I was fortunate enough to catch Wand this past week; I left with one thought, that this was not the same band I’d seen a handful of times before. Cory Hanson seems to be guiding the band into newer, bolder directions…and I can’t really think of a Wand LP that sounds exactly like the one before that. This song has this pulsing groove that almost seems to emulate the sound of a ringing fire alarm; it’s a sound that works in contrast to Hanson’s almost Yorke-like vocal performance. Still, underneath the pulse lives noodling guitar work and tight percussion, perhaps the remaining mark that this is still Wand. Laughing Matter will be out April 19th via Drag City.
How does Wand keep growing and evolving, all the while still sounding wholly incredible? As they announce their new double LP, Laughing Matter, it comes with this wondrous new single. It begins by teasing you with this measured guitar line over piano and drums, all before Cory even enters the picture just after the 1 minute mark. Once he makes his vocal appearance, backed by Sofia in the distance, the song takes on a more elegant tone…like a far less pretentious Radiohead; it’s accessible, yet still relies upon the musicianship that’s made the band so powerful over the last few years. It’s a musical adventure, and we should all welcome that. Look for the new LP via Drag City on April 19th.
I love how a lot folks, myself included, sort of pigeon-holed Tim Presley; he was a more nostalgic garage rocker of sorts…and perhaps his friendship with Ty Segall, while great, allowed us to overlook his flare for exploratory pop music. He’s been doing it for several releases with Drinks, and this new single seems to hint at a continued progression. This number gets filled in and out with the odd little bit of electronic sounds, but I’d spend all my money just to hear the chorus of “Lorelei;” its warm and inviting, rising above the mix. If, like me, you’re a Tim fan, you can grab the next White Fence album, I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk, on January 25th from Drag City.
Sometimes I think Ty Segall is too prolific for his own good, but when he’s joining up with Tim Presley aka White Fence, I can definitely get behind that. This track almost sounds like it’s acoustic punk filled with furious strumming, but you can hear the influence of Presley, particularly in the very post-punk yelps and the delivery of the first chorus. Don’t worry, you get a Ty-esque solo in the last seconds of the song, just to whet your appetite. Together, Ty Segall and White Fence will release Joy on July 20th via Drag City.
It’s been some time since we’ve had a Ty Segall/White Fence collaboration actually hit the studio for a release, but it looks like the two friends have reunited for a new effort, Joy. Our first listen to new music gives us precisely what you’d expect from a band consisting of Ty and Tim Presley; there’s hints of glam, psych and garage…but it’s spun in this ornate manner Presley seems to have perfected with his other project Drinks. It’s like a weird journey down a kaleidoscope of influences; it sounds an awful lot like our friends in Colourmusic in their early days. Joy is being released by Drag City on July 20th.
I’m not sure if you listened to Drinks debut album, Hermits on Holiday, but it was a pretty special listen through and through. But, members Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley also have other projects going on, so figured there’d be a bit of time before we got something new. Well, that time is now, as the group have just announced Hippo Lite. The lyrical content doesn’t really enter the picture until after the one minute mark, with the duo primarily working with a simple bobbing bass and these jangling little guitar chords that seem to hang in the air. I also appreciate Cate’s vocal delivery; she’s got such a distinctive voice. Their new effort will be out on April 20th via Drag City.
Chris Gantry may not be a household name, but we can hold out hope that At the House of Cash will go some way to remedying that. These songs are all from back in 73′, recorded at the home of Johnny Cash. While the balladry is sincere and heartfelt, what really stands out is the lush arrangements that were laid behind the core of the tracks. Sure, it was studio magic used many a time for that era, but as you’ll see on the single below it creates an artist of grand vision, something that never fades in time. Drag City is releasing this album on November 17th.
We’re about two weeks out from the release of Plum, the new LP by Wand. I like their approach thus far, giving us little glimpses of the band’s future, all with slightly different turns, musically speaking. This one is really something, a 7 minute opus carefully structured with varying movements from start to finish. Lofty folk vibes radiate from the song’s early moments, and rides that wave for a minute before slinking back, leaving an opening for the band to take a heavy-handed jam through the song’s close. Seems like there is so much going on in this record, but we’ll have to hold back judgment until it’s released via Drag City on 9/22.
I continue to be impressed by the shifting sonics of Wand; I thought I had them pegged, but clearly not at all. This new video has some heavy handed indie rock riffs, but the way Cory’s voice is recorded in between those riffs gives off a slight Thom Yorke vibe…and then there’s that restless dream bit that floats in just after the 2 minute mark, punctuated by the ethereal notes seeping through your speakers. It closes with a bit of an emphatic jam (and clown dance), leaving me to remark that the song goes all over the place, only to stay stationery. At this point, its safe to assume that Plum is going to be a real joy to listen to, though exactly what we can expect, only the folks at Drag City (and the band) know…look for it on September 22nd.
Long ago, for some reason, Wand got lumped in with the Ty Segall crowd; that’s fair, considering songwriter Cory has played with Ty in various projects. But, as we’ve seen over the last two releases, Wand is entirely an act on their own territory. This latest single finds the band walking the territory between bouncier elements of Spoon and the lingering melodies of Radiohead. Maybe this is what California’s version of Spiritualized sounds like? Whatever it is, there’s no heavy riffs needed anymore, just the creative process and the perfect execution. Look for the band’s new album this September via Drag City…surely we’ll be hearing much more leading up to its release.