Happy Ending (5/16/18)
Wax Idols are a four-piece based out of Oakland, CA; their sound calls on the mutated aesthetics of varying strains of post-punk (songwriting elements from darkwave and Factory/Rough Trade pioneers, as well as the complex interplay and emotion of post-hardcore) and classic pop-rock hooks, without carbon-copying those who made these maps. Hether Fortune's powerful voice (as songwriter, arranger, producer, singer and guitarist) is at the center, but this makes no other member of the band a replaceable element. Their work together is what makes Wax Idols' energy so vital.
Their fourth and forthcoming album Happy Ending is an exploration of the abstraction and finality of death from philosophical, political, and personal perspectives. The painting on the cover of a figure mourning is by Oakland artist Lena Gustafson, whose work focuses on what she has described as “how memories are stored in the body.” Fortune says the band picked her to create the art because her work is “post-body, which has a lot to do with what our album is about.”
The dual theme of political anxiety and personal experience is one Fortune began exploring in seriousness on Wax Idols’ third album, American Tragic, which Pitchfork proclaimed “smartly unpacks a pretty universal experience—the sadness, nostalgia, and occasional euphoria involved in letting go of something you once cared about, even when it desperately hurts.”
Wax Idols’ lineup on the new record is founder and frontperson Hether Fortune (vocals, guitar, bass, organ) with Peter Lightning (guitar, bass, organ, piano), Rachel Travers (drums), and Marisa Prietto (bass, backing vocals). Since the album’s completion, Bay Area musician Greer McGettrick (formerly of The Mallard) has joined the band on bass. Happy Ending was recorded in 2017 at Ruminator Audio in San Francisco, CA and produced by Fortune, Lightning, and Monte Vallier.