Sunday, July 16, 2017

Wall Of Ears' "Hello Beautiful Nothing" is Really Something

When I interviewed C.W. Lott (the mastermind behind Seattle's Wall of Ears) several weeks ago he talked about surrealism and his obsessions with "alien" consciousness and UFOlogy and how his three year labor of love (the album) "Hello Beautiful Nothing" was written with the mantra of embracing the void. He talked about trying to clean his mind of all thoughts during the writing process and when sounds, ideas and lyrics came to him that while these trinkets were probably in his subconscious it was (for him) fun and mystical to think that the creative fodder might actually come from a higher level transmitted to him through the fabric of space and time from who knows where. It is trippy thinking full of possibilities and even taken as a pure exercise to foster creativity can feel mind blowing. It is no wonder that "Hello Beautiful Nothing" bristles with and oftentimes explodes with  a trippy vastness that feels at once down to earth and organic but also like from the great beyond all the while dripping with a lush psych pop-ness.

From the get go Sea Legs with it's trippy organ and cool embracing beat you know you are going to take a journey. C.W. Lott's falsetto fills in the voids perfectly carried on a chill bass line and washes of vocals and trippy guitar. There is an unmistakable world cadence and tone to Ray Gun. It is sultry and soaring "you change me... I feel you transmutate my blood... making me stranger" and as multicolored as an Indian Tapestry. Apart from the spaciness on the album there is a solid very Brit 80's pop feel on some of the tracks and We Go Outside feels in that mode. I thought of Duran Duran and it oozes a cool black leather vibe. Mind Moves is just plain delicious as funky pop and stoned cool as Mac DeMarco but also has dashes of Roxy Music. Put Mind Moves on repeat for an hour and feel your stress level dissipate so much that you could literally slide under a lock door (or at least imagine it).

When Talker comes on it feels like such a heady experience. You are carried off somewhere to another place and time. It feels vast and vampy too like a cagey escapade through a safari through Marrakesh. The lead guitar is so exquisitely fun.  Floating Off The Line is super lush and the chorus refrain "I've been floating off the line of what's real... do I feel how X feels" leaves questions unanswered and open to a myriad of interpretations. The way I like it. Lyrics can be poetic or not. Some might read like a diary. People's lives gutted and on display. C.W. Lott's words (at least on this collection of songs) for me feels like bright imaginings. Emotions carried in bits of science fiction on static filled screens. That doesn't mean that they don't say anything and in fact this type of songwriting sometimes says everything. Scattered thoughts that the listener can pick through and take for themselves.

Balloon In The Sky feels surf rocky at times and also feels coyly like a song on a Grindhouse flick.
C.W. Lott expressed his absolute love with Brit rock and the slight British accent when he sings is amplified in Don't Ya Know which feels a bit like The Kinks circa 1970. The psych rock tone of Ooze Out leans heavily toward the hippie side of things. The song itself feels like a movement steeped in a Timothy Leary high.

My favorite song on "Hello Beautiful Nothing" is Brain Thaw. It is a big lush slap of art rock. Blended in this romantic Brit-pop psychedelia is a bottom heavy back beat of 50's doo wop flavors that feel like Americana rock in that Phil Spector or Springsteen vein. This heartfelt blend is what makes this song so very special. The wall of sound, the early rock piano and vocal melody has a starry eyed optimism to it. Something that we all need to swim in from time to time and soak in especially at these crazy unpredictable times.  Get "Hello Beautiful Nothing" push play and immerse yourself.

Robb Donker

See Bandcamp link and link to the C.W. Interview below:

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