass line, also provided by a friend (Navid Djawadi), adds a little warmth in the low end. The bass, for the most part, plays on the first beat of each bar and then gently fades into the distance before the start of the next bar.

Definitely a track that we would suggest Herald K pitch to music supervisors for “background music” in a TV show. If the primary focus for Herald K is airplay, Wandering Aengus, would benefit from some development throughout. Compositionally, the scoring remains the same throughout (hence our suggestion for background music). The addition of an extra instrument in the second verse, perhaps, or some changes with percussion would bring this song more radio attention.

From a production perspective, a hi-pass filter in the bottom octave and a cut around 50Hz would remove some boominess in the bass and a small boost around 75Hz would fill out some missing frequencies and make the low end seem fuller. The acoustic guitar is resonating on and around the G# so a cut centred around 205Hz should help remove those peaks. A boost around 2.5kHz would give the vocal a little more character and finally a high shelf boost from around 10kHz for brightness. The whole song could use a little overall volume boost too so a light compressor / limiter and 3-5dB of make up gain would help.

For fans of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, this song is sure to hit the spot.

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