By Christine Leonard
Wand – Laughing Matter
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.Wand