Sep 27, 2022
By Mark Moody
If you are fortunate enough to count yourself among those that heard Eerie Wanda’s (aka the Netherlands’s Marina Tadic) disarmingly delightful Pet Town album in early 2019, no doubt your listening year was off to a very good start. With a strong narrative drive and fistfuls of whatever percussion could be found, the album was chock full of mysterious characters all set in motion with a stripped down and freewheeling charm. Three years on, her follow-up album, Internal Radio, is an entirely different affair and one that takes us deeper into Tadic’s wellspring of creativity. The core of the tracks were composed and assembled by Tadic, with guitar parts added by her partner Adam Harding and a final production touch by legendary Shimmy-Disc founder, Kramer.
The 11 songs that make up the album are collages of found sounds, stray instrumentation, and lushly layered vocal loops. The tracks are less sing-along friendly, but provide more of a glimpse into the goings on of Tadic’s attic studio. What may seem some slighter entries on the album, convey Tadic’s approach here the best. “On Heaven” starts with a loop of heavily treated bass notes, adds another loop with a more quickly clipped cadence, and finally some distant sounding piano notes fall in. It has a live feel to it as Tadic organically sets these things in motion one at a time before she begins to sing. And the closing “Bon Voyage” has a simpler construct of chiming bells overlaid with a math-rock guitar progression that echoes The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Both tracks create a gentle tension that Tadic lets unfurl towards the end of each piece.
The album’s opener, “Sail to the Silver Sun,” and the more upbeat “Long Time” showcase the more playful aspects of the disparate parts that Tadic seamlessly weaves together. But a clutch of three songs near the back end of the album, while plumbing shadier sonic depths, find the true heart of Internal Radio. The limber drumbeat of “Someone’s In My House” belies what is afoot in the lyric. Tadic sings openly of a stalker. She warns of a creaking door and screeching stair and follows with the chilling taunt: “Whatcha gonna do about it?” Welcome relief is found in the elegiac ooze of layered vocals that build the foundation of “Sister Take My Hand.” The track is no doubt Internal Radio’s most beautiful and an open-hearted hymn of solidarity. And if a bit more opaque, “Birds Aren’t Real,” with its deeply pressed bass notes and shimmery cross currents, finds Tadic at her most hypnotic.
Internal Radio finds Tadic exploring a darker palette of sounds, but not at the cost of the album becoming downcast. Lush choral passages built from snippets of her own vocals keep the humanity of her creations at their core. And when glimmers of light poke through, such as on “Sister Take My Hand,” the Vaseline filtered lens that most of Internal Radio is filtered through allows for moments of awe inspiring clarity. (www.eeriewanda.cargo.site)
Author rating: 7.5/10
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