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Chutzpah! Festival Celebrates Diversity With Multifaceted International Programming

Chutzpah! Festival Celebrates Diversity With Multifaceted International Programming

by Yasmine Shemesh In Hebrew, chutzpah means “brazen audacity.” As such, it’s fitting that the term would be the namesake…

Album Review: Wand – Laughing Matter

Monday 08th, April 2019 / 11:29
By Christine Leonard

WandLaughing Matter 

[Drag City]

Los Angeles art-rock band Wand have out done themselves with a new double LP that connects the dots of their discography like a trail of harmonic breadcrumbs.

Tracing the pathways worn through the tall grass by their EP, Perfume, and previous full-length release Plum, which both appeared on the Drag City record label in 2017, the aptly named Laughing Matter unpacks a bushel of happy lawn-dancing creatures.

Chuckling up his sleeve, frontman and master media manipulator Cory Hanson ushers his fuzzy navel-gazing quintet through fifteen equally imaginative and emotive pop rock ditties. Painting pastel sunsets across a synthetic horizon, tracks such as the capricious “xoxo” and the atmospheric “Bubble” offer up easy-to-get-along-with melodies adorned with breezy instrumental and vocal outbursts.

Elsewhere, the aerodynamically acoustic “High Planes Drifter” breaks like a prairie dawn, drawing up to the warm and sketchy sand patterns of “Rio Grande,” as the beat-hurried “Scarecrow” thumbs a ride down the winding coastal highway. Toing the line between electronic pop and organic improv, “Hare” captures the buzz of a noisy mountain meadow, easily toppling the plodding piano of the lop-sided “Tortoise.”

Perhaps the brightest orb in the entire constellation, the reluctant “Evening Star” unveils itself slowly before leaping into your arms with a rose clenched in its teeth.