Release Date: Mar 5, 2013
Record label: Fat Possum
Genre(s): Folk, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Experimental Rock, Alternative Country-Rock, Folk-Pop
Mississippi duo Water Liars toured endlessly between the release of their February 2012 debut Phantom Limb and Wyoming, the stellar sophomore album out just a little over a year after their first. While Wyoming isn't by any means a collection of road-weary sagas à la Bob Seger's "Turn the Page," it does capture the sound of a band that's grown a lot through the old-fashioned process of taking it to the stage. The stripped-down arrangement of a drum and guitar two-piece has been approached multiple times with varying degrees of success, and singer/guitarist Justin Kinkel-Schuster’s weathered songs find tasteful accompaniment in drummer/vocalist Andrew Bryant, who adds bright harmonies and rhythms that are either searing or subdued, depending on the song.
Water LiarsWyoming(Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum)Rating: 3. 5 stars (out of 5) Their successful debut album, Phantom Limb, was just released a year ago, but the duo of singer-guitarist Justin Kunkel-Schuster and drummer-vocalist Andrew Bryant, also known as Water Liars, are already back to ride that momentum with a new full-length. Wyoming is the album’s name and it’s a fitting moniker even though it was recorded in Mississippi, because the songs here leave plenty of prairie-like open spaces between Kunkel-Schuster’s dreamy picking and Bryant’s amiable thumping, the kind of expanse where one could wander, wonder, and get lost.
Songwriters have been writing sad songs since the medium’s inception. Yet sometimes you find an album with such restlessness and longing that it seems like a novel idea once more. In the past, Mississippi-via-St. Louis duo Water Liars’ songwriting has been compared to veterans such as Dawes, Grizzly Bear, and even Fleet Foxes, but their sophomore effort, Wyoming, has more mental meandering and grit than all of the above.
Chvrches Recover Lauren Mayberry has a few different voices: saccharine and heavily processed, sinewy and direct, proud and triumphant. On “Recover,” the new single from the Glasgow band Chvrches, she uses them all. And yet they’re all masks of a sort. At the core of this song, the title track of the new Chvrches EP (on Glassnote), is fear, maybe even weakness.
“I’m throwing out the old regrets and crawling after glory,” sings vocalist-guitarist Justin Kinkel-Schuster resolutely on the stirring opening track “Sucker. ” It’s one of 11 bittersweet, poignant songs off of Water Liars’ sophomore album, Wyoming. Following up their 2012 debut, Phantom Limb, Kinkel-Schuster and drummer-vocalist Andrew Bryant recall time spent in between places, of love and of love lost.