|Eerie Wanda — Hum (February 26, 2016)|
Eerie Wanda — Hum (February 26, 2016)♠ Indie pop group from Amsterdam led by Croatian/Dutch singer/songwriter Marina Tadic. © Robert Gil / EERIE WANDA, Fireworks! Festival PARIS — Trabendo — 2015 02 22
Formed: 2015 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Styles: Indie Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, Neo–Psychedelia
Album release: February 26, 2016
01 Happy Hard Times 3:10
02 I Am Over Here 2:43
03 Mirage 4:01
04 New Harmony 2:54
05 Angel Hair 3:16
06 Volcano Lagoon 2:54
07 Hum 3:02
08 To Dream Again 2:58
09 The Reason 2:32
10 Vinny 2:03
11 Working on the Field 2:55
12 The Boy 2:31
13 There Aren’t Many Things 3:28
♠ Bram Vervaet
♠ Jasper Verhulst
♠ Marina Tadic
♠ Nic Niggebrugge
♠ Jan Audier Pre–Mastering
♠ Eerie Wanda Arranger
♠ Jasper Geluk Mixing
♠ Nic Niggebrugge Drums, Percussion
♠ Marina Tadic Artwork, Composer, Guitar, Vocals
♠ Darius Van Helfteren Mastering
♠ Jasper Verhulst Engineer, Guitar (Bass), Percussion, Producer
♠ Bram Vervaet Guitar © Eerie Wanda by Ben Rider
Ryan Muldoon, revoltoftheapes.com
♠ Eerie Wanda isn’t a person, but rather the name given to the relentlessly memorable recorded results of an album delivered by Croatian/Dutch singer–songwriter Marina Tadic, with a little help from her (incredibly talented) friends, including (but not limited to) the phenomenal rhythm section of Jacco Gardner’s band.
♠ While the word “eerie” isn’t the adjective that springs to mind most readily when listening to “Hum,” there are several others eager to take its place — beautiful, striking and unforgettable among them. Throughout the album, Eerie Wanda displays a somewhat magical ability of using somewhat standard song structures as the skeletons of their sound, but replacing the dead marrow of those bones with a unique and enlivening mixture of dizzy joy and sparkling sonic lucidity.
♠ It’s clear there’s something remarkable about Eerie Wanda and “Hum” from the very beginning, with the ringing chords of “Happy Hard Times” serving as a momentarily prelude to Tadic’s opening declaration, “Everyday, I watch in silence / How you walk through the fields of diamonds.” Tadic’s voice is as central as anything else to the album’s success; it’s a two–toned, barely–accented gem of sweetness and melancholy, a distant cousin (somehow) to both Hope Sandoval and “I Am the Cosmos” — era Chris Bell. These comparisons necessarily fall short, of course, and are meant more to indicate some sense of emotional resonance, of which Eerie Wanda would seem to possess an unlimited supply. But Tadic’s voice is compelling and consistent throughout the album, both sturdy and sympathetic, the ideal vehicle to carry the band’s often–ornate brocades of sound.
♠ “Hum” undoubtedly benefits from the musical contributions delivered by a positively note–perfect backing band, parts of which has provided similarly shimmering sound enhancement for Jacco Gardner. Here, the band plays almost indescribably well, as tight and together as anything you’re likely to hear this year. The title–track, in particular, boasts a “Wrecking Crew” — worthy accompaniment, with a walking bass–line and leisurely, graceful guitar giving the song a brightness unmatched.
♠ The more we think of it — and the more we listen to it — perhaps there is something eerie about “Hum” in particular and Eerie Wanda in general. How else to explain this relatively out–of–nowhere collection of songs, each so note–perfect and note–worthy, yet each one different from the last? “Hum” is an album as nesting doll: hand–crafted, elaborate yet easily understood, mesmerizing and defined by surprises.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra; Score: ***½
♠ Sometimes musical collaborations sound like car crashes between two different elements that never belonged anywhere near each other. And sometimes when musicians get together, it sounds like a union of complementary visions. Case in point: Eerie Wanda’s debut album, Hum. The pairing of Dutch singer/songwriter Marina Tadic and bassist Jasper Verhulst of Jacco Gardner’s backing band is such a note–perfect match it could have been made by Cupid. Her gentle songs and lilting melodies are given a lightly bouncing background, perfectly recorded and produced by Verhulst in an organic manner very similar to that of his boss, Gardner. Tadic’s tunes range from brightly happy indie pop (“I Am Over Here”) to bubbling garage rockers (“Vinny”), swaying ballads that conjure up thoughts of Kendra Smith (“Mirage”) and David Lynch soundtracks (“Hum”), and folk–rockers that chime nostalgically (“The Reason”), all featuring sneaky sharp hooks and Tadic’s unadorned vocals. Verhulst’s bass playing is pretty close to genius throughout, creating little pockets of counter melody that bump the songs up a notch. The drums of Nic Niggebrugge (also in Gardner’s band) are solid and guitarist Bram Vervaet knows when to jangle and when to unspool restrained psych–pop lines that snake around Tadic’s vocals like vines. It’s a very strong debut made by a band that really knows its way around ‘60s pop, a producer with a light touch, and a songwriter with a knack for simple songs that stick with the listener like glue. It’s not flashy and it won’t blow people away, but it’s the kind of warm and comforting record that rewards repeated listens and time spent getting cozy with the sound and the songs.
Artist Biography by Timothy Monger
♠ Eerie Wanda are an indie pop quartet from Amsterdam led by Croatian/Dutch singer/songwriter Marina Tadic. After a stint playing guitar in an Amsterdam group called Earth Mk. II, Tadic began writing her own material influenced by artists like Beat Happening, Young Marble Giants, and Daniel Johnston. A few of her early demos found their way to Jacco Gardner’s bassist Jasper Verhulst, who agreed to help her form her own band and produce its music. They recruited guitarist Bram Vervaet and drummer Nic Niggebrugge and began rehearsing and recording their debut LP. Following a handful of early live shows, Eerie Wanda landed a supporting slot opening for Los Angeles band the Allah–Las during their European tour. A deal was struck with Brooklyn indie Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records and the band released its debut, Hum, in February 2016.
Bandcamp: http://eeriewandabbib.bandcamp.com/ // JACK PARKER, MARCH 10, 2016
Words by Kees Braam.
|Eerie Wanda — Hum (February 26, 2016)|