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MP3 EP 2013 | Silber 132
5 tracks, 5 minutes
I've been a fan of Wades for years. I still have the first demo they sent me maybe ten years ago. They're part punk rock & part folk blues & part lo-fi pop. They're pretty much what I always dreamed would happen if I was in a couples band. I'm super stoked that asking them to do this EP helped encourage them to start working on music more seriously again.
: Press Release
: Digital Booklet
Wades takes an airy communal approach to songwriting. The band sounds extraordinarily alive. Fidelity wise it feels completely direct. Many of these songs offer the vocals as the main attraction. Other elements (guitars) are a simple adornment. By placing themselves as the focal point, down to the point that their breaths form part of the song, it creates an extremely intimate form of music. Even on those tracks with some additional instruments their personalities shine through.
‘Orion’ is pure voice. Nothing else arrives. Their voices linger in the air. Even their pronunciation is deeply felt. From there things become slightly more complicated with at least a guitar. Like before though the main interest is in how the progression forms from their voices. Guitar serves less as a melody-maker and more as a way of keeping time. By ‘Hydrophone’ the guitar gets a more useful purpose being employed as a form of melody. For ‘Hydrophone’ continues their rather cryptic lyricism while remaining a bit fuller thanks to their inclusion of the guitar. ‘VA Blues’ changes the focus of the vocals to a lone masculine singer, remaining oddly lonely.
‘We Bite’ ends it on a dark yet playful note. Blood from the throat appears to more of a form of a humor than as any actual threat. By this point some of the darkness that permeated the earlier tracks has been lifted and lightened, revealing their great strength as a confident collection of singers.
US duo THE WADES consist of Alicia Lee and Chris Wade, and have a full length album from 2005 to their name, the two members otherwise with a past in a score of bands active in the 1980′s and 90′s and a collective past in a band called Orlock. “Skyline” is an EP from 2013, and was released on US label Silber Records as a part of an experimental series of EPs made under the condition 5 songs in 5 minutes.
I’ll give The Wades credit for managing to complete this challenge with five songs that all of them comes across as finished songs: They have a defined start, development and conclusion. When the average length of a song is a mere minute, that is rather well done. As for the specific songs here: Orion is a softly psychedelic affair with layered soft female vocals only featuring a minimalistic echo effect, Skyline is the most sophisticated entry with it’s dark toned minimalistic acoustic guitar base with female and later dual male and female vocals gradually intensifying in emotional delivery and then concluding with a light toned acoustic guitar intermission that leads back to the darker toned foundation. Hydrophone is made up by soft female vocals on top of a light toned, melodic acoustic guitar motif in a softly psychedelic manner, VA Blues is a short and concise blues with male vocals and acoustic guitar, and final song We Bite is some sort of acoustic guitar and dual male and female vocals punk-oriented Gothic affair soft in expression but with a harder edge in the chorus section.
If you generally enjoy sparse music consisting of vocals and acoustic guitar only, then The Wades EP “Skyline” is worth considering. Short and concise songs with a slight psychedelic touch to them, with a concluding piece that indicates a band with Gothic interests and a subtle punk attitude.
~ Olav Martin Bjørnsen, House of Prog
Avec le concept des 5 In 5 (cinq titres en cinq minutes pour un petit dollar), l'actif et excellent label Silber Records tenait une idée intéressante mais pouvant vite se transformer en gadget : le risque d'avoir de simples esquisses de chansons ou de courtes expérimentations vaines était fort. Et tout n'est pas, en effet, indispensable dans la série, loin de là... Mais ce Skyline prouve à lui seul qu'on faire de sacrées choses avec ce cadre strict.
Je n'avais jamais entendu parler du couple Alicia Lee Wade / Chris Wade alias Wades, qui a apparemment participé à de nombreux projets mais n'était plus actif sous ce nom depuis un certain temps. Mais en cinq petites minutes, il donne sacrément envie d'en savoir beaucoup plus... Depuis le lent, éthéré et uniquement vocal 'Orion' où Alicia rappelle furieusement Mimi Parker interprétant 'Sunshine' jusqu'à l'indie-pop aussi lo-fi que barré d'un 'We Bite' évoquant le souvenir du sublime 'She's Evil' de Guv'ner mais en version douce (oui, bon, pas par ses paroles...) et pensive, en passant par le blues sombre, minimaliste, brutal ('Skyline') ou gothique ('VA Blues') et la ballade mélancolique ('Hydrophone'), le duo nous propose cinq titres aussi différenciés que parfaitement finis, qui s'écoutent en boucle avec un grand plaisir en oubliant totalement le concept de départ et le fait que les morceaux soient si courts.
Bref, cinq vraies bonnes chansons qui sont juste parfaites dans le format choisi. Un groupe dont on a vraiment envie qu'il nous en propose bientôt beaucoup plus. L'occasion de se faire beaucoup de bonne musique en seulement cinq minutes. Ce 5 In 5 était vraiment très proche de se taper un 5 / 5...
~ Dans Le Mur Du Son