Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pitstop: Wae

If you're anything like me and have been waiting for news from Baltimore experimental pop duo Lands & Peoples then you're a bit in luck. While the project is still on hiatus, Caleb Moore and Beau Cole have returned to their somewhat abandoned side projects. Cole's resurrected Zu Shapes and Moore has started a new band by the name of Wae of which Beau is a member and put out his debut record Glimmer earlier this month. If you're looking for more of Lands and Peoples' loop based pop, Wae is a bit of a different speed. On Glimmer, Moore returns not only to his bedroom pop roots but also to recordings he's done several years ago and updates them into a coherent sound. The result is hazy, languorous rock pop with electronic flourishes.

Though he's assembled a competent live band to realize his compositions, the sounds on Glimmer are all of Moore's creation: recorded and multi-tracked onto a 4 or 8 track cassette. Considering that Moore's and Cole's musical compatibility is what essentially led them to form and continue Lands & Peoples from quartet into duo, it's interesting to see how the two's shared influences express themselves in their different projects. Providing to further be the musical ying to Cole's yang, Wae settles for more harsher, more jarring tones than Zu Shapes' silky dream pop while still striving for a similar softness. Wae characterized by dynamics leaps than Zu Shapes' gestating crescendos.

That's not to say Moore doesn't take his time. Though the majority of the songs on Glimmer clock in at around 3 minutes or less, Moore gives his songs adequate time to build and achieve his dramatic shifts by taking the scenic route. That sense of patience is what enables the heavy, psychedelic "Too Much" and all its grand pauses and elongated phrases. Glimmer is an album of continuous push and pull; brief winsome moments of pop goodness balanced with longer, cerebral moments of instrumental cacophony.

Wae's debut album Glimmer is out now on Friends Records.

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