EP Review: Toria Wooff – Badlands

Synesthetes hear music and simultaneously sense the sounds as swirls or patterns of colour. Lancashire folk-rock prodigy Toria Wooff fuses colour and sound in a manner so idiosyncratic, so sensory, that her music translates that feeling for non-syntesthetes. Her new EP ‘Badlands’, her first release on Sloe Flower Records, is a fleeting portal to that experience.

Without Tinder it’s unlikely the vivid palette of ‘Badlands’ would exist. That’s how Toria and producer James Wyatt first met; “he understood my ramblings about colours and feelings and managed to get all my crazy thoughts into some kind of form” she explains. It’s ironic that something so absent of tradition could play such a significant role in the creation of something so classic and timeless as ‘Badlands.’

‘Badlands,’ Wooff’s second EP, comes straight out of the gate with an accomplished and wholesome sound unreflective of her small back catalogue. The scale is immeasurable, the lush soundscapes and Woof’s aptitude for storytelling truly deserving of the term ‘epic.’ The drums trot, the guitars and strings segue together effortlessly while Woof’s breathtaking vocal bowls you over entirely. Wooff is a vessel to other lands, her soundscapes transporting you to a world of circling horses, sand particles swirling in the air and five finger fillets. 

“My songwriting is almost an exploration of colour that I try to showcase through physical paintings” Wooff explains. And indeed once the demos were recorded, Wooff – a beautiful painter in her own right – picked up her brush, crafting iconoclastic canyons along with a human hand obscuring the beautiful backdrop. Wooff proceeded to hang it in her bedroom, it’s constant presence informing the next stage of the process.

Closing track ‘Smoke’ is about “that feeling when you sit down and think ‘oh shite, I’m not a kid anymore.’ Ultimately that’s what ‘Badlands’ is, the sound of an artist surer of herself than ever before. It documents Wooff’s realisation of her potential and acts as a true representation of her wonderful craft. Let its colours transform you irreversibly. 

Toria Wooff plays in support of Jeremy Tuplin at The Castle, Manchester on Thursday September 26. We’re co-hosting this show with promotion partners ICYMI Presents.

Badlands is out now on Sloe Flower Records

Editors Note: I was employed to write the press release for this EP. There was absolutely no contractual obligation to share that writing here, I’m doing that solely because I’m a huge fan of Toria’s and it’d be a shame to deprive our readers of her immense talent.

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