Album artwork: Katie Mont 1124 Designs
Single Release Date: Tuesday, May 22nd | Bandcamp | “Moonlight Devotee”
By: Caleb Stanislaw
Wharbaby’s new single “Moonlight Devotee” feels at times Phishy and a little Floydish with a dash of jam-band. I like it when the band pulls back, making room for Spencer Wharton’s breathy voice, a soft-spoken dream narrative coming through your headphones. The tones are great, the textures, comfortable. Almost singsongy–but never sentimental–the tune takes advantage of the numerous harmonic opportunities offered by the melody, resulting in focused moments of three and four part vocals. The bass is fat and buttery, and everything has just the right amount of reverb (thank you, SW). It builds and steps back and builds again like a dynamic wharchild drifting in and out of a parallel reality. It’s a stoned memory of a fantasy that’s fuzzy around the edges, and it feels like home.
Spencer Wharton | Jackie Marie Photography (Jackie Marie Brown)
This piece grew on me–the more I listened, the more I saw myself inside the song. This tune definitely belongs on that beloved mixtape you listened to on a road trip to Bonnaroo back in aught-four. There you are, lying stretched out on the backseat, windows down. There are the smells of the summer night and the undulations of the hills, the car now plunging through the microclimate of a small valley sending cool, humid air swirling through. Your hair is in your face but you don’t care, and you’re smiling in the dark, eyes closed, heart aching just a little, but you’re so present you feel a little jolt of ecstasy when the sax solo finally hits. You’re one with it all and the moment is precious and perfect and tender–a baby unicorn’s whinny; a dear and darling friend’s voice.
This song will transport you if you let it. It must be a discovery, measure by measure, of the unifying thread tying this song to you. I promise you, though, it’s there. You’ll find yourself in “Moonlight Devotee,” and in the process you’ll find friends that are long gone, loved ones that are far away, neglected pleasant memories, and youthful, wistful ideas that are familiar if not nearly forgotten. Don’t miss “Moonlight Devotee,” and definitely make a plan to catch The Wharbaby next time they play live.
Goes good with: Phish, Lindby