You may remember the WYLD WYZRDZ (Braden McKenna) from when I reviewed his then latest record, We Are Everyone in September. But then again, that was about 6 months ago so I'm not gonna fault you if your mind is like a sieve. Not everyone can a memory as fucking ridiculously encyclopedic as mine.*
I described We Are Everyone as a noise/drone record and it certainly was but Light Upon Light finds Mr. WYZRDZ laying the pop on real thick. It's jangly and psychedelic with lots of lyrics that make this a lot more song oriented than tracks like the 20 minute epic "I Am Ocean" found on We Are Everyone. And hearing this record has lead me to a theory I developed...
There's this scene going on here in the Boston area that I thought might be self contained within this city of ours. It's one that involves bands like Guatemala City, Many Mansions, Turtle Ambulance, Truman Peyote, and quite a few others. They all seem to have a similar sound that's based on beat oriented raga psych drone. Or something like that. Anyway, when I heard Light Upon Light, that was the first thing that came to my mind. Not that I thought it was impossible for this to be more than just a local trend, but hearing a record come out of Utah with such a similar sound made me do a double take.
So there's your RIYLs. And throw in some Wolf Parade, too, because McKenna's vocals kinda remind me of one of those Paraders (can never get the two of them straight). But to balance out the blatant pop of Light Upon Light, McKenna mixed in some floating ambient tracks to better tie in his history as a drone man and what you end up with is a fucking grade A crowd pleaser.
Light Upon Light is another really great album from McKenna. This WYZRDZ guy isn't intent on letting things get too boring and the new sound he's got is pushing all the right buttons. And one person projects make me weak in the knees so there's always that. Oh, and did I mention it's free? Yeah, like totally free. Download this shit ASAP along with the rest of the McKenna's stuff as both WYLD WYZRDZ and Navigator or any of the other ridiculously cool freeness at Magic Goat.
*there are no such things as encyclopedic memories