Paradise by Wishy album review by Igor for Northern Transmissions. The band's album is now available via Winspear and streaming services




Nothing new in the music industry, and there is no older band than a new one, as either Heraclitus or the unknown author of Ecclesiastes might say if they were to listen to Wishy’s new EP Paradise. This young Indiana band which includes Kevin Krauter (Hoops)  and Nina Pitchkites elegantly revives the shoegaze spirit and has a surprisingly long and knotty history for a new guitar sensation that’s less than one year old.

In 2014, one of the founders of this duo, Kevin Krauter, while studying at Ball State University, became a bassist for the band Hoops, which had been recording sweet dream pop in his parents’ basement. The band later broke up due to alleged sexual abuse by one of its members. Yet, Krauter dropped out of his senior year to focus on his music career and soon released two sophisticated solo albums with a touch of shoegaze. During that time, Nina Pitchkites had been recording lo-fi indie pop under the moniker Push Pop. They had attended the same high school, “hanging out in the same circle of people,” and always considered each other “super cool” and “dope.” Ultimately, both grew tired of their solo work, and when the time “to make some shit together” came, they formed the band Mercury, then renamed it Mana, and later changed their name to Wishy.

Considering this rich lore, it’s hard to categorize them as just another group of baby-faced risers. They have come to their technically first EP (the previous one was initially released under the Mana name) with a vast and highly diverse experience for indie musicians. That’s why the surprisingly mature production and winks at a wide range of influences in Paradise are so inevitable. It opens with familiar “When You Sleep”-ish distorted tunes reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine on the title track. “Shoegaze revival,” a term omnipresent in many reviews over the last few years, follows us on the next cut, “Donut,” as well, but the poppy and slightly Pale Waves-like outlier “Spinning” mixes up all the cards of our old friend Heraclitus. While the first two tracks offer a revision of the familiar sounds of the Jesus and Mary Chain or Lush, the latter finds inspiration in more dreamy and jangly music like Chapterhouse or the Sundays. With “enough slices” of Michelle Branch’s and the Cardigans’ catchiness.

It’s also easy to see where Nina and Kevin share their sonic duties: on “Blank Time,” he, as a longtime fan of Real Estate, Fleet Foxes, and some poppy stuff, effortlessly switches between the psychedelic tunes of Tame Impala, Kurt Vile’s recognizable guitar strums, and boy band choruses; at the same time, Pitchkites, having built her music career on DIY lightweight electro-pop, genuinely plays with the ’00s pop vibe on “Spinning,” which was initially released as a Push Pop single. This ping-pong of ideas and influences works very well. They gaze at their shoes, but without too much traditional noise, focusing instead on more catchy tunes and a strong emphasis on drums. Yes, we can call it gazepop, and every true shoegaze enjoyer might immediately think of Mojave 3, which became a beautiful pop retreat for Slowdive’s band members between their reverb eras. This is the secret of Wishy’s sound — to soar somewhere in-between.

After all, “the inspiration for this band was,” as Krauter recalls, “to make some loud, fun, popy, hard-hitting, hooky, compelling music to play for my friends,” and there’s nothing new in it for the world and the music industry, as the Stoics wrote around 20 centuries ago and Kira Muratova showed in her last movie Eternal Return, but it’s still relevant.

Order Paradise by Wishy HERE


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