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Wim's feathery glam-folk makes the '70s seem OK after all

November 16, 2009 |  4:34 pm

Wim200 One of the best things about L.A. is the sheer aggregate amount of interesting music you can stumble into on any given night -- and not just on stages.

On Saturday night I'd ambled over to Bardot (its Saturday night Lo Hi Fi series is sneakily becoming a supremely fun live engagement every week) to catch the disco-revivalist quartet Love Grenades, whom I've somehow never seen before. Given how just about every popular varietal of dance-based music is getting constantly updated in the pop, R&B and indie worlds today, it was kind of refreshing to see a band play the earlier eras so straight. There was ESG, there was Moroder, there was Blondie, and the band's severe singer Liz Wight just dares you to look away from her.

But the even better surprise was a chance conversation with a virtuosically bedraggled quintet of Australians in town making their first full-length album. They're called Wim, "as in Wim Wenders," they said, which might make it the most pretentious three-letter band name in music history. But their sound is a fantastic revision of the meandering, sylvan folk of Grizzly Bear with the bleary tenor of Scott Walker and four-part harmonies tight enough to hang your laundry on. I feel like I need to go fall in love and then get unceremoniously dumped this weekend just so I can have the proper setting to listen to their spooky torch ballad "John" while plowing through a bottle of Macallan. And good lord, do they look the part too -- singer Martin Solomon probably doesn't get up for breakfast without first putting on a half-dozen fur and feather accouterments and eye glitter.

They're really young and have some filling out to do arrangement-wise, but if they stick around in L.A. they should make fast friends with Entrance, Hecuba and Devendra Banhart. I heartily propose they do so, if only for my own selfish motives of wanting to see them live many, many times in the near future. 

-- August Brown

Photo via wimtheband.com