01.15.2015 — “Seventeen” by Wildhoney

Wildhoney

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Seventeen” by Wildhoney (2015, from the debut album Sleep Through It).

Wildhoney is a shoegaze/noise pop/indie pop quintet from Baltimore. They’ve released a few EPs since 2012, and they’ve generated quite a buzz. Today’s song originally appeared on their 2014 EP Seventeen Forever, and it’s one of my favorites from the album Sleep Through It. I love every song, and this is just one of the songs that’s already on bandcamp.

I had never heard of Wildhoney before I stumbled upon their debut album the other day. And I still know almost nothing about them. The album doesn’t officially come out until January 20, but eMusic has it early. I listened to about four seconds of one song before I knew that it would be one of my favorite albums of 2015. I bought the download and immediately listened to the whole album twice in a row. It’s wonderfully noisy and beautifully melodic. It’s a very good mixture of light and dark, sweet and bitter, smooth and rough. There’s certainly no shortage of shoegaze revivalists out there, but this band is one of the brightest and best I’ve heard. Keep your eyes and ears on them.

From the album-opening “Fall In” to the closing “Boys From Out of Town”, the kids in Wildhoney don’t miss a single beat. I know it’s crazily early to be saying things like this, but I really think it’s a safe bet that Sleep Through It will end up in the top ten of my 2015 year-end list. I like it that much.

It’s clear that this band is influenced heavily by, among others, My Bloody Valentine. Today’s song borrows quite a bit from “Soon”, the album-closing song from Loveless

“Seventeen” by Wildhoney

The squelching and the feedback and the pedal stomping is perfectly shoegazey in a general kind of way. All of that stuff is fine and dandy, but it’s the drum part in the beginning that made me instantly recall “Soon”. As intoxicating as all that stuff is, the real highlight of the show is vocalist Lauren Shusterich. She joined the band prior to the Seventeen Forever EP, and set the band in a different direction. Her voice is higher and airier than the previous singer, and in this song it soars above the all of the low-end heavy stuff from the guitars and bass. I love, too, that while the guitars are obviously heavily affected, her voice is pretty clean. Maybe a bit of delay, but otherwise clean. And unlike a lot of shoegazey stuff, the vocals aren’t buried in the mix or washed over by the walls of sound. I like the brightness and vitality in the big, clean vocals. You don’t get that with a male singer or even with a female singer with a lower register.

I can’t stop listening to this album. I can’t stop listening to this song.

You can buy a download of the Seventeen Forever EP from the bandcamp page here. You can pre-order a physical copy of Sleep Through It via Forward Records (US orders) here, or via Deranged Records. It sounds like it might be a while before either of those has the physical copies in stock. You can catch the band on tour now, or buy a download from eMusic here.

I recommend playing this record very loud.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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