Read a story of perseverance and triumph against all odds as I recap my interview with one of my favorite bands, Wednesday.
This interview was off to a blazing hot start from the get go as Karly Hartzman announced that there was a bear (a fucking bear) in their yard.
Jake Lenderman (guitar) and Xandy Rooben (muse of the band) joined us for one of my favorite interviews to date as the three of them were an absolute joy to talk to and left zero doubt as to why they are on such a fast ascent to stardom. We were excited to begin discussing new singles ‘Handsome Man’ and ‘Cody’s Only’ and the upcoming probably AOTY coming on 8/13…
That’s when things got blurry.
During the most important interview to ever be conducted in history, my home experienced a power outage. My neighbor called and LADWP said it was an 1800 home outage.
Sadly along with my unprecedentedly pink and blurry face, my audio had also become distorted, to the point that it made the interview unwatchable.
Fortunately Wednesday’s answers came through clearly, which is why this time around I am transcribing the interview here on the blog.
Even more fortunately, Wednesday’s PERFORMANCE CAME THROUGH CRYSTAL CLEAR, giving some some quality footage to use.
Here’s the full interview video for anyone who wants to watch, but be forewarned that the audio makes it tough at times:
Without further ado:
What moment in music history would you buy as an NFT?
NFTs are bad for the environment, but let’s say in an ideal world where they weren’t for this example.
Jake: George Jones driving a tractor to the liquor store after a several day drinking binge
Karly: Dolly Parton’s nails from the classic concert that Dust To Digital just released on video
Alan (via comments): Smashing Pumpkins, London ’93
What are some of your biggest musical influences?
Karly: This past year and right around the time we were recording it was Unwound, a big one for me right now.
Jake: Smashing Pumpkins. We try to layer guitars like that.
Karly: I like the Swirlies a lot, they’re one of my favorite bands ever. We also like a lot fo country music, especially when we’re grilling or sitting on the porch, it’s like the only thing that makes sense for what we’re look at and what we’re eating, which is usually hot dogs.
Besides from music, what are some other mediums of art that you think have influenced you?
Karly: I do a lot of sewing, I’m actually about to drop a bunch of Wednesday shirts that are handmade. Jake likes to paint trucks, and Xandy is a baker, which actually plays into the way we write music.
As we went in depth into this Karly mentioned that she a line of brand new handmade Wednesday shirts, available here. Here’s a preview:
What artists are killing it right now, and who should we watch out for?
In addition to all of this we discussed fun things to do in Asheville, shopping local and avoiding the new chains popping up (especially Harvest Records), baking on tour, and a myriad of other fun topics.
We’re almost a quarter of the way through the year (WTF are you serious), and we are already off to a HOT start. Like a good steak pairs with a nice cab, this blog pairs great with the January edition which I wrote last month.
Here all of these songs and more here, and don’t forget to follow for weekly updates:
“B Cool Janet” – Cheap Synths
It’s the #Yearofthecheap ala Cheap Synths’ Instagram- and I agree. On occasion over here we exercise the #WeekOfBeansAndRice so I get it. An underrated jammer you need to know. This one goes out to every Janet you ever met that sucked, this goes out to you, Janet.
“No Interruptions” – Betty Mae
This one basically broke my computer, repeat button is stuck. What’s cool about this is it’s the promise of something greater, a shining career to come. Watch out for the EP in May- “Bitch I’ve Grown”.
And bitch, I have grown. But sometimes still I need to be tucked into bed by a smooth song that plays directly to my soul. Be sure to catch Betty on my esteemed colleague JPGChief’s epic playlists Less Than 1000 Followers and Fresh Singles, which he updates daily.
“Doubt” – Josh Dominguez, T.R.3.
Josh has always been prevalent in the LA underground music scene, but as of lately he is coming out hot. He’s got an album dropping soon, and mark my words, it’s going to be a game changer for him. The underground scene in LA (where I’m based) has been circulating advanced copies and demos for weeks, including some very fun and unexpected live performances. Watch out for the album in May, and the next single “Air It Out” on April 10th.
“Garden Party” – Roman Flügel
This is one of the most fire house songs I’ve heard in a while.
It gives me major Terje vibes. And I don’t think I need to say anymore about Terje vibes:
Oof. Major vibes. I have a question and I suppose I don’t need an answer, but what movie does this make you want to watch? I actually am kind of curious, I was bumping this on repeat and my first thoughts that came to my head were Diary of a Mad Black Woman (just based on that twinkly inspirational piano alone) and something inspitaional like Jerry Maguire (I ended up watching Almost Famous, amazing film but didn’t quite hit the spot. Anways, this is a new fave and dead lock for top 50 at the end of the year.
“Sweetness” – Sink Ya Teeth
This song takes me back. It’s brand new but it reminds me of those days when I would bump some Kelly Lee Owens Self-Titled album and some Marie Davidson on repeat. Absolute heater.
