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Song You Need to Know: The Redwoods, ‘I Wrote a Letter’

A mesmerising piece of indie-folk, ‘I Wrote a Letter’ sees the Melbourne outfit exploring the dichotomy of “overwhelm and hope”.

Melbourne indie-folk group The Redwoods have unveiled the perfect mid-week pick-me-up, sharing their luscious new single “I Wrote a Letter” ahead of its official release tomorrow.

A slow-burning reflection upon the dichotomy of “overwhelm and hope”, “I Wrote a Letter” is a warm, soulful piece of acoustic-led bliss that sees Joshua Moore’s voice paired with deft percussion as it evokes memories of contemporary acts such as Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons, to name a few.

With a lifetime spent loving music, and with a fondness for creativity fostered by his musically-inclined father, Moore’s influences are on full display as he offers up a heartfelt track born out of the bad times, but one destined to comfort in its beauty.

“‘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,” Moore explains of the song’s origin. “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.”

Meanwhile, the track’s accompanying video is just as compelling and powerful as the song it complements, with footage of a live performance from The Redwoods (in an actual redwood forest, no less) paired with footage of a young woman searching for answers amidst a growing influx of letters.

“I workshopped the idea for the clip with Tomas Busby, the director, one afternoon during lockdown,” Moore explains. “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.”

The Redwoods’ “I Wrote a Letter” is officially released on Thursday, August 5th.