This Week’s Model — Wednesday, “Bath County”

I stole the above photo from Pitchfork, callously cropping out the watermark they included. Given this transgression, I should quote and specifically link to the adoring article they published about the Asheville, North Carolina band Wednesday. Here’s writer Quinn Moreland on the band’s forthcoming album, Rat Saw God, and the songwriting frontwoman Karly Hartzman:

Its 10 tracks collide shoegaze and country songwriting in a manner that might make you wonder why My Bloody Valentine never thought to use a lap steel guitar. These genres become natural companions in Wednesday’s world, which is colored by Hartzman’s intimate, if unassuming, details: “tepid bathtub water,” “hot rotten grass smell,” “piss-colored bright yellow Fanta.” The record’s name, borrowed from an episode of Veronica Mars, encapsulates the songwriter’s knack for capturing scenes of curdled beauty: a diseased little creature catching a glimpse of the sublime. It’s gnarly, it’s tender, and Hartzman finds significance in both.

Yep, that’s what I hear in Wednesday’s newest single, Bath County. It’s a buzzy, beauteous cauldron of post-grunge wonderment with lyrics that are somehow both bleak and poignantly hopeful. Sure, the song has someone dying in the parking lot of a Planet Fitness, but it also has the lines “On the way home play Drive-By Truckers songs real loud/ You’ll be my baby til my body’s in the ground.” I recognize the exalting freedom nestled in that couplet.

Rat Saw God is scheduled for release in April.

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