“Id” by Wise Blood
Less than two minutes into Wise Blood‘s Id, we had to check and see if we’d mistakenly left multiple media players running simultaneously. No, Christopher Laufman actually weaves a clarinet into “Alarm,” generating a Peter And The Wolf level of jolly peril.
Years ago, this combination of bass-heavy sample collages and melodic cadences would have generated a devoted emo-hop following. Wise Blood works in ominous colors, but for now, his canvas is unclassifiable. “AM 1020” is pure bounce music, save for the freak folk breakdown. Even though Laufman calls Pittsburgh home, there’s a strong Malibu beach bum undercurrent in the production.
Id has a solid “day in the life of” narrative structure, though Laufman’s vocals are mixed too low for our tastes. It takes a bit of ear straining to extract “the more I look into the mirror the more I’m falling in love” from “Routine Reality,” a lonesome ode to self-improvement. Wise Blood is vibrant during songs about going to the multiplex and the big box store, then decries what most musicians would call “partying” as hanging out with “feral cats and spiders.” Makes us wonder if glamorizing monotony will be pop music’s next clever ruse.