David Wax Museum Live In Studio

David Wax Museum stopped by the studio to play a few new songs off of their album Knock Knock Get Up. Veterans to WERS, they began by tearing into “Leopard Girl,” a standout track from the September 4 release.  “Leopard Girl” was a good choice to start with because it showed off a lot of the unique style that David Wax Museum is known for.  It had a danceable beat (or, perhaps more fittingly, “stompable”), sudden tempo changes, and – of course — soaring vocal harmonies.  Blending traditional Mexican folk music with American folk music, they have been slowly building a dedicated following with a grassroots approach over the course of their existence, touring as much as they can between recording.

That grassroots approach extends to the recording themselves as well.  As band members David Wax and Suz Slezak explained, the new album was recorded in a secluded part of northern New England.  There, they lived with everyone else contributing to the album for the duration of the recording process.  That communal feel definitely shines through on the Museum’s latest offering.  Drawing from two areas that have their roots in community (the respective folk music of America and Mexico), it is a natural fit.  Next the band played “Harder Before It Gets Easier,” another track off of Knock Knock Get Up. Another rousing toe-tapper, it’s not hard to imagine this one getting the crowd moving in concert.  The vocal harmonies are again exceptional here, with Wax and Slezak seemingly energizing each other as the song builds and builds.

“Wondrous Love” came last, and it was a contrast to the first songs.  Much quieter and featuring Slezak on lead vocals, this one represented a more introspective side of David Wax Museum that can often be overlooked.   It’s songs like this that underlie the band’s strength; whenever you feel like you have them figured out, they find a new way to surprise you.  Despite pulling from a few different traditions, the music that David Wax Museum creates is entirely its own.  It never ceases to feel fresh.  As one of the most innovative bands around today, it’s hard to see that changing anytime soon.

By Bently Holt

If you liked this, check out:
David Wax Museum “Born With a Broken Heart”
On the Verge: These United States

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