Skip to main content

Album Reviews

Music > Album Review

Wil Wagner
- Laika

A lovely little offering from one of our most exciting songwriters.

Feb 1st 2013 | Label: Poison City Records
Wil Wagner is young frontman of The Smith Street Band - the bunch of excitable DIY folk-punkers who made a big splash in 2012 with their sophomore effort Sunshine & Technology.

You'd be forgiven for thinking his solo debut Laika, sounds like a handful of potential Smith Street songs that Wagner decided he would just sit down and record alone between his main gig's relentless touring schedule. Which might be exactly what happened. But this album is not an iota worse for it.

The stark acoustic backdrop gives our songwriter some space to cautiously try out a few new things. While he rests on his lovably familiar smartass drunk act for the record's opener Eviction Notices, he then spins out a quirky, melancholy tribute to Laika, the Soviet mongrel that was the first living thing sent into space, on the title track. Wagner conjures up an atmosphere of thoughtful introspection. He's hinted at it before on Smith Street tracks, but here he's able to really stretch out and explore this side of himself.

At just shy of a half-hour and with its bare-bones arrangements, Laika might feel a bit undercooked to some. Wagner though rarely feels short on ideas or passion and the record rewards repeat listening. A lovely little offering from one of our most exciting songwriters.



Sunday 24th August

Poison City Weekender feat.
Lincoln Le Fevre & The Insiders + Wil Wagner + Harmony + Hoodlum Shouts + Fear Like Us + Ceres + Toy Boats + Mere Women + Roku Music + Ted Danson With Wolves

Reverence Hotel, Footscray

Wednesday 27th August

Wil Wagner

Crown & Anchor, Adelaide

Thursday 28th August

Wil Wagner + Georgia Maq + Jud Campbell + Hanny J

Crowbar, Fortitude Valley

Friday 29th August

Wil Wagner + Georgia Maq

Newtown Social Club, Newtown

Saturday 30th August

Wil Wagner

Hamilton Station Hotel, Hamilton

Sunday 31st August

Wil Wagner

Transit Bar, Canberra

Wednesday 3rd September

Wil Wagner

Club 54, Launceston

Thursday 4th September

Wil Wagner

Brisbane Hotel, Hobart

Friday 5th September

Wil Wagner + Georgia Maq + Morning After Morning

The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine

Saturday 6th September

Wil Wagner + Georgia Maq + Jim Lawrie + Jerome Knappett

Northcote Social Club, Northcote

Sunday 7th September

Wil Wagner

Karova Lounge, Ballarat

Tuesday 9th September

Wil Wagner + Georgia Maq + Ali

Northcote Social Club, Northcote

Related Articles

Poster IT

Connect with The Music

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter


<span>Chelsea Wilson</span><br />Toff In Town

Chelsea Wilson
Toff In Town

<span>Courtney Love</span><br />Festival Hall

Courtney Love
Festival Hall

<span>Kasabian</span><br />Eatons Hill Hotel

Eatons Hill Hotel

<span>The Stevens</span><br />The Curtin

The Stevens
The Curtin

<span>Sydney Reclink Community Cup 2014</span><br />Henson Park

Sydney Reclink Community Cup 2014
Henson Park

<span>Courtney Love</span><br />Thebarton Theatre

Courtney Love
Thebarton Theatre

<span>James Reyne</span><br />The Enmore

James Reyne
The Enmore

<span>The Aston Shuffle</span><br />Oxford Art Factory

The Aston Shuffle
Oxford Art Factory

<span>Courtney Love</span><br />Metro City

Courtney Love
Metro City

this week's magazine

Digital Version

The Music Store

Australasian Music Industry Directory
The ultimate print sourcebook for all the contacts…
Jun 18th 2014
Arts Advertising Packages
The Music Arts Packages provide promotion in The Music…
Jun 18th 2014
Indie Band Advertising Packages
The Music Indie Band Packages provide promotion in…
Jun 18th 2014
Galleon Krueger for Sale
Galleon Krueger Bass Amplifier. 1001RB As new, current…
Jul 12th 2014
Jazz guitarists wanted for weekend jams.
We are a bass and drums unit rehearsing in St Peters…
Jul 12th 2014
Premier Sydney Punk/Rock Band seeks Drummer
One of Sydneys Premier Punk Rock Bands seeks energetic…
Jun 18th 2014