The Wild Man Warms 

This song was recorded live, using a West African buzzing rattle attached to the neck of my guitar. The rattle, which is traditionally used on various string instruments in North and West Africa (and also on jembe drums), consists of a flat sheet of metal with small rings hanging around its edge. Vibrations from the strings are sent via the sheet to the rings, making them buzz and jingle. This kind of 'buzz aesthetic' is still widespread throughout Africa, with musicians using all sorts of different mechanisms to achieve it (check out my buzz aesthetic playlist!). Researching the 'buzz aesthetic' has opened up a whole new musical world to me. On 'The Wild Man Warms' I also use metal bird identification rings around some of the strings to add to the buzzy effect. These rings previously belonged to my father, who was a biologist and ornithologist.

Other sounds come from part of a radiator (the top cover), which I brought with me to the studio (that's the clicking sound at the start of the second chorus - fingers running across the grooves). During the bridge part, you can also make out the sound of a paintbrush being pushed through strings. 

The 'hidden track' at the end of the EP is a recording of cicadas (the 'bug aesthetic'!) that I made in Nicaragua two years ago - on my first trip outside Europe. It was recorded at a coffee plantation belonging to the family of a close friend. The bangs you can occasionally hear in the background are mostly fireworks (it was firework season at the time). I'm grateful to David Rothenberg, an American musician and philosopher who's crazy about cicada song (and animal music in general), for both inspiring me and editing my cicada recording!

Beneath the cicadas, you can just about hear a little hillside stream that I recorded in 2016 near the village of Kafjord, northern Norway.



Merlyn Driver: vocals, prepared guitar, radiator
Anna Merryfield: vocals
Ben Walker: bass guitar



The wild man warms

Reaching out at the dawn of ages

Far from home

Yearning to know

Why they said, "oh, don't let those horizons grow"


But not wanting to turn away from all this unknown 

He melted into wide open space

With freedom to roam

And as the night grew long 

He listened to the view 

Thinking "oh, if only they knew ..."


The wild man warms

Chained to the nature we were born to overcome


And this is all ancient things

Haunting us still

We shoot like an arrow

That curls 'round the hill

And when the night is long

We return true to form

We're two arrows just moving along

And back to dawn


All through the storm

The wild man warms