Posts Tagged ‘Corey Hanson’

Cory Hanson has led the Los Angeles psych-rock band Wand for the past seven years, and they just released their Laughing Matter album last year. But Hanson also makes music without his band. Hanson released his solo debut The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo in 2016, and he got together with his friend Ty Segall to drop a couple of benefit tracks earlier this year. 

Hanson’s has a new solo album due out next year is called Pale Horse Rider, and it promises a way-out take on country-rock. First single “Paper Fog” is a warm, strummy chug that slowly piles on more and more spacey effects. Hanson’s voice is a relatively plainspoken tenor, but his guitar aims for the astral plane.

Setlist: Wonder [Wand, Laughing Matter] – 0:21 Blue Cloud [Wand, Plum] – 5:25 The Trap (just the intro) [Wand, Plum] – 8:50 Ordinary People [Cory Hanson, The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo] – 9:58 Cosmic Dancer (cover) [T. Rex, Electric Warrior] – 13:00 Morning Rainbow [Wand, 1000 Days] – 18:47 Rio Grande [Wand, Laughing Matter] – 22:10 Candy Says (cover) [The Velvet Underground, S/T] – 26:02 Growing Up Boys [Wand, Ganglion Reef] – 30:13

Go buy all his albums on bandcamp!!! Laughing Matter (LP, out 4/19/19) Perfume (EP, 2018) Plum (LP, 2017) 1000 Days (LP, 2015) Golem (LP, 2015) Ganglion Reef (LP, 2014)



“I’ve been driving through the darkness…through the smoke and fire on the ground”

Lingering at the remains of a campfire before dawn, with the politics of the personal burnt into ash, running his stick through what’s left, Wand singer/guitarist Cory Hanson is reflecting on moments of stepping further into himself, finding the ultimate big sky country on the inside of his skull. It’s a combination of songs and sounds that journey through bleak and broken territory and places of sweet, lush remove and it adds up to the best record he’s been involved in yet: his second solo album, “Pale Horse Rider”.

The session was loose and flowed onto tape well. First takes were mostly best takes. Fuelled with DNA lifted from country-rock cut with native psych and prog strands, Cory Hanson guided his craft toward the cosmic side of the highway, a benevolent alien in ambient fields hazy with heat and synths, early morning fog and space echo spreading the harmonies wide. Pale Horse Rider eyes the city, the country and the fragile environment that holds them both in its hands – a record as much about Los Angeles as it can be with its back to the town and the sun in its eyes; as much about nostalgia as new music can be with the apocalypse over the next rise…

On “Pale Horse Rider”Cory Hanson moves ceaselessly forward. The old myths weave and waft, the shadows of tombstones flickering in the mirages and the light that lies dead ahead. Watch the video for “Paper Fog” now and get ready to saddle up and ride – reserve your copy before it touches down, on March 12th, 2021.

Hanson directed the “Paper Fog” video with Casey Hanson, and it’s a weird one. In the video, Cory Hanson stands on a sand dune, playing his acoustic guitar and looking nightmarish, with red face paint and unnatural contact lenses. Meanwhile, a disoriented Santa Claus wanders through the desert and then rips his own skin off. 

Pale Horse Rider released March 12th, 2021 through Drag City Records

It’s summer at last and with all this fresh energy transferring through the air, none is fresher than that of Wand the Los Angeles psych-rock band’s video for “Pure Romance.” 

Both previously released singles from Perfume, Wand’s forthcoming 30-minute EP, show off the band’s range, from the hyperactive strobe-light-psych of the title track to the oh-so-pretty kaleidoscopic-pop of “The Gift.” “Pure Romance” features Wand in a floral strut that winds outward, reminiscent of The Left Banke’s fanciful baroque-pop minus the strings and French horns. “We both act very funny / The expressions that we hid,” Cory Hanson sings of timeless moments of desire, his voice hanging over guitars that interlock in and out of each other like new lovers. Within that span we’ve seen the line-up expand and evolve, as Wand enter a phase of maturation that must be seen to be believed. The sound, the energy, and the magic all held within Wand‘s orb are at full capacity – it’s a mesmerizing, super-sonic quake, are you ready for it?

