Premiere: Wax Charmer, ‘Emblem’

Wax Charmer (Photo by Benji Stein)

Wax Charmer is the new Los Angeles trio formed from the ashes of Jubilo Drive, who released two albums boasting musical flavors you don’t find in your typical indie-rock cupboard. In fact, they were as close to a prog-rock party band you’d find in local clubs.

The new trio — Jordan Kleinman, Henry Kuckens and Jacob Lauing — are no less adventurous. Wax Charmer’s first single “Emblem” is a shoulder-swinging rock/jazz/bossa nova hybrid with a breezy feel and a hurricane of serious intentions. It’s as stylistically striking as it is conceptually bold.

Kleinman says the song has its roots in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting in 2017 — and the notion, he says, that Americans “are facing huge problems but are ignoring them until they arrive on our individual doorsteps.”

“I think my Jewish upbringing had a lot to do with where my thoughts ended up,” he explains. “There are so many things that I read about in the news that I think to myself, ‘If you swap out proper nouns and the year, this is exactly what I learned in all my classes about how the Holocaust began.’ And even still, things are only getting worse.

“One can think of themselves as a well-informed person who believes they would ‘do something,’ but the reality is that we are so consumed in our own lives, that we rarely make the effort to try and make a change in whatever capacity we can. And of course, when you’re living in a 24-hour news cycle dominated by an egomaniac, things tend to feel like they’ll never end (but they will … one day, hopefully). It’s important to recognize the power of awareness in ensuring you claim your stake in the changes that come your way.”

Take this one to your next cocktail party. It’s officially out on Friday.

||| Stream: “Emblem”