Published Sep 20, 2017When I was younger, I always loved when cartoon characters would dream and a little cloud-shaped thought bubble would appear over them, giving us a brief look into the subconscious realm. Wand's Plum, an album also adorned with a cartoon blue cloud, feels similarly like it crosses the realm between reality and dreams, where ominous digital hisses become glittery piano and soft, jangly guitar morphs into catastrophe and back again.
The album begins with a minute of buzzing synth, reminiscent of a horror movie soundtrack, that builds and intensifies until it abruptly cuts out. Title track "Plum" bursts out of this digital haze with chugging pianos, as Cory Hanson's hypnotic vocals slide over top. Again, the listener is awoken as the cacophony gives way to whistling birds.
Wand use these digital fades excellently all over the album; I found myself listening intently, waiting for the next break or jump to happen. They manage to balance quieter, more serene moments with bombast and wildness, ending the album with the two longest tracks on the album. "Driving," the closing track, is dripping with country-tinged psych, with face-melting solos and string-accompaniment as they drive off into the sunset. (Drag City)