Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records
An established musician praising a new singer-songwriter is nice. An established musician offering his talents to said singer-songwriter is awesome. Veteran Dutch producer/bassist Jasper Verhulst did just that. He and two other members of Jacco Gardner’s group coalesced around Dutch-Croatian singer-songwriter Marina Tadic to form Eerie Wanda.
Warm riffs, sweet guitar lines, and counter-bass notes create the dreamy, yet sturdy pop of Eerie Wanda’s debut album. The group states it recorded Hum “in a Cold War-era bunker in the Vondelpark, Amsterdam.” No matter. The pitch-perfect music of all 13 tracks nicely frames Marina Tadic’s calm tenor. Whether double-tracked or singular, the vocals are akin to the pleasant tunefulness of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval with a touch of Nico’s stoicism. When Tadic sings “happy hard times/happy hard lives” over bent guitar notes in the first track or affects a haunting quality over the arpeggioed chords of “Angel Hair,” her voice remains steady throughout.
The unexpected turns within the enchanting structure keep Hum interesting. For example, high-pitched guitar notes strategically pierce the slow-paced staccato chords of “Mirage” and swim in an out of the title track culminating in a great reverbed echo. Both “Volcano Lagoon” and “The Reason” gallop into different places. Icy notes sprinkle in the former and twangy lead guitar swings in the latter. The shortest track, “Vinny” shows shades of the catchy “Young Folks” by Sweden’s Peter Bjorn and John with its drum sashays. The most interesting track, “To Dream Again” starts with an intricate, yet catchy chord progression and effortlessly blends into twinkling tones as Tadic promises, “I will make you dream again.” Listening to Hum transforms that simple lyric into an affirmation.