We are Wyoming
Red Buttons Records
Sometimes the editors of our little website make what I think is a fatal error when they send out material for us to review (sorry Jake and Steph). They should know by now that I have a serious aversion to the California soft-electro pop music that seems to routinely find itself into the small clubs of Los Angeles and onto the "independent" LA radio station KCRW, an obvious purveyor and propagator of horrible dull "adult alternative music". Hell, the Petracovich press release even proudly proclaims that their first record is regularly played on the inaccurately titled "Morning Becomes Eclectic" show (which is better labeled Eclectic Becomes Payola).
Then I got off of my high horse and actually started listening to this record. Ignoring all of the external elements of the hype machine, this is a beautiful record of slow, dreamy pop, complete with thick Wurlitzer parts and gentle voices singing under their breath. Recalling the first two Beth Orton albums, Petracovich (actually San Francisco's Jessica Peters, with generous assistance from Southern California engineer and musician Tad Wagner) has created a varied and rich collection of songs, ranging from almost country-tinged Beach Boy pop "What If I Came to Get You?" to the almost Broadcast-like, dreamy closer, the title track, "We are Wyoming".
Peters has a strong and clear voice that is handled extremely well by Wagner's production, never buried beneath too many effects or reverb. Instead, the music is given the treatment, thick with hypnotic delays and smoky ambience. The fact that all of this was done in a home studio just points to the revolution of music we are in today, where great things can be accomplished with DIY-style. Petrocovich lays out a warm blanket of sonic morphine and then sings you softly into a dream.
So, the lesson here, kids, is to never judge a book by the people who say they have read it. Sure, people should be cognizant of who they associate with, but the music doesn't pick its audience, the audience finds its music. In this case, I am glad that the hype was accurate, and that I have finally discovered a true soundtrack to the beauty that is Wyoming.
- Grant Capes | 2005-11-06
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