WEDNESDAY – ” Handsome Man “

Posted: June 8, 2021 in MUSIC

Asheville five-piece Wednesday are prepping the release of their second album “Twin Plagues”, out on August 13th via Orindal Records, and its lead single “Handsome Man” is one of my favourite songs of the year so far. With a steady stream of cheerful, blowtorched guitars and vocals so sweet you can practically hear the smiles on their faces, this song is a certified mood-boosting joyride. While the lyrics are tinged with lonesome woes (“I’m all alone in a snow globe / Where do we go when the glow goes home?”) and amusing fragments of memories (“Holding a crossbow in a family photo”), the song exudes an impenetrable state of loose, giggly ease it acknowledges this deeply fucked-up world, and then takes a deep breath and wears a good-faith grin, which is honestly the most you can expect anyone to do these days.

In a long and emotionally exhausting year of being inside (alone, in my case,) I have found myself thinking about mirrors. How to avoid spending too much time in them, most days. Taking inventory of the real, physical self is difficult work, work that I’m not entirely opposed to but work that became immediately more treacherous for me when I had to witness the very real toll that time, modern anxieties, isolation, and boredom were taking on me. It was easier, it seemed, to spiral into a not-so-distant glorious past, to use memory as a tool of both excitement and healing.

As they describe, in a time marred by peeling wallpaper, car crashes and ugly overpasses, we can at least laugh through the pain, or in their case, make a rock song so damn good that literally nothing can faze anyone who’s listening to it. And its expectedly smiley music video swaps those aforementioned bummers for simple pleasures, namely sunshine, parking lot adventures.

So, yes, the songs are good. You will maybe roll down your windows on a comfortable day on the right stretch of road in a warm season and turn the volume up when “Birthday Song” gets good and loud and sing-along-able. You might sit atop a rooftop at night, closer to the moon than you were on the ground, and let “Ghost Of A Dog” churn and rattle you to some night time realization that you couldn’t have had in silence.

But, even on top of all of this, on top of all the pleasures and the mercies that the sounds on this album might afford. I hope and think, too, that it will remind anyone who listens that we are a collection of many reflections. All of them deserving patience.

vocals and guitar Karly Hartzman
lead guitar Jake Lenderman
Bass Margo Schultz
Drums Alan Miller
Lap Steel Xandy Chelmis R

Releases August 13th, 2021

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