Indie-pop sextet Wartime Recitals seemed ready to burst at the seams in 2015, after a 2014 that saw band release an EP, do a November residency at the Echo and win fans at show after show with their twee exuberance. Then, poof. When 2016 arrived and the band began writing a new EP, “we were running into a wall and had to do some soul-searching,” keyboardist Hugo Gomez says. “We scrapped most of that material and stopped thinking about press, our peers, trends, and locked ourselves away in writing songs that are intentionally different than our old stuff, with the only rule that it has to be fun.”
The new songs — “aimed at deconstructing pop, funk and even neo-soul through our weird/nerdy lenses,” he says — will comprise the album “Omakase,” named for the tradition in Japanese restaurants of eating dishes entirely selected by the chef. Gomez explains: “It’s a dining relationship purely based on trust. And though we know we have a lot of trust to earn from new listeners, we want to imply that we are serving up an array of songs that come from our diverse backgrounds, sort of in response to the faulted idea that a band only has to have one specific sound. This mission has completely rejuvenated the band.”
And so Gomez and bandmates Jonathan Krueger, Joe Cooper, Michael Giardina, Thomas Bram and Meagan Christy serve up the single “Wide Awake,” a tune possessing the harmonies, whimsy and innocence that a fairly familiar to fans Wartime Recitals’ earlier work. Who knows what’s on the horizon, but fans of Local Natives and Givers will find appeal here.
||| Stream: “Wide Awake”