To disappear; to become nothing....

To disappear; to become nothing. It’s the aim of any number of religious philosophies, and as we creep through the dog end of the 20th century, the search for musical nirvana is taking a similar turn.

Hence, Birmingham’s [a]Woodbine[/a] whose debut album just about exists but is nonetheless making significant steps towards silence. What this self-effacing threesome have realised, that many of their contemporaries have chosen to ignore, is that the gaps between the notes are often the most thrilling moments in pop. “Nothing, nothing, nothing”, sighs singer Susan Dillane dreamily at the end of ‘Been Where You Are’; it’s as succinct a statement of [a]Woodbine[/a] philosophy as you could hope for.

That in the quest for this mythical nothing they’ve also created a perfectly formed, skeletal pop record is little more than a pleasant coincidence in the context of such thinking.

‘Woodbine’ wraps its smoky little tendrils around you with a beguiling ease, stealing Syd Barrett‘s guitars and The Delgados‘ eerie vocal poise and reconstituting them into a sleepwalking symphony of their own. What’s more, in the effortlessly half-written ‘I Hope That You Get What You Want’ and hyperdelic ‘Wake Up Sleeping’, they may also have created two of the defining bedsit ballads of their generation.

An 8/10 without really trying. There really is nothing to it.

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