Since the announcement of their debut album, Hum, last November, Eerie Wanda have been steadily scattering their track premieres all around the blogosphere. Though buzz for the Dutch pop project got its feet back in 2014, when singer-songwriter Marina Tadic first began circulating her demos, it wasn’t until she enlisted the help of a backing band and got signed to Brooklyn’s Beyond Beyond is Beyond that Eerie Wanda became a real rising star. Clearly, their sweetly sophisticated melodies have captured the attention of many, and a single listen to Hum makes it very clear why.
When I first stumbled upon their singles on Spotify earlier this month, I was met with that rare feeling you get when you’ve found something that you’ve been, perhaps unwittingly, looking for. The songs had me immediately hooked, and now, weeks later, they still sound just as compelling and fresh (and haven’t budged from my daily rotation). Written primarily by the Bosnian-born Tadic but fleshed out, to a perfect T, by her supporting cast (which includes two members of Jacco Gardner’s band), Eerie Wanda’s darling tunes are blissfully good.
Tadic certainly knows how to craft immaculately catchy riffs, but she and her band temper the pure pop of her ditties with psychedelic elements and subtle, unexpected turns of melody. Hum’s opener, “Happy Hard Times,” is a great example of this: the vintage-leaning, lilting guitar and Tadic’s mellifluous voice lure you in, but the chorus dips into an uneasiness and puts a delay effect on the vocals for that down-the-rabbit-hole feel. Indeed, there’s a dash of eeriness to their innocence—think Buddy Holly on a really light shroom trip.
Their penchant for rockabilly is particularly evident on tracks like “New Harmony” and “The Reason” (and explains an early, awesome cover they did of Sanford Clark’s 1959 single “Still As The Night”). Bassist Jasper Velhurst plays a crucial part in keeping a gentle, swaying, but dynamic tempo in most of the band’s work, and his presence is a real highlight all throughout the album. But Wanda’s strongest and most infectious songs (“I Am Over Here” and “Volcano Lagoon” set the standard) are a blend of classic rock and roll and country, ‘60s psych and girl groups, and ‘80s indie pop.
Writing all of those influences out makes it seem like a potential overload, but Eerie Wanda are an astute bunch; their tracks feel effortless and natural even as small details catch your ears and rhythmic changes catch you off-guard. Truth be told, there are very few dull moments to be found over the course of Hum’s thirteen tracks. And though Tadic closes the album by crooning “There aren’t many things I’d like to do” (in her best Jenny Lewis impression, I might add), let’s hope she at least continues doing this.