The 90’s are alive and well in Wise Up, although the band are made up of members from Canada, Venezuela and Ireland they could very easily be signed to Olympia’s favourite indie label, K Records. Their debut EP ‘Soothe the Soul’ is 5 tracks of lo-fi indie-pop grunge. Equal parts distortion and ear worm pop melodies.
Their story reads like an indie rock fairy tale, having formed in 2022 the band, who have since been joined by Juan on drums, played their first show at guitarist/vocalist, Garry and bassist/vocalist, Courtneys’ wedding. Debut single ‘Conjure the Feeling’ was released in September 22 and caught the sharpened ears of indie blogs; It’s All Indie, Indie Dock and the widely respected Get In Her Ears. Along with receiving radio play from local Irish radio stations.
‘Infectious offering of alternative noise!’
Get in Her Ears
‘Soothe the Soul’ is the first longer form offering from the band, opening with title track ‘Soothe the Soul’ which sets the tone for the remainder of the EP, its an upbeat indie pop track with a 60’s rock twist. The vocal interplay between husband and wife, Garry and Courtney, seems so effortless with their voices perfectly complimenting each other over a sliding bass line. ‘Legacy’ takes a slightly more laid-back lo-fi approach, with a soaring reassuring chorus of ‘carry on’ over Juan’s drums. Not afraid to stomp on the fuzz box for this track it adds a nice dynamic shift. It feels familiar, like a nursey rhyme you’ve heard a thousand times before, but you can’t place where you heard it first.
‘Infectious blend of indie, alternative, grunge, and straight-up rock’
Lead single from the EP ‘House Cat’ creeps in like its feline namesake. Courtneys' vocals take centre stage this time, lyrically putting a sharp spin on what might be seen as an otherwise blunt world. There’s some fantastic organ embellishment on this track that juxtaposes some of the more aggressive passages on the EP. With an accompanying video shot during a trip to Belfast Castle, my cat has been singing it all day.
‘Rolling guitars backed up with ferocious drums and hazy vocal’
It’s All Indie
‘She Likes It’ and ‘Nostalgia’ close out the EP both with the same 60’s twist that title track ‘Soothe the Soul’ had, the wandering melodic bass line coupled with a hazy slightly woozy vocal all threw in the blender with effortlessly cool indie rock. It’s the sound of a band far further into their career than Wise Up are, with barely a year under their belt. I can’t help but think that a certain Mr. Cobain would’ve easily reached to one of their songs for a cover. ‘Nostalgia’ in particular throws down a number of guitar pedals on the floor and stomps on them all, wringing out a grunge chorus lead that takes us to the end of the song.
‘Soothe the Soul’ is released June 30th with the band playing a release show the same night at Whelan’s as part of their Whelan’s @ Midnight program. Cats, unfortunately, not allowed.