Posted by: will | June 18, 2007

Wheat…

BEST NEW MUSIC

Wheat “Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square” (Empyrean)

Buy it at Insound!

When Wheat released their amazing album, Hope And Adams, way back in 1999, well, we all thought the band was on the cusp of greatness. A weird thing happened though. In the next 7 years the band released only one album. The band found themselves in an all too familiar situation. After Hope And Adams the band signed to a label that quickly folded. They were then shuffled to another major label subsidiary. After much label interference the band released a somewhat compromised version of a record. Per Second, Per Second, Per Second… Every Second finally arrived in late 2003. While certainly not a bad effort by any means, the album was lacking the band’s experimental and forward-thinking nature. Quite simply, it was Wheat-lite. After an extended hiatus and a worthy separation from their former label Wheat has returned here in 2007.

On Wheat’s last effort, the band lost, or were simply forced to lose, that dynamic that made their music so engaging. However, the fact that the band was started as an art project becomes apparent once again on Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square. The album sees Wheat returning to the beautiful and expansive sound that the band so richly mined on their earlier efforts. Much like Broken Social Scene, the band simply throws the kitchen sink into their songs…and it works more times than not. Elements of alt-country, shoegaze, brit-pop, folk and rock are all thrown together and somehow made into a coherent and often breath-taking mixture. Wheat’s growth is quite akin to Wilco‘s rebirth in sound as well. Wheat is able to create moving experiments of sound and heartfelt ruminations on life and love. Eight years after Hope And Adams, Wheat proves that their song-writing has not lost that special, magic touch.

In reading the press about this record one thing struck me again and again. The band mentions the need to create something real on their own terms. They have accomplished just that. Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square sounds like a completely natural and fresh return for the band. The band’s songs play as a showcase for all they have overcome. It is what makes Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square sound so incredibly meaningful. The album is proof that Wheat have more than weathered those storms. In fact, they have come out much stronger in the end.

RIYL: Wilco, The Shins, Broken Social Scene

Listen:

Wheat – I Had Angels Watching Over Me (mp3)

Wheat – An Exhausted Fixer (mp3)

www.myspace.com/wheatmusic

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