One of the most cruel and unexpected results of the worldwide pandemic has been the uptick in people experiencing unshakable lucid dreams.
Sydney Chadwick, the singer and bassist of the Louisville art-punk band Wombo, has been trying to understand the vivid and surreal scenes that unfound when she closes her eyes at night. This strange phenomenon inspired the lyrics for the standout track “Dreamsickle” on the band’s new Keesh Mountain EP, out May 28 on Fire Talk Records.
According to Chadwick, the air-tight post-punk tune deals with how the visceral feelings and experiences you go through in dreams are completely unique to yourself. When you try to explain them to someone else, there’s no way for the other person to relate. For Chadwick, it can be both comforting and disorienting.
“I’ve been having really crazy dreams the past couple of nights anyways because I’ve been smoking less weed recently,” said Chadwick with a laugh when Ears to Feed caught up with the band over Zoom. “My dreams are really cinematic and really real feeling to the point where sometimes I’ll have a dream about everything that happened during the day before but everything is slightly different so then I’ll wake up and I’ll be like, ‘Wait, what happened actually?’”
The controlled chaos that the three members of Wombo were able to capture on 2018’s full-length Blossomlooksdownuponus caused a rip in the fabric, with monstrous drums by Joel Taylor and guitarist Cameron Lowe providing fierce, face-altering riffs underneath Chadwick’s acrobatic vocals.
With the brief, new EP the band delivers four new tunes that double down on what made that record such an infectious and inspiring listen.
On the opener, “Ida Mae” the band layers on percussion: adding cowbell, shakers, bongos, and pots and pans until the song reaches its boiling point at the two minute mark.
The next song “Just Like Time” rides a brisk rhythm over Chadwick’s thudding bass and Lowe’s clanking guitar as an organ, which sounds like Steve Nieve on amphetamines, providing the song’s eerie hook. Following the uptempo “Dreamsickle,” Wombo closes the album out with their feet on the gas by way of the terrific closer “Situations” that recalls Deerhoof at their most vicious.
According to Taylor, the EP consists of newer songs and older songs that didn’t make the cut on Blossom. “I feel like we do this thing where we record a bunch of songs and if we sit on them too long, we’ll start to hate them and not want to release them,” she said. “So we were like, ‘We need to get these out before we, you know, lose them forever.’”
During the pandemic, Wombo felt a bittersweet wave of success as Fire Talk signed the band to reissue Blossomlooksdownuponus and work with them on Keesh Mountain and their next full-length — which they are recording right now.
In a way, the band was relieved to get this dose of encouragement from a label and to not be distracted so they could focus on this next batch of songs.
“There’s almost a relief to not have to keep playing shows and do that kind of grind,” said Lowe. “We’re trying to get ready to do a whole album with all this new stuff, but we didn’t really want to play that live. It’s going to take so much time. In a way, it’s nice to not have to play shows right now.”
Taylor echoes Chadwick and Lowe’s eagerness to get back into the studio: “I think we all agree that it’s the best stuff we’ve written and we’re the most psyched about it.”
You can stream the new EP below and watch their new video for “Just Like Time.”