Pop Picks: Trophy Wife

Trophy Wife – Stella My Star 7″

There’s that new, cool thing where a bunch of girls get together and get really weird and have seances and ouija their songs lyrics and only listen to Sisters of Mercy and The Pandoras for like 4-6 weeks straight and start wearing purple lipstick on one lip and black on the other and just sort of have all their shit figured out for a brief moment in their lives. Maybe the line is becoming more defined because way more girls have picked up on it, but Trophy Wife totally have their collective shit together. Their label says they sound something like a civil war era punk band, but they go one step further. They pick up on the crucial next step in pop music. The past few years has sort of been a shit-show — witch-house, chillwave, dub-gaze — and Trophy Wife seems to understand what needs to come next. They’re a more vicious Grimes, or a more intense Mika Miko, but they move beyond comparisons. Disjointed, freakish but so cohesive, they deprive the listener in an controlled way.  They’re not exactly extremists, but they’re here to ween us off of the tepid pop we’ve been exposed to, while moving us in a new and exciting direction.

-Alison Kozol


New Music: Widowspeak – S/T

Much anticipated indeed, our-little-radio-station-that-could has acquired Brooklyn-based Widowspeak’s self-titled debut album.  Released last August, this quirky group self-identifies as ‘grunge’ (at least on their bandcamp and myspace pages).  Though this term is two decades removed from its heyday, Widowspeak spins and inverts this past score of musical-years in on itself.  What we wind up with with Widowspeak is calm and sultry, strolling and serious, heaving and ghostly.  Off of the label Captured Tracks, this two guys/ one girl team give us short little energy-pick-ups, ten of them.  Perfect maybe for a summer drive, barbeque, or a radio show near you :D.  Singer/ songerwriter/ heartthrob Molly Hamilton gives us a lot of nice vowel sounds, each one of them, right alongside each other.  It makes for some really nice phonetic exercises in track seven, titled Hard Times.  Just dip your head in the water of this lyric, again and again, ‘Hard Times, oooouhhhooooh;.  The stretch of ‘Ovugghhr and ovugghhr’ (over and over) is sheer delight.  Behind is some light guitar rifs and a pretty chill drum set.  Oh the reverb.

Track 2 (Harsh Realm) sets the mood as a reflection on a past lover.  The lyrics again repeat (I alwaaays think about you), as the instrumental parts deepen us into inevitable twists and plot-turns of relationships.  It leaves all sorts of gaps to be filled, where the listener can insert their autobiography.  Track 5 (Limbs) provides more narrative access, a little sob story on top of some finger-pricking and guitar with some developing moans and airy voice in the back.  “So he told me, sink or swim, I did what he said, went underwater instead, everything looks the same, everything looks the same.”  Quite Melodic and Contemplative.  The album continues much along these, with nice transitions of fast and slow, familiar and unfamiliar.  Let’s give it a nice warm welcome, WOBC.

Track List: Widowspeak – S/T
1.  Puritan
2.  Harsh Realm
3.  Nightcrawlers
4.  In the Pines
5.  Limbs
6.  Gun Shy
7.  Hard Times
8.  Fir Coat
9.  Half Awake
10.  Ghost Boy



The Mosaic’s Cover of the Week

Every week on The Mosaic we end with an original song and its cover. Vote for your favorite at wobcmosaic@gmail.com!

Last Week’s Results:

So the cover from last week was “Midnight City.” Contrary to what was announced on the radio last Monday, this week resulted in a tie between M83 and Trails and Ways. The two versions are completely different. M83 goes the electronic and distorted route while Trails and Ways relies mainly on their own manpower. The new version substitutes the distortion for a cleaner, more natural and lighthearted sound.

This Week!

This week the battle is between an oldie and someone quite a bit newer. It remains to be seen whether Ingrid Michaelson can beat the great Elvis with her new version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. Since his ascension to pop royalty, it’s been hard to find anyone not familiar with the King of Rock and Roll. His song “Can’t Help Falling In Love” has been covered over and over in the forty years since its release. Ingrid Michaelson created a slow, unfettered version of the original during a live recording at Daytrotter Studio.

Elvis – Can’t Help Falling In Love
Ingrid Michaelson – Can’t Help Falling In Love (Live at Daytrotter)

-Heidi Marsh


The Mosaic’s Cover of the Week: Midnight City

Every week on The Mosaic we end with an original song and its cover. Vote for your favorite at wobcmosaic@gmail.com!

