I’m going to step away from some of the concert coverage I’ve been wrapped up in, and just focus on some good old fashion individual songs for awhile. I’ve got plenty of shows in the backlog pile. But I’m sorting out some technical issues with blog content, so getting back to basics will be my defacto go-to for the time being – i.e. simple embeds and a lot of words.
So tonight’s focus is L.A. indie act Wand, and their single “Scarecrow,” which probably best falls under the psychedelic garage moniker.
Wand are a five-piece who’ve been around since 2013. They didn’t cross my path until late last year, at the esteemed Desert Daze festival, where they almost performed, but were instead sidetracked by a frightening lightning storm.
So I didn’t actually see Wand play. But the whole commotion caused me to take future notice, and give them a good listen once the fest was over, and I was back home. I would’ve done it there. But WiFi and Cell coverage were spotty at best at the Lake Perris location in Moreno Valley.
Soon after, I became a more than casual fan, starting with their 2015 smooth kaleidoscopic single “Melted Rope,” and working my way through their (at the time) four diverse albums. And it took me until last month to finally witness their live performance, with an opening slot for renown ’90s indie act Stereolab‘s reunion at the Theatre at the Ace on 10.20.19.
I’ll start by saying that Wand’s show was a bit of a revelation. They’re definitely aligned with the psych-rock revival that’s been permeating the indie underground, fueling such fests as Desert Daze. But they’re more off-kilter and slightly stranger than many of their peers.
I chose “Scarecrow,” because I distinctly recall their live performance of this one, before I even knew what it was called. It’s different, somewhat minimalist and surprisingly pristine, with echoing slices of guitar and stripped-to-the-bone percussion, less concerned about feedback and more fixated on hypnotic reverberations. Of course, there’s occasional outbursts of sculptured noise. But it’s more spacey and weird, than outright loud or abrasive.
I’d also say there’s an underlying complexity to its overall simplicity. Little slivers of keyboards or guitar intermittently punctuate “Scarecrow,” lending more shape and substance to its misleadingly modest appearance. And for some reason, Cory Hanson’s vocals remind me of a young Thom Yorke, even though I know he’s entirely different, which lends another interesting layer to this aural oddity.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got on “Scarecrow.” I’ll leave you with the embed, an official music video, and this particular memory of their show from last month, which for some reason, has stuck with me. I was headed to the restroom, and vocalist/keyboardist Sofia Arreguin came rushing out of the men’s bathroom, smiling in her velvet suit jacket, nearly bumped into me, confidently said she knew where she was going, then headed off to the women’s lavatory.
And with that, here’s an embed and music video for Wand’s “Scarecrow” from the 2019 album “Laughing Matter.”
“Scarecrow” from the 2019 album “Laughing Matter.”
In a last minute addition, here’s a moderately decent recording of Wand performing “Scarecrow” at the aforementioned show at Theatre at the Ace on 10.20.19.
Wand perform “Scarecrow” at the Theatre at the Ace on 10.20.19.