Wooden Maria are a London-based folk/rock band, with vocalist Oliver Muto joined by Claire Storey (violin, vocals), Haimer Atkins (percussion) and Joe Howard (guitar, bass). Well-Wisher is their new four-song EP, a collection of mystical, black songs which could be from a thousand years ago.

‘A Boat for Land & Water’ opens and sets the tone for the entire release, a deep, dramatic folk song that seems to emerge from some timeless place. Muto’s voice is no small part of the feeling, so rich and bottomless that it comes off slightly ominous, a kind of unmasked soul-singing which hits you in the chest. ‘Anastasia’ follows a similar pattern, the instrumentation restrained and constant and Muto’s vocals booming above, while ‘Black Mass’ finds gentle guitar and percussion play into hypnotic repetition, the vocals moving and mournful.

“It’s unnatural
You’re oil on water
Oh so gradual
It’s closing in on us
I’ve no conscience at all
This must be comeuppance
You’re collateral
I’m throwing you under”

The release closes with the title track, another stark, bleak folk song, this time complemented by plaintive violin and sparse percussion. The track gathers momentum across its run time, the vocals rising and the instrumentation gathering around them as though swelling at Muto’s command, the booming voice of some medieval magus conjuring the elements to display his emotions.

“So at last you’ve come
Hallowed by the dawning sun
A silent salangane.
Hound at either side
Wire coats and clouded eyes
Treading ever by”

Well-Wisher is out now and you can get it on a pay-what-you-can basis from the Wooden Maria Bandcamp page.