Last Week’s Results:

Apparently Bon Iver and Deadwood Floats are equally good musicians—at least when it comes to “Holocene”—because they tied for this week’s challenge. It isn’t necessarily surprising. Deadwood Floats’s version appears to mirror the original to the point that I sometimes forget which one I’m hearing. While both versions are haunting and subdued, Deadwood Floats ramps it up a bit in the last half by accentuating the percussion a bit more. I guess what I’m trying to say is I agree with you guys on this one.

This Week: M83 vs. Trails and Ways

I’m super excited for this week’s cover because I kind of love M83 with a passion. The band is a French creation, originating from Antibes, France and consisting of Anthony Gonzalez and Nicolas Fromageau who formed the band in 2001. After the tour for their second album, Fromageau left the band. Gonzalez is now the only full-time member with his brother Yann, a vocalist/keyboardist, and a drummer filling in as needed. M83’s song “Midnight City, written by Anthony Gonzalez, his brother, and Morgan Kibby, reached number 5 in US Alternative Charts and—fun fact—is currently being used by BBC in a commercial for the 2012 Olympics. Gonzalez created the opening rhythm by distorting a recording of his voice.  He chose to end the song with a saxophone solo, saying “this element has been overused in the past and is considered clichéd or cheesy, but the song needs it” (guardian.co.uk). Or does it? The band Trails and Ways take a more lighthearted approach to the song, supplementing many of the distorted and synthesized songs present in M83’s version with their own voices. The saxophone is substituted for what sounds like a flute (but don’t take my word for it. I’m notoriously horrible at identifying instruments) which continues the bands attempt to lighten the song. What do you guys think?

M83 – Midnight City

Trails and Ways – Midnight City

-Heidi Marsh


3rd Annual WOBC Block Party this Saturday

Come on out to the 3rd Annual WOBC Block Party this Saturday, the 28th!

Due to bad weather, the Block Party has moved inside! Come by the WOBC station, in Wilder Hall at 135 West Lorain street, room 319!

There is popcorn, cotton candy, face painting, and a respite from the cold, rainy weather!

Enjoy music from Sugar Ray Ballard, Knomadik, DJ Panic, and more….

Download the Poster


Fresh Tracks: “Elegant Design” by Pond

Look at these chill bros. I would be delighted to bro out with them, given the opportunity. Wouldn't you?

If you think that Australia’s Pond sounds a lot  like Tame Impala, you have good reason: 3/4 of Pond is Tame Impala. But while Tame Impala’s vibe is reverb-soaked and megastony,  Pond’s sound is more straight-forward classic rock. On “Elegant Design,” the standout track from the brand-new Beards, Wives, Denim, Pond shows that they’re more than Tame Impala sans washes of reverb. With straight, groovy drums and a falsetto chorus, these Aussies have created an incredibly catchy song that wears its 70s influences on its sleeves. Even with the King Crimson-esque breakdown at the end, Pond still manages to sound fresh and relevant.

Pond – Elegant Design

-Michael Stenovec


The Mosaic’s Cover of the Week: Holocene

Every week on The Mosaic we end with an original song and its cover. Vote for your favorite at wobcmosaic@gmail.com!
Results for Last Week:

Kate Bush is the resounding victor of last week’s battle with Greg Laswell. I was surprised by this outcome because, honestly, Bush’s version sounds a little shrill, but after researching “This Woman’s Work” I realized that this really works for the lyrical content. Bush wrote the song “This Woman’s Work” to accompany a scene from the movie She’s Having A Baby in which the lives of a woman and her unborn child are endangered. Singing with a tremulous voice at certain points and breaking into a full-throated cry at others, Bush has much more of an emotional presence than Laswell who spends most of the song singing barely above a whisper.

This Week: Bon Iver vs. Deadwood Floats

The song this week is “Holocene,” written by the frontman of Bon Iver Justin Vernon. Vernon says the song “is a metaphor for when you’re not doing well. But it’s also a song about redemption and realizing that you’re worth something; that you’re special and not special at the same time.” (songfacts) Since its release, the song was ranked by the Rolling Stone as the 22nd best single of 2011, won 2nd place at Stereogum’s Gummy Awards, and was nominated for Song of the Year at the 54th Grammy Awards.

Now that you have sufficient evidence of the song’s awesomeness, we can go about deciding who did it better. You guys know about Bon Iver, the band who has it all in the world of indie folk. They won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best New Artist as well as the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, an album which they just so happened to record in their months living in a middle-of-nowhere cabin. Their challengers hail from the sleepy old town a few miles down the road of Columbus, Ohio. Deadwood Floats began in 2009 almost as a hobby to distract them from their day jobs. Today, the band is made up of six members and recording music like “Holocene” which I think you’ll find to be quite accomplished in its own right.

Contains explicit language.

Bon Iver – Holocene

Deadwood Floats – Holocene

-Heidi Marsh