“Hypatia,” the title track from Wray’s sophomore album, feels alien, yet organic; dreamy, but defined.
The band’s use of gauzy layers of distortion and motorik/ostinato rhythms draws comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and Neu! To my ear, there’s something about the southern roots of this trio that lends muscle and sinew to the spun-glass textures associated with dream pop and shoegaze. But don’t take it from me — Wray has caught the ears of critics at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal (paywall).
The percussion in Wray’s songs leans inexorably forward without disrupting the ethereal mood. The resulting ambience reminds me of a time-lapse video where city night lights, viewed from above, take on the appearance of electronic circuitry or perhaps some complex organism, its arteries pulsing.
I recently saw the Birmingham band — David Brown (bass, vocals), Blake Wimberly (percussion), and David Swatzell (guitar, vocals) — perform at The Gutter in Brooklyn.
Afterward, David B. and Blake answered some questions by email. Topics include: visual effects used at shows, road snacks, and favorite books. (Spoiler alert: Blake names After Dark as a fave. I love Murakami and I think Wray’s music complements the Japanese novelist’s semi-lucid dreamscapes with their unresolved contradictions.)
I asked them the silliest question I’ve ever posed to a band: Which astrophysicist would prevail in an arm-wrestling tournament? Their answers are sublime. The interview & Wray’s upcoming tour dates are after the jump.