As you may or may not know, I have a music blog that allows me to get me “you gotta listen to this song” instincts out of the way without clogging up my personal blog over here. But today I’m making an exception. The band is Wisconsin Dream Guitar:
It’s a new project from Rob Dunlop and Leigh O’Neill, who have been in a few of my favourite local bands over the years. In fact, Rob was the singer/songwriter for Big Old Eyes, the band that introduced me to CFUR radio got me into local music all at once. Wisconsin Dream Guitar is potentially the best project yet— it’s at least on par with Big Old Eyes, in any case.
Some of the signature sound of his earlier projects is there— it continues to be low-fi, slightly off pop songs, but there’s a real dream-like quality to the sound now— it sounds pretty much exactly what the album’s subject matter is about, which is, generally speaking, transitioning into adult life in the same town you grew up. I might be misinterpreting the thesis, but the key song, for me, is “Suburban Girls”, a short, spoken word take on what it’s like to stick around while everyone else moves on:
“Suburban Girls/…/left me for the coast once again/I don’t see much on these roads anymore/no one’s around like they were years ago/I’m still here living/I’m living/I’m still here living/I’m living”
The Arcade Fire may have written an album about growing up in suburbia, but they moved on to Montreal as young adults and now experience life as an international, jet-setting band. Wisconsin Dream Guitar forges inspiration out of suburbia not as a nostalgic memory but as a reality of life— people still live in these places, and sometimes they want art about their lives, too. This provides it. Highly recommended.
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