Premiere: Charm of Finches’ Wistful & Wondrous “Treading Water” Captures the Haunting Weight of Goodbye

Charm of Finches © Laura May Grogan
Charm of Finches © Laura May Grogan
A wistful song full of haunting feeling and rich harmony, Charm of Finches’ “Treading Water” captures the bittersweet weight of goodbye with spellbinding immediacy and grace.
for fans of The Staves, I SEE RIVERS, Ida Lune, The Sea The Sea
Stream: “Treading Water” – Charm of Finches




This song captures the bittersweet reminiscing of a relationship that was mutually ended. Some of my favourite songs carry the essence of a place…

Relationships may come and go, but memories last a lifetime – embedding places and objects with special meaning from distant moments and long gone partners. A wistful song full of haunting feeling and rich harmony, Charm of Finches’ “Treading Water” captures the bittersweet weight of goodbye with spellbinding immediacy and grace.

Treading Water - Charm of Finches
Treading Water – Charm of Finches
We walked from Footscray all the way to Seaholme
And we talked about what we did when we were kids
We asked each other stupid questions,
talked about the silly things

If only it could always be like this
We followed the path ‘round the coast in the sunshine
You couldn’t help but hold me to you close
And when you touched me I felt an aching
Fear of losing, fear of breaking
It took a while for that feeling to go
We both knew we were just treading water
Eventually drowned each other
Grab hold of you, pulled you under
Minds already the bluest colour

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Treading Water,” Charm of Finches’ second single of 2021 and the latest offering from their forthcoming third album, duo later this year via AntiFragile Music. Melbourne sister duo of Mabel Windred-Wornes and Ivy Windred-Wornes (with Daniel Ledwell contributing on electric guitar), Charm of Finches have been weaving spellbinding songs since the early 2010s. The group’s captivating chamber folk sound – a result of their lush, colorful vocal harmonies and intricate acoustic guitar work – has guided them to great heights through two acclaimed, stirring LPs (2016’s Staring at the Starry Ceiling and 2019’s Your Company). Their third forthcoming record, recently teased by the gorgeous lead single “Pocket of Stones,” promises to be the band’s richest, most intricate and delicate offering yet.

Charm of Finches
Charm of Finches

“Treading Water” is a smoldering, stunningly up-close immersion and upheaval. Somber vocals and hot-on-the-mic guitar blend together in an alluring tapestry brimming with heartfelt, heavy emotion.

It’s now I remember all of the best times
Like when we camped under stars when we first met
We climbed a hill to those abandoned trams
Lay together underneath the pines and
Skinny-dipped in the river as the sun set
And in all of the pictures where we’re together smiling
We both held our own wounds deep in our chests
Sometimes we wanted to scream aloud
But it’s easier to shut them out
Than risk breaking our many woven threads
We both knew we were just treading water
Eventually drowned each other
Grab hold of you, pulled you under
Minds already the bluest colour

“This song captures the bittersweet reminiscing of a relationship that was mutually ended,” Charm of Finches tell Atwood Magazine. “Some of my favourite songs carry the essence of a place. I like how this song conveys the character of Melbourne’s inner west. The journey is across a city, but also across the somewhat trickier emotional terrain of navigating the transition from lovers to friends.”

Charm of Finches
Charm of Finches

Through layered dreamy vocals and a subtle, soaring sonic palette, Charm of Finches build “Treading Water” into a heartbreakingly beautiful listening experience. While they self-describe the piece as “soul-bearing, immersive, and fluid,” what truly sets this song apart is its ability to marry nostalgia with immediacy: It’s as if, through this song, we’re living in the past and present all at once. Charm of Finches blend time as they reflect on a love that once was, inviting their listeners into an inner sanctum breathing with that most intimate of scars.

Would it be wrong to call this grieving
Losing someone who is still breathing
Smouldering, aching, fear of leaving
Pitiful, lonely, helpless feeling
Swing between numbness, body heaving
Try to ignore my faltered breathing

For the Windred-Wornes sisters, Melbourne’s inner west bears a special meaning – bringing to life the cold embers of a long-extinguished flame. For others, those same feelings come to life through perhaps a certain street or restaurant, a vacation destination, or somewhere else entirely: We connect all places with certain memories, but it’s how we value those memories that ultimately determines what a place means to us. It’s our past bringing new meaning to the present. “Treading Water” is a soundtrack for that experience – the act of remembering and reliving, if only for a few seconds, a former version of ourselves.

Stream Charm of Finches’ new single exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

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Stream: “Treading Water” – Charm of Finches



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Treading Water - Charm of Finches

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