Friday, July 27, 2012

Witch Gardens R.I.P. on Water Wing Records

Water Wing Records contacted me about their new label a few weeks back. They put out a couple of singles like that Psychic Feline psych burner. (Which you can win a copy by emailing me an entry...for 4 more days! Thanks to everyone who entered by the way, appreciate it, I should have some runner up singles as well.) They also let me know about this single from Witch Gardens a four piece based in Seattle calmly winning over hearts and minds with their unassuming charm and twee melodies.

A-Side's "Aunt Shae/Mean Colleen" starts with an intro of shimmering chimes and slow reverb strum.... you're getting sleepy for the huge chorus of voices to lull this one out. It's a Weird/freak folk style rhythm in thier own tempo reminding me a lot of Who Could Kill a Rabbit with it's odd, staggering anti-lock strumming beat. This dreamy intro gives way to a solid pounding tom rhythm once that dust settles, and the vocal is completely the defining element in these tracks, with all band members singing chorus style, back and forth with a little bit of twee, pushing the delivery as fast as possible, ignoring the usual rhyme's an outpouring of a diary entry a rapid fire, breathy note passed in class. They break into this for a moment to slow things down again back into that beginning feel, a sort of a cloudy psych moment that goes super tropical, taking a page from Blueberry Boat in it's specific slightly operatic direction, this chorus is the Langley School Music Project, completely disarming. You can hear all kinds of musical training here, in fits and starts of orchestral arrangements, a kind of Polyphonic Spree Sufjan folk that's completely catchy, almosty embarassingly so...for everyone else forced to listen to you unknowingly singing along.

B-Side's "Standard Poodle", is close to that Besties loose K records sound, maybe in an attempt to temper the complex instrumentation side of this. It still sounds half rehearsed but they smartly want to keep the spontaneity of the overall weirdo arrangement. They're saying, "It's ok guys we're just like you". Cut up pieces of other songs that would stick to this chorus the entire time. A twinkly, high, barely sung, waifish quality to this track...which take more than a few listens to get through the dense lyric.

all you are is a standard poodle...

that can't be a compliment.
"Bakers Dozen" features that Sunday morning angelic chorus backed with the ooooos, and a jangly guitar is being positively strung up here, plucked with force. A bass rhythm comes in opposite that high vibrating melody... Seriously unique rhythms of super pop like Ski Lodge or Lizard Kisses. Not too precious about this, that's what I appreciate, there's a loose raw feel to how complex this actually is. The note isn't perfect, the rolling beat is one take, there's no editing, it would break the illusion of the collective good time.

Get this one from Water Wing, off to a fantastic start.

Witch Gardens are the Seattle-based project of Beth Corry, Sara Beabout, Karolyn Kukoski and Casey Catherwood. After a handful of cassettes and seven inches on a variety of labels, R-I-P is the newest chapter in the Witch Gardens narrative. Each of the EP’s three songs of love, friendship and identity are articulated through their trademark dreamy melodies, buoyant rhythms, resonant guitar/autoharp, and endlessly infectious charm. Recorded at The Pool with Alex Yusimov and mastered by Tim Stollenwerk, R-I-P showcases these young pop savants’ best songwriting to date. Featuring gorgeous cover art by the Witches’ own Sara Beabout & Casey Catherwood. Get on the broom! Digital Download Included

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