Louisville, KY trio Wombo have created their own appealing, unique blend of post-punk on their perfectly titled second album, Fairy Rust, that is dark and light, dissonant and beautiful, complex and immediate all at the same time. These are songs that would bewitch even as an instrumental album; slithering basslines, spiderweb guitar work full of spooky harmonics and jazzy muscular drumming recall a wide swatch of 1981, from The Cure and Siouxsie to Young Marble Giants and The Slits. But guitarist Sydney Chadwick’s vocals — clear and breathy — pull everything into the sunshine. The album’s out now: read our full review here and listen to the album below.
We asked Sydney to tell us more about the inspirations behind Fairy Rust, and her list avoids music in favor of film, books, television, radio and more. Read it with her commentary below.
Wombo start their tour with Chicago’s Deeper next week — check out their full tour schedule below.
WOMBO – 10 INSPIRATIONS BEHIND ‘FAIRY RUST’
1) ‘Malice In Wonderland’ (short animation by Vince Collins)
I found it on youtube when I was a teenager. The drawings are in a constant state of morphing in and out of each other. It looks sexual and is terrifying and mesmerizing to watch , like a bad (or good?) acid trip. (Watch it here)
Radiooooo (with 5 o’s) it is a music app that i was using a lot at the time of writing the album. I didn’t have spotify yet. It presents to you a map of the world, and a timeline ranging from the earliest years of recorded music all the way up to today so you can click on Egypt, and go to the year 1960 and it will give you a playlist of songs from that region and era.
3) Courage the Cowardly Dog
A Cartoon Network tv show I use to watch a lot as a kid. I had a love hate relationship with it, which I think made it stick with me more. It’s both silly and disturbing, which I believe you shouldn’t have too much of one or the other if you can help it.
4) Wendell Berry ‘Our Only World’
This particular book by this author/poet from Kentucky, where we are from, was given to me by a family friend when she learned I was taking philosophy and was interested in some of his writing. He talks a lot about the environmental issues of America (and the planet) and about being displaced by capitalism, how it’s destroyed our soil and our home. Place is a recurring theme in my lyrics, yearning for a healthy home.
5) ‘Mythology’ by Edith Hamilton
One of the only books on Greek mythology that I have read and reread in chronological order. She was named an honorary citizen of Greece for it. One of my favorites is the tale of Glaucus and Scylla. It’s a story of obsession more than love and doesn’t end well for anyone.
6) Over the Garden Wall (Cartoon Network miniseries by Patrick Mchale)
My roommates and I rewatch it around halloween every year. It’s a Grimm style story of two brothers who get lost in a forest in another realm. It’s cute and funny while touching on some disturbing themes.
While we were writing the album, I was walking by myself a lot to this park by my house where I would lay down a blanket and journal and read (or listen to my radiooooo app). I came up with a lot of the lyrics that way. There’s very few lyrics that weren’t written outdoors.
8) Big Fish by Tim Burton
I love most Tim Burton films and I love Danny Elfman scores too, especially Edward Scissorhands. But this one had a few scenes that stuck with me growing up, like the lady in the lake who turns into a fish as soon as he tries to touch her, and the town that would steal your shoes to try and get you to stay forever.
9) Brian Froud ‘Good Faeries, Bad Faeries’
I found this at a secondhand bookstore before making the album. I love the stories about the different kinds of faeries and how they are helpful or harmful to us and the illustrations are fun to flip through.
I spent a lot of time unemployed because of the restaurant that I worked at closing during the shutdown. So i spent my time growing my collection of houseplants, cooking at home and cleaning and decorating my house. I think that helped me center myself more and keep my hands busy which in turn helped in writing these songs.
WOMBO – 2022 TOUR DATES
07.28 – Madison, WI @ The Terrace at The University of Wisconsin
07.30 – Albany, WI @ Postock Festival
08.01 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue ^
08.04 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern ^
08.09 – San Francisco, CA @ Brick and Mortar ^
08.10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon ^
08.11 – San Diego, CA @ Whistle Stop Bar ^
08.12 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Beast ^
08.13 – Tucson, AZ @ Templetons ^
08.16 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
08.17 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk (Inside)
08.20 – Nashville, TN @ Third Man Records
08.21 – Louisville, KY @ Guestroom Records (In Store & Signing)
09.02 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s
^ w/ Deeper