written by Chris Familton

Sydney seems to be in somewhat of a golden age of pop music of the indie kind at the moment. Every week new bands are constantly emerging blinking from the practice rooms clutching their hook laden bags of songs, cleverly crafted and full of inventive ideas. Wim are certainly part of that gang yet their approach is one grounded in a certain classicism that eschews post-Animal Collective tribalisms and that agit-funk approach that has outstayed its welcome. Wim write pop songs and Wim write rock songs yet not ones formed by aggression and heaviness but rather rock of the dreamy, lullaby kind.

Their debut covers a fair amount of ground and dipping one’s toes in at any random point won’t give you a fair idea of the scope of music on the album. Opener Colussus is a gorgeous slow burner with post rock guitars twinkling and notes tripping over one another building a mood of aching melancholic drama. It totally lives up to its title and harks back to OK Computer dynamics in the way it compositionally soars. See You Hurry follows suit with its gentle bass pulse and ghostly backing choir. Singer Martin Solomon possesses a truly magical voice that is rich, sonorous, and capable of delivering melodies dipped in a warm glow. See You Hurry is probably the moment that best shows the scope and quality of his singing  – making it a fine choice as a single/video.

As soon as the album feels like it is settling into a predictable groove things go left-field and awry in a good way with the bright pop of Something For You that recalls acts like High Llamas and Boo Radleys. It is soaked in 60s innocence and dripping with hooks that tumble and bounce out of the speakers. Harry Nilsson, Brian Wilson and The Beatles would be proud to call it their own. From there things shift from Ron Sexsmith and Rufus Wainwright baroque leanings to the late night Waitsian gypsy jazz of John. Monster And Me is a percussive shapeshifter that doesn’t lose sight of the song before musically things come full circle back to the sound that set the scene at the start of the album. The swelling mood is re-established which creates an effect that feels both self-referential yet suggests that Wim placed great importance on creating an album and not merely a collection of songs.

Wim have clearly spent a long time sculpting their sound and as a result their songs feel constructed and arranged rather than being loose dispatches from the garage. If anything this makes them a fascinating prospect to watch as they continue to develop and expand their music. They share musical reference points with the aforementioned Radiohead as well as the likes of Wild Beasts and Sufjan Stevens – all acts that don’t shrink from musical literacy and grand eloquent gestures. If they can continue to write songs as good as most of those on their album they may well find widespread acclaim is just around the corner.

this review was first published on Fasterlouder

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