Baltimore shoegaze revivalist five-piece Wildhoney have premiered their new EP Your Face Sideways in full with Noisey. “The record qualifies as an EP, and yet it packs such breadth and length it would be obtuse to not consider it a full record in its own right.” Still garnering acclaim for their debut album, released earlier this year, the Baltimore group will be releasing their third EP digitally and on 12″ vinyl through Topshelf Records on 16th October 2015. To bring Your Face Sidewaysto life, the band traversed a grand canyon of pop music. Traveling forward under a clear sky, Wildhoney passed under a series of constellations: first the Shangri-Las Nebula, then the rarely seen Cocteau Twins Hydra. Heard along the road through open windows, carols of Patsy Cline echoed like siren songs.
Wildhoney has been touring across North America this year and continues this weekend with a show at the Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, N.C. The band will also will share the stage with La Dispute and Envy in November in the US.
More about Your Face Sideways:
In Wildhoney’s dark, lucid, and hook-heavy landscape, Zach Inscho plays drums, Joe Trainor and Marybeth Mareski play guitars, Alan Everhart plays bass, and Lauren Shusterich sings. Together the group makes their own sense of the pop tradition, as heard on recent tours with Ceremony, Eternal Summers and Whirr. Many have noticed the band’s energy and efforts—earning them high praise from NPR, the Chicago Tribune, Noisey, Impose, and BrooklynVegan among others.
On their 2015 debut LP Sleep Through It (Deranged/Forward! Records), Wildhoney proved themselves masters of creating a cohesive, yet diverse, full-length set of songs that left the listener wanting more. Critics noted the band’s thoughtfulness and attention to dynamic. Sleep Through It was preceded by two EPs—a self-titled release (Nostalgium Directive) that showed off the band’s heavy punk influences and first nervous forays into pop, and Seventeen Forever(Photobooth Records) on which the group advanced bravely forward, refining their sound and highlighting their catchy vocal melodies.
Wildhoney chooses to use songwriting and melody as primary vehicles on their pop excursions, a traditional approach they first proposed on Sleep Through It and wholly celebrate on Your Face Sideways. The five songs on Side A of the EP were recorded at Marlborough Farms by New York pop legend Gary Olson (Jens Lekman, Crystal Stilts, Frankie Rose, Literature, Architecture in Helsinki), and are steered by Shusterich’s vocals. Like a sculptor, Shusterich molds her voice to carry sweet melodies against uptempo instrumentation, poetically exploring loss and depression through her lyrics. The long, slower composition “FSA II” comprises the entirety of Side B, expanding on what was explored in “FSA” from Sleep Through It. Recorded directly to tape by Jordan Romero in his Baltimore bedroom, the track uses sparse repetition, minimal guitar, glockenspiel, flute, synths, and field recordings to remind the listener that while noise and effects may come and go, Wildhoney holds a map to pop magic—taking the alternate routes, guided by heart and mind.