Also if you hated Daw’s article, because he can be a lot sometimes, I think this reaction video says pretty much everything that needs to be said:
“You’ll Miss Me When I’m Not Around” – Grimes
So anyone who knows me knows that I stan Art Angels and easily put it in my top five albums of the decade. Now, I’ve been a hater on the new singles. For sure. In fact I would even go as far as to say that I only liked We Appreciate Power and Pretty (Demo). But all of the pent up doubt and naysay’n I had was proven to be faithless and foolish when the album dropped- it’s excellent. It’s a masterfully poignant and groundbreaking attempt at a Neil Armstrong first small step for mankind into the forthcoming intersection between humanity and technology. This feels like something old but in reality we’re barely halfway there. It’s only a matter of time before robots envelop most of the human workforce across the planet, and AI deep learns faster and faster to the point where it surpasses mankind in capability. It’s adventurous of Grimes to tackle this topic, even if it’s in the form of unpopular claims about AI music overtaking human music someday soon. Count this as a win for Grimes, a big bold step forward for an already top tier progressive artist, further cementing her place in history as a pop and overall music icon.
I bet that last one alarmed you, right? That’s why Yves is so cool. There is a ton of shock value pop culture out there, but very few back it up with quality art like Yves does. Yves is seriously so cool. Let’s take a quick dive.
“I Never Cried So Much in My Whole Life” – Oh Boy, Cub Sport, Cult Shøtta, A.GIRL, Isaac Puerile
So Cub Sport released this as basically an instrumental with a hook a while ago and my first thought was “this is awesome but it needs rap verses or something” and lo and behold here we are. It’s like this track went from:
You feel me?
“A Little Longer” – Leila Sunier
I absolutely love this one. Leila hails from the suburbs of New York and released this stunner in which she crescendos her effortless, trickling vocals into a powerful and climactic chorus that sticks with you.
“Maura” – Wednesday
If you couldn’t tell from my subtle article about it this is my favorite album of the year so far. It was tough to pick a song because the whole thing is so perfect, but this was my favorite.
“Lifetime” – Caveboy
This is so Indie Pong vibes- you already know. Watch out for this Montreal band and check out their new album “Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark” for more pop excellence.
“I Just Want To Look At You” – Eilish Gilligan
I was a big fan of The Pull last year and was looking forward to what Eilish would do next- and was not disappointed. The Melbourne based Eilish Gilligan has one of the purest voices around right now, and we’re huge fans.
“Pictionary” – Shmu
This is some lo-fi excellence right here. The kind of song you just get lost in and then have to play again when it ends. Austin-based Sam Chown by way of Toronto feels uncommercial in an endearing way in his self-explained “Futuristic Melty Dream Pop meets hazy Psychedelic Yacht-Vaporwave”. Don’t think I could put it better myself.
While I was writing this I realized this song is actually from 2015 but I already wrote it so… meh. Enjoy. Also be sure to check out Shmu’s new album “Pure Bliss” which came out last month.
EDIT: I have been asked to take this down by my boss because it’s old. Sike- I am the boss fool!
“A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” – Kat Edmonson
This cover is just absolutely lovely. It’s a great conversation piece for when your grandparents ask about what you’re listening to these days (literally has never happened to me but you never know) and you don’t feel like explaining the nuances of Shmu or why Josh Dominguez sounds so angry on Doubt- throw this badboy on and you’ll be making memories of dancing around the kitchen till dinner. You’re welcome.
“Hallelujah” – Oh Wonder
I’m low key obsessed with Oh Wonder, such overwhelmingly happy pop vibes. I’m here for it. This is a great song if you’re a cartoon protagonist who has just reached his/her low point at the end of the second act and need a good “making amends” montage to make everything right with the ancillary characters you wronged before going to the big third act ticking clock event for the big climactic moment where you realize that you’ve had it all wrong the whole time, and that actually it doesn’t matter if the other dads in the community think you’re cool or not- anyways I digress. Love this one- don’t miss the new album “No One Else Can Wear Your Crown” that just came out last month.
Wednesday, a genre defiant band from North Carolina, artfully combines familiar indie sounds on this album to reinvent them into something you’ve never heard before. Despite the fact that Wednesday detests the pompous undertones of the idea of art (or at least art school) on “Impression Sunrise” from their 2018 album “Yep Definitely”, their album boldly ventures into new artistic territory in exciting fashion.
This pop-less album stuns me from start to finish, and thanks to the stellar triple guitar of lead Daniel Gorham, steel Xandy Chelmis, and guitarist/vocalist Karly Hartzman the album elevates above others in tangent genres (not in the same genre, because I’m not sure if there is a same genre). This album shows a great evolution from the 2018’s more synth-oriented album, although the themes and lyrics on that album were top notch as well.
I could mince words forever, about the album speaks for itself. Here’s the opening track:
In this day and age bands often find a sound that works and stick with it in order to tell their story, but ‘I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone feels void of that phenomenon, as their message rattles proud ahead of any computer generated effects or production tricks. That’s not to say the mixing isn’t incredible- it is.
It was almost impossible to pick which song will be on the upcoming Indie Pong playlist update. Would it be the above opening track? Would it be ‘Underneath’, specifically the second half?
Would it be time-stoppingly beautiful ‘November’?
Well after much heated deliberation we finally settled on a track. Nobody said blogging was easy:
The bar has been set. Do yourself a favor and ascend into lo-fi heaven by giving it a listen.
The update isn’t quite up yet, but follow our playlist here for automatic updates: