The WAYO - Wanderings

Released February 1, 2014

By Charlie Dims

Creating a band, for any genre, always has been and always will be hard work. To make a band is more than just getting several people together and hitting random notes on instruments. At its best, it should be a collective consciousness of one focused and direct sound. The Halifax-based group the WAYO has accomplished such a feat on their new EP Wanderings. It’s really hard to believe that this is only their third release. This cohesion perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise for those who have followed the group since their debut Sun Soaked/Walkin, released in July of 2013. Since the beginning, there has been a sense of comfort within all of the musicians, as if they were made to play together. Their first release showed that they could play straight jazz or a talking/rapping fusion. The WAYO’s Girls Love Beyonce in December of 2013 proved that they could take a Drake song and put so much of their own flavor in it that the finished cover is indistinguishable from the original.

In their new EP, the WAYO has only improved, a considerable feat considering their back catalogue. While the title itself suggests instability in direction, Wanderings tells a clear story of a love found and then slowly lost.

Lay it Down starts off the EP, a piece that suggests the difficulty of trying to love someone who is held back by the past. Yet there is determination, as Charlotte Day Wilson smoothly croons, “Her words enter, linger deep and haunt you, hold you/But let me rinse your shoulders clean.” Just when the song seems done, the laid-back pace is replaced with a jazzy tempo that is just as captivating as the previous section.

Skat builds a space between the relaxed and the constant beat, a sound which fits in with the song’s story of two souls who declare, “Let’s just say it’s you and me and leave the rest behind/Let’s just say it’s you and me and take a little time.”

Undone introduces a more haunting, brooding atmosphere. By now, the reality of the relationship darkly settles in, as the observation is made “You tell me I’m the one and still I’m just a number/Once you’re undone, you’ll say you blame it on another.”

Yet, despite this feeling, the final track Stay backtracks on the previous song, asking the lover to “please stay/won’t you stay till it’s all well and good.” As the pleas are made, the music sways in a gentle manner, as if trying to comfort that which has been lost. And while the lover may not stay, we can only hope that the WAYO will be around for a long time to come.