Wing Vilma’s new album Spirit Practice is journey of discovery. A set of songs that have been crafted in tandem with the creative force behind the project, Miles Coleman, who used the writing process to come to a deeper understanding of their identity:
“It was the process of crafting as these songs that helped me to see my authentic self and come out as Trans and Non-Binary. Each song is a reflection of my love for the natural world, community learning, intimate partnerships and patience— all of which informed my understanding of my trans identity.”
The music on Spirit Practice is a wonderful collision of humanity and nature, and I can hear the clatter of daily life on the title track or in the stop-start clang of ‘Bridges’ or ‘Mtl @ 9pm’, and the ebb, flow and power of nature sings out from ‘Astrology Cup’, ‘Thunder’, ‘Oak and Vine’ and ‘Sun and Rain’. Everything is made up of electricity, from the smallest atoms which carry a charge, up to what we generate to power our lives, and Wing Vilma is harnessing this to produce an electro-organic suite of songs that crackle with life.
Spirit Practice evokes synapses popping in tandem with nature and it generates enough light to surely trigger photosynthesis. The labyrinthine drum programming can be as skittish as a pond skater or drop sonorous depth charges, and mixed with live percussion and it doesn’t just underpin tracks, it dances with them, weaves threads and sparkles like sunlight glinting on water. Simple but perfect tunes waft through verdant electronic landscapes and though occasional slivers of darkness poke through, the album maintains a mostly optimistic trajectory.
If you love downtempo, trip-hop and the work of artists like Tosca, St. Germain, Kid Loco or Nightmare on Wax then Spirit Practice is for you. You can feel the meticulous craft behind each song, but the technicality of construction never gets in the way of the humanity that has been breathed into everything. As Miles says “each song is a reflection of my love for the natural world, community learning, intimate partnerships and patience— all of which informed my understanding of my trans identity” and it is a pleasure to join Miles on their edifying and thrilling journey.
Spirit Practice is available as a download and CD from Wing Vilma’s Bandcamp page
Review by Paul F Cook