Checking out a new indie band for the first time is often a gateway to innumerable musical pleasures, and sometimes these extend beyond the experience of immersing - and in the case of Alabama based dream pop-punk-psychedlic-experimental rock Witch’s Wall, being completely mesmerized and hypnotized by – in the band’s debut album itself.
The promotional machine often demands a rundown of comparative bands and artists and the band members’ stated influences, which gets you to go down a fun rabbit hole of discovery. So while you’re listening to frontman and lead songwriter David Smith’s deeply sensual and ethereal voice, and the warm bath ambiences, otherworldly sounds and occasional infectious, guitar jangles and throbbing grooves created by Benjamin Giles (guitar), Matthew Perkins (bass), Brandon Lett (drums) and Dylan Corker (keys), you may find yourself itching to dive into Smith’s well of inspirations. Grizzly Bear? Check. Luke Temple? Yep. Andy Shauf? Rock on!
Just don’t forget to return to your exploration of Witch’s Wall the album. One of the coolest tracks is “Field Walk,” which begins in a low-key laconic state before the irrepressible grooves and synth trippiness take over – and then the cycle repeats. Another gem is “Heaven’s Gate,” which finds Smith’s gorgeous lead vocal and vocals harmonies singing uplifting lyrics as ominous guitars and swirling ambient sounds provide tense contrast. They made the perfect choice for a current single with “Lady Love,” which puts the dark guitar-light vocal tension and deep grooves in the service of lovely nostalgia reflecting on pleasant memories and varying ideas about love and happiness.
The trippy video is literally a pink wall with circular peepholes offering vintage color and black & white public domain film footage illustrating the themes in a dizzying fashion that demands multiple views to absorb and adore it all. That goes for the album as well, whose multiple pleasures build each time you allow yourself to do the slow dive.
Check out the video for "Lady Love":