David Wax Museum Guesthouse on LP
Entering a self-described Technicolor world, David Wax Museum's new album Guesthouse (Thirty Tigers) melds the band's strong acoustic sound with synthesizers, layers of percussion, and adventurous sonic processing to create the band's boldest studio album to date. Recorded under the direction of producer Josh Kaufman (Josh Ritter, Craig Finn) and with the core of the band's touring line-up from the past few years, Guesthouse captures the rock energy of the band's live show, which has topped best of lists at Newport Folk and SXSW, and continues to push the band into uncharted musical exploration beyond the "folk" tag that launched their career.
The album opens with "Every Time Katie," a whispered come-on that roils and pulses with gorgeous call and response vocals before delving into chamber strings, psychedelic vocal filters and explosive drums on the next song "Dark Night Of the Heart". Other standout songs include "Young Man" an earnest musing on growing older and the title track, which draws musically on several traditional Mexican songs for a tongue-in-cheek reflection on the life of a traveling musician hunting for a free place to crash.
Guesthouse showcases frontman David Wax's most direct and personal songwriting to date, which isn't surprising given that since recording the last album over three years ago, he's married his band's co-creator Suz Slezak and the two have started their own family with the arrival of daughter Calliope (named after the Greek muse of epic poetry). Thematically, the album celebrates the changing circumstances of life and paints a brilliant picture of how the stakes have been raised - a sentiment that has had a huge impact on how the band makes decisions.