Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Garden Of Delight: A Review Of The Stunning Debut Album From Wand's Cory Hanson

I never was expecting this. I never would have thought that the guy behind Wand, the band who dropped the mind-blowing 1000 Days and Golem, could unleash something this beautiful and lush. The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo, the solo debut from Wand main-man Cory Hanson, is out on Friday via Drag City. That it is a magnificent record is something that I'm happy to report.

On the title cut and the lyrical "Replica" there is a trace of the influence of Wand compatriot Ty Segall. However, by the time we get to "The Garden of Delight", Hanson has wholeheartedly embraced an "Across the Universe"-style approach, the Lennon-y bits here shining through. Melodic and lush, the tune is a revelation. On the haunting "Violent Moon", Hanson's material nods in the direction of Syd Barrett stuff even if the production is certainly more ornate than anything that the one-time Floyd singer ever attempted. "Ordinary People" unfurls like something off of the third Big Star album if Chilton and crew had asked Van Dyke Parks to do the string arrangements. This is affecting and memorable material that is elevated by subtle strings and orchestral trappings in the production. "Flu Moon" is understated folk, while closer "Arrival" manages to recall both Nick Drake and Marc Bolan thanks to Cory's winsome delivery.

An absolute classic of modern chamber pop, Cory Hanson's The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo is surely one of 2016's best releases, and the type of project that is going to surprise a lot of people. Hanson here has created something timeless, something that is alternately emotive and refined. Current indie was sorely in need of something this downright magnificent.

The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo from Cory Hanson is out on Friday via Drag City.

[Photo: Kyle Thomas]