Monday, January 16, 2012

The Well Wishers - Dreaming of the West Coast (2012) - a brief overview

As I mentioned in my critique of their 2010's Post Modern Romantic album, I became acquainted with The Well Wishers after feasting on the back catalog of frontman Jeff Shelton's previous outfit The Spinning Jennies.  The Jennies, who's run lasted the better part of the '90s (and a slightly beyond) were one of the quintessential power pop purveyors of their era.  Problem was I only caught wind of them by their last record, 2002's Stratosphere.  Shelton wasn't one to stay idle, and almost immediately in the Spinning Jennies absence The Well Wishers came to light, and they're already up to their half-dozenth platter, Dreaming of the West Coast

Stylistically, Dreaming... isn't a dramatic departure from Post Modern Romantic, but it is varied, with the Well Wishers breaking away from their usual aesthetic to indulge in the arcing, sparking punk free-for-all "All I Got," and jack knifes a 180 on the markedly more genteel acoustic ballad "Truth Is Coming Home."  As for the aforementioned "usual aesthetic" there's gobs of Merseybeat flirtations, and Shelton's familiar Ricken-pop jangle and strum.  Suggested destinations? "Escape the Lights" is the Posies gone paisley (minus the dayglo aftertaste) and "Here Comes Love" is linear yet luminous.  On past WW outing's The Chameleons and The Nils have been the recipients of the cover treatment, and in the case of Dreaming it's an uber-obscuro Nuggets era nugget (pun intended), "Have Some More Tea" originally performed in 1967 by The Smoke.

Now for the nitty gritty.  Virtual copies of Dreaming of the West Coast can be obtained from, while the physical edition becomes available on January 24. 

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