New York’s Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice’s third official release, The Flood, lands the band smack in the middle of the experimental folk-rock scene (what some people are calling New Weird America) that has come to the forefront of the music world over the past few years. But Wooden Wand’s records are set apart by their knack for creating atmospheric sound textures within each album.
Imagine sitting in a room. The wind is brisk leaking in through the cracked windows, the wooden floors rest under several years of collected dust, and the winter is just beginning as you stare at the bare, struggling trees in an empty forest. This is kind of environment I picture Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice making a record in. The Flood makes its mark in a spiritual ambiance, experimenting within the spectrum of old-time music.
“Snake Earl” may find some of its traits from the spiritual influence of the snake-handlers, and “(I Wanna Live On) Sunbeam Creek” is a journey into the land of dissension and melody meeting in the middle. Like most of Wooden Wand’s output, The Flood is not a record you can immerse yourself in any time you’d like: because of the album’s intensely atmospheric quality, you have to be in the right frame of mind. Grabbing some moonshine, claw-hammering your banjo and spitting two-hundred-year-old-tales between your two teeth may begin to put you there.