Hearing Aide: Wray ‘Hypatia’

Upon first listen, it would be easy to mistake Birmingham, Alabama’s Wray for a band from Birmingham, England. The initial chords of Wray‘s sophomore release, Hypatia start the listener on a shoegazing journey back to the London scene of the early 1990s.

Bands such as Lush, Ride, My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain were the prominent purveyors of the scene then and are obvious influences for Wray today. But while many of those earlier bands dealt in the drone of dark introspection, one can easily see the members of Wray (lead singer/bass player David Brown, guitarist David Swatzell, and drummer Blake Wimberly) pogoing along with the audience, especially during songs like “Regular.”

Reverb-drenched guitars are at the forefront here, recalling Link Wray’s surf style guitar in several spots throughout the album.

The title song is a song where one could imagine the audience singing along with Brown. The song opens with a heavy steady drum beat that is maintained throughout with a chord structure reminiscent of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” with a slight Feelies sway.

All earlier references aside, Wray is surely a band that will resonate with fans of The National, My Morning Jacket and Silversun Pickups. While deeply rooted in the sounds of 90s London, Wray distinguishes itself with an American take on the shoegazer sound by mixing in a bit of southern jangle pop, establishing a unique sound in today’s indie rock scene. Wray is currently touring in support of Hypatia.

Key Tracks: Hypatia, May 23rd, Regular