You Nearly Missed: Wednesday at the Fox Cabaret
It's very satisfying when a band lives up to the incredible hype surrounding it. Wednesday being named “one of the best indie rock bands around” is grand enough of a statement already, let alone when it comes from Pitchfork.
The same thing happened to Wet Leg when “Chaise Longue” went viral. Because it was so good, ridiculous rumours actually swirled that the band was an industry plant. When Wet Leg’s self-titled debut was released, it was filled top-to-bottom with brilliant songs just as incisive and catchy as the group’s first single. Take that, cynics: it was great because they are great.
Now, Wednesday feels like they’re in a similar boat. While Rat Saw God is the Asheville, North Carolina quintet’s fifth studio record—and 2021’s effort, Twin Plagues, broke through the mainstream—this new album has catapulted the band to stratospheric heights. It earned universal acclaim everywhere from the New Yorker to Stereogum, which predicted that “Wednesday might end up as the greatest indie band of their generation.”
Combining whirling shoegaze with distorted pedal steel, country twang, and Karly Hartzman’s wailing vocals, the band’s sound is totally singular yet hits somewhere so deep in the guts that it feels devastatingly familiar. It creates a scorched backdrop to Hartzman’s smart and evocative storytelling, as she zeroes in on the minutiae of life in the South; be it standing in line at Panera Bread (“TV in the Gas Pump”) or existential dread by way of natural decay (“Hot Rotten Grass Smell”).
So, lofty expectations, sure. But they’re well-deserved—and beyond surpassed.
Wednesday performs at a sold-out Fox Cabaret on Tuesday, May 9.