WYLD WYZRDZ / STAG HARE – ANTELOPE ISLAND (INNER ISLANDS, 2010)

Tome favorites Braden J. McKenna (WYLD WYZRDS/Navigator/Mario Kart/Sleepover/Weighted Pines) and Garrick Biggs (Stag Hare) have quit the fine state of deseret for the greener forests and friendlier politics of Portland. Sad to see them go but in their wake they have left a fitting tribute to the bone dry SLC valley with Antelope Island. Antelope Island is awesome, both the state park and the musical remnant. A yellow-grass sore thumb in the middle of a dead sea, the state park boasts wildlife (bison!), a beach lined with dead brine shrimp and a teeming shoreline filled with all manner of loathsome creeping and buzzing things. But seriously, a day trip with friends to this strange island in a strange inland ocean in a strange valley is one of my most treasured memories. It is so weird and it is so magical. Aaaand, that’s a segue into this 7″.

Side A. Stag Hare.  Quite possibly one of SLC’s best imports and one of the leading voices of new weird Utah (2008-200?), Stag Hare’s shambling tribal-drumming and shimmering instrumental drones pulse a liquid shamanism that sinks deep below the hazy production like quicksilver. Biggs newfound lyrical confidence is featured by the addition to submerged singing that moves beyond his signature vocal looping (which still forms a majority of his songs). A logical step in the direction 2008’s brilliant Black Medicine Music took.

Side B. WYLD WYZRDS. This 7″ is the first release from McKenna’s newly minted Inner Islands site/label (R.I.P Magic Goat. You were good to us). Dusting off the WYLD WYZRDS moniker, “Antelope” starts with a business-as-usual percussion/guitar drone before an incandescent guitar swell rips right through the track, pools, and then disperses into the crooks and crevices between guitar drones, delicately plucked guitar lines and boy/girl vocal loops that are multi-tracked to the point of sounding like a half angelic choir/half doo wop quartet. Pretty thrilling stuff. The track ends with a single chord meditation on an acoustic guitar before fading out, leaving only that glorious guitar swell that illuminates the track from inside out. 

Ryan H.

Buy/order from Inner Islands site

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