Reviews

Divining Rod
Hemlock Blues / Love Come Tumbling

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Miyuki Furtado and guitarist Patrick Harmon join forces as Divining Rod to offer audiences a brilliantly infectious and intensely satisfying two-track collection of folk-rock-indie-blues fusion. At less than ten minutes long, the experience leaves you wanting more, though the set up of each song means there’s plenty to appreciate as you thrash the repeat button again and again.

Beginning with Hemlock Blues, an instrumentally bright and captivating song erupts into action, driven by a thoughtful sort of energy that inspires you to move forwards or make certain decisions you may otherwise have been pushing to one side. Despite the connotations associated with the blues element of the title, the song is uplifting, energizing, even joyful sounding. The rhythm and the guitar sound combine beautifully, and the artist’s leading voice on top of everything brings a certain believable, indie-rock element to the mix – as opposed to something less natural sounding, a forced blues or country rock accent or false sense of character, for example. There’s an authenticity to the performance which rides alongside of the music in a genuine and exciting new way.

Regardless of the genre labels already touched upon, the song’s melody draws comparisons for me with folk songwriters such as Seth Lakeman – giving reflective and poetic ideas a modern, pop-inspired twist. There’s also a touch of melancholy to the mood that you notice more and more as the song progresses; there’s more space, the lyrics refer to the questioning side of life, the potential struggles. However, the music always pulls you back to that fast moving, wait-for-nothing aura, and this is what creates such a striking effect. The artistic back and forth between emotions, the drifting from the manic to the calm and back again. It’s a powerful way to introduce the project and indeed the work of the artists behind it.

Love Come Tumbling is a much more mellow, acoustic country-rock piece, leaving space now for you to reflect on the music, and creating a relevant arena within which these once again poetic lyrics can really stand tall. The leading artist’s voice is laid fairly bare here, soaked a now familiar level of reverb, but audible in a new sort of way. As the song develops, an experimental rock element begins to show itself. The rhythm evolves fairly consistently, joined by various other gradually appearing moments of instrumentation. The melody has a similarly rhythmic and slowly rising intensity to it, not adhering to the standard, expected structure of verse-chorus-verse-chorus, instead satisfying more of a traveling feeling, a journey through the concept, a musical exploration of ideas.

These two songs together showcases a surprisingly wide range of musical abilities and creative aspirations. There’s a lot to love about it, and as stated, although the project is short, the experience feels big, and the songs are diverse enough to keep you interested time and time again. A live show is a must, for the real-time creativity, the in-the-moment experience, the up front and personal level of passion. Hopefully there’s much more music to come. Use the links below to stay updated.

Download the two track EP via Bandcamp. Find & follow Divining Rod on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Rebecca CullenMusician & writer with an MA in Songwriting.


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