Official music video for Wand’s “Pure Romance”, off of their Perfume EP.  comes out May 25th via Drag City.

Wand Plum review

“Plum” is Wand’s fourth record. Yet it functionally serves as a new debut. Their first three albums saw the group, then a four-piece helmed by guitarist/vocalist/main songwriter Cory Hanson, producing wild and ecstatic, fuzzed-out psychedelic garage rock in the vein of Ty Segall and associated California bands. Wand erred to the more playful and gleeful end where Segall would lean into ecstasy and abandon,

For Plum, however, Wand sees the addition of a full-time keyboardist and a much more democratic approach to songwriting and development. This new palette brings with it a shift in arrangement and a fairly big shift in sound. The instruments are thinner now, the guitars less bustling with fuzz and distortion, the drums less rumbling and redlined.

Everything has more space now, in an uncomfortably produced sense, allowing the songs to develop almost like the way The Beatles, Kinks, early Radiohead or ’90s-era Britpop bands did. Wand reveals here a similar sense of dreamlike melodies, something that was hidden behind the walls of distortion. To their credit, it spares them one of the most damning-with-faint-praise comments made of music in the garage mold that they worked in before, being that the aesthetic covered up typically bad songwriting. If nothing else, this record shows that Wand know the mechanics of songs, can construct memorable, deft and complex melodies, and can ornament and arrange those structures well.

There is the issue of cohesion, though. When these songs get cooking, they develop in similar directions: spare, thin guitar lines playing in counterpoint to one another, trapped somewhere between the King Crimson-isms of Slint and the psych-folk of the Byrds; drums and bass locked in simple motorik rhythm; keys bridging the gap between pure ornamentation and the central melodies. And, it must be said, when these tunes get cooking, it’s compelling stuff. The launching points span from Beatles-replay indie rock cliches to smart minimal post-punk to heady psychedelia, with little emotional logic to link the songs. Listen to “Charles de Gaulle” through to “White Cat” and try to find a common emotional thread. It isn’t there.

Which proves as frustrating as it does because when on tracks like “High Rise” (far too short at a scant two minutes for as fulfulling a riff it is!) and album standout “Blue Cloud,” Wand shows that this new configuration and songwriting approach can produce some exceptional song structures and incredible playing to complement them. This promising messiness is what makes Plum feel so much like a second debut rather than a fourth album, per se; given the fact that they took on a new second guitarist and added a whole new member in their keyboard player, not to mention totally shifting how they write and develop songs.

Plum ultimately is a record of a band finding their feet again. The bad news is it doesn’t come together and leave a fully satisfying record in their wake. The good news, however, is that they give themselves plenty of fertile ground here. “Blue Cloud,” as stated before, is easily the most successful song on the album. Record closer “Driving” is a Neil Young-style massive emotional closer, something I never would have imagined this band capable of before.


“The Trap” is an alt-country ballad that focuses on being beautiful, an aim I never expected from this band.


Keep it locked in your mind Corey Hanson’s band Wand’s incredible new batch of jams, called “Plum” is on track for release on September 22nd, Wand present the video for new single “Bee Karma,” and all its ascendant riffs! “Bee Karma” has everything you’d want from a music video,  beautiful shots, emotional narrative, Super 8 footage, and a clown! Say what? Yeah, as Wand’s Cory Hanson puts it: “The video stars my brother Casey as the clown that I drive around.  Abby Banks shot all the footage of him in the car, then I shot all the double exposure dancing parts on a high school assembly stage. It’s an age old story.  In the end, the good clown wins and gets to be free. He dances.” In the end, we’re all looking to win and be free, aren’t we.

Track from “Plum” by Wand, available on LP/CS/CD/Digital, released by Drag City Records on September 22nd, 2017. Video directed by Cory Hanson.