Gentle, philosophical and lush, Melbourne-based indie folk group The Redwoods have today unveiled their new single I Wrote A Letter. The track acts as a loving obituary of sorts for a band no longer together; a collage of memories and happier times. The Redwoods have also released a stunning video to accompany I Wrote A Letter, directed by Tomas Busby (Millar Jukes) and starring Jessie Oshodi.
I Wrote A Letter has a reverie to it that is deeply compelling – temperate, rambling percussion assuredly drives the story forward as soft acoustic guitar strums along underneath lead vocalist Joshua Moore’s idiosyncratic voice. Recorded at Sing Sing Studio and at producer Callum Edwards’ home studio Sloth Studios, I Wrote A Letter evokes influences such as Fleet Foxes, Mumford and Sons and even iconic troubadour James Taylor. Speaking on the creative process behind the track, Joshua says, “I Wrote A Letter is a song I wrote the day after splitting up with a band I loved due to an altercation with the drummer who I also love but have had a troubled friendship with. The lyrics came together in about 10-15 minutes and are mostly images, memories, and musings from some time we both spent in America, and in particular Oregon. Though there’s no reference to the book, I often think of Jack Kerouac’s ‘Dharma Bums’ when I play it. I like to leave my songs open to the interpretation of the listener, but the chorus is intended to evoke a feeling of both overwhelm and hope, two feelings that for myself I have often found to be mutually exclusive.”
The video for I Wrote A Letter is as compelling and powerful as the track itself. Footage of The Redwoods performing the track amongst an actual forest of redwood trees is interspersed with footage of a young woman scrambling for answers amongst a steadily growing influx of letters, appearing as if from nowhere. The clip is visually beautiful, hypnotic even – as Joshua describes, “I workshopped the idea for the clip with Tomas Busby, the director, one afternoon during lockdown. I knew I wanted the clip to be shot at the Redwoods in Warburton and that I wanted a female lead to play a part, but it was Tomas who brought up the idea of letters actually appearing in the video, which made me think of the scene from the first Harry Potter book when letters come streaming through the chimney. So, the aim became to slowly overwhelm the screen, the band, the lead actor Jessie, and the viewer with letters as the song went on, in something of a surreal horror-esque concept that could leave the audience guessing as to what was what and who was who. Often I find that music and nature can tell their own stories without us getting in the way.”
I Wrote A Letter is a truly captivating song, expertly crafted by a songwriter who so clearly understands the power of exceptional songwriting – with this understanding probably due to a lifetime of loving music, as Joshua reflects, “I got into music through my father, who played, and still plays, bass in blues and rock bands. So I spent a lot of time at pubs in Warrnambool when I was young watching him play. I later took guitar really seriously when I left to board in Geelong, as I wasn’t really interested much in doing well in school and preferred to learn to play all my favourite records. Things like Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty were staples, but there were bands like Jet, the Darkness, and the Vines that were popular at the time too.”
I Wrote A Letter is out now.