Wombo is a psychedelic and indie rock band from Louisville Kentucky.
The trio, Sydney Chadwick, Cameron Lowe and Joel Taylor, take inspiration from rural and agricultural landscapes of their hometown. Their music is liminal, mystic and fluid.
Vocals by Sydney Chadwick are understated and mellow, bringing a relaxed continuity to all of their releases.
Fairy Rust & Selected Demos
Their newest release, “Fairy Rust & Selected Demos” focuses on a theme of escapism– from rural landscapes to distant fairy tales. There is a fantastic balance of mundane and unreal in this release both in theme and execution.
The explorative nature of their discography is really enjoyable to experience. They have some really solid rock tracks but actively dip into unknown genres with success.
“Jazz Wombo” is one of my favorites off the release. It’s classy, mellow and zesty. It holds to the escapism theme through a clear shift in technique compared to the rest of the album.
A great staple of the album is track “Backflip.” The backbone is a rhythmic guitar line– smoothly building to a whimsical vocals and bass line.
There are lots of tracks that play with the element of layering and time. “Backflip” is very successful bringing different techniques and themes seen throughout the album together.
There are so many gems in this release. When listening to past work it amplifies the strength of “Fairy Rust”.
Staring at Trees
In their debut album “Staring at Trees”, it has a much bolder application of Sydney Chadwick’s vocals. With this boldness there is corresponding heavier guitar and drum lines.
“Hex” is a joy to listen to after hearing the vocal work in “Fairy Rust & Selected Demos”. The adaptation in sound from 2017 to 2023 is quite astonishing. I find both approaches to be pleasant, but create quite the juxtaposition.
“Staring at Trees” has a fond place in my heart. It’s rustic, unapologetic and contradicts the lightness in their most recent releases.
However, one aspect I really love about their current sound is it’s understated, simple and humble tone.
In an interview with Melted Magazine, Sydney Chadwick elaborated on her simplistic approach in the latest album,
“I really enjoy songs from childhood and fairy tales, the melodies, there’s something so simple about them but so impactful. I really like when something can be so simple and seem like somebody didn’t really try… there’s something touching and simple about it. I really like to approach melodies in that way”.
“Staring at Trees” in contrast does not have this simple quality. The album sounds a little bit like they are throwing paint at the wall and seeing what works. There is nothing wrong with exploration and boldness– but it held insecurity in their sound.
Seeing the evolution of Wombo through their releases is fulfilling, fun and highly enjoyable.
Their most popular track, “Dreamsickle” is a great taste of the lyrical style of Wombo.
“And if you could see inside my mind there’s nothing there
But the images from the night give me no words
Looking back on when I thought I was a bird
I was looking at the ground to find a worm”
The writing through their releases is strong and surreal.
The dreamlike qualities of their music in both lyrics and sound make their entire discography extremely digestible.
Wombo simply makes great music to decompress to while holding interest. Both dreamlike and bold– this band has a lot of creative power and potential.