• David Bentley

POOLS – Walk (Debut single)


Another day another debut single, they’re coming thick and fast. This time it is from a Swedish duo, POOLS, the collective vision of multi-instrumentalist Fredrik Forell and singer Arvid Hällagård and combining Americana, Folk and Gospel into a unique package.


In a previous life they were known as the electro-pop outfit WYRES, while Arvid Is also the lead singer of a successful stoner rock band Greenleaf, so this is a departure from a more intense experience for both, and especially for him.


As I understand it, ‘Walk’ isn’t a standalone single, rather the title track from the album entitled ‘You and Us’, which is under production. Arvid was going through a divorce as the theme of the album took shape and it is one of loss and rumination.


He says the track is “a reflection of the emotions I’ve gone through and how I’m trying to move on. All the ache described in pictures and a cry for help. How you sometimes need something higher to hold your hand when it feels like your life is over.”


You know, sometimes we compare pieces of music with other pieces and the bands that recorded them and sometimes we don’t. I can’t resist it here because the connections are so strong. It begins in a funereal tempo with a set of disjointed strings, banjo and various noises off and continues that way through the full four and a half minutes. Lying somewhere between Seasick Steve and Mavis Staples, we’re also treated to glimpses of the gravelly vocal favoured by Family’s Roger Chapman while it exists in an atmosphere that could have been created by Lynyrd Skynyrd (think the opening few minutes of ‘Free Bird’) .


It’s both dated and timeless at the same time because this sort of intensity knows more temporal bounds. It’s an analogy I’ve used before but it’s the sort of song which could have been the outro to Woodstock.

‘Walk’ is streaming now on most major platforms.


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