Mar 17, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Nashville-based rock outfit The Wans made their full-length debut in 2014 with the towering alt rock riffs of He Said, She Said. The band followed the album with a 2016 EP, Run Baby Run, but have been largely quiet in the years since, during which time they brought on new members and shifted into a new sound. Now they’re back later this year with their forthcoming full-length record, Magical Touch, due out on July 26th.
The album partially acts as a back-to-basics approach for the band, who recorded using vintage equipment and playing live with minimal overdubs. Simultaneously, it also sees the band expanding beyond their vintage influences, taking inspiration from rising rock touchstones like Fontaines D.C. and Idles. Last month they shared the album’s title track, and today they’re back with another new single, “Otherside,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Otherside” acts as a display of the band’s penchant for sharply written rockers, but it also offers glimpses of The Wans’ newfound collective vitality and a more sensitive lyrical side to the band. Their instrumental chemistry is in full swing throughout the track, which opens on a propulsive bass riff tinged with synths and simmering guitar leads. However, the standout moment comes in the track’s latter half as the band layers on the distortion for a storming and searing guitar solo. Meanwhile, the lyrics find frontman Simon Kerr reflecting on a starry-eyed romance: “I was young, never wanted to grow older / Then I found you / Night and day, never thought I’d find a lover / Then I found you / Sun, sun shining / You and me / Now I see / See it from the otherside.”
Kerr explains of the track, “Otherside is a coming of age kind of a song as much as it is a love song. In my earlier years, I was most likely a bit of an idiot and selfishly broke a few people’s hearts, which I regret. That’s where this song comes in. It’s about finding love & realizing that’s the person you’re supposed to be with. ‘I would break hearts one after the other until I found you.’ As much as it is about love it’s also about growth as a person & being a good human being. Ha. We can’t all be 20 years old forever can we? That’s not saying we don’t all stumble & fall every now & then. Aside from the subject matter, the song has my favorite guitar solo on the record. A 1969 Univox superfuzz into a 1964 vibroverb that was cranked. Total Search & Destroy sound (The Stooges).”
Check out the song below. Magical Touch is due out everywhere on July 26th. The band is also playing at Nashville venue The Basement on April 7th.