Secrets of a Wooden Hut’s original members Heath Mitchell and Scott Murdoch have been making music since the early days of their existence together. On the making of their From The Outside Ep, they decided to go back to the roots and make a great studio product. To help them achieve this, they called upon the services of producer Joshua Rumer of Invengo Productions in Los Angeles, who in turn called on the services of longtime friend and bass player Gregg Cash to form a solid partnership with drummer Scott and give the tracks the perfect amount of rhythmic flair.
Once Rumer hit Melbourne they scheduled to record six tracks in 21 days with mixing scheduled to take place in Los Angeles. Having auditioned several vocalists via Skype the band decided to call on the services of a relatively unknown singer by the name of Samantha Sharpe.
Mixed by Stewart Cararas and mastered by Warren Sokol at Universal, the songs on “From The Outside” tell the stories of the 3 girls locked in a basement in Ohio, tales of love turning evil and even embracing heavy social issues such as chemical addictions and battery.
This Ep has surpassed my expectations. The songs are not only catchy but they are relatable, clever, and just downright awesome. Samantha’s voice is a powerhouse, while the guitar riffs and melodies are beautiful, combined with the hard hitting rhythm section. Samantha can go from passionate, to angry, to reflective, and you’ll be hanging on every word. The overall atmosphere of the Ep is “dark and serious” with little rays of bright light and hope, shining though its depths.
Though the instrumentation and production standards are of the highest quality on From The Outside, there is just something about Samantha Sharpe that really brings excitement to the band’s music. She’s almost hypnotic from the first track “The Madness” to tracks such as “Summer”, “Autumn” and “Fade Out”, her vocals takes these songs to a higher level.
The allure of Secrets of a Wooden Hut’s powerhouse music is however not limited to the faster, heavy hitting tracks like, “From The Outside” or “Eternal Sleep”. There is a magic within the slower tempo tracks where your mind tends to zero in on the brilliance of their songwriting.
Overall, From The Outside is a magnificent Ep. It’s one thing to enjoy all songs on the Ep, but in repeated listens, you start to notice all the elements in their music; from the vocals, the music, the songwriting, and more importantly, the sheer emotion. Just listen to a track such as “Summer” and feel how the song absolutely touches your soul. Personally speaking, it’s not hard to fall in love with Secrets of a Wooden Hut.
Evolution is a tricky thing in the music business, but what strikes me about “From The Outside” is that it seems the band wasn’t at all influenced by any raging success and commercialism of their peers. They made the album they wanted to make, and I think striving for quality over commercialism makes Secrets of a Wooden Hut special and makes the album even more remarkable.