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Wil Wagner
- Laika

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

Alex Wilson

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.

Comments

Dates

Friday 22nd August

Poison City Weekender feat.
Knapsack + Pity Sex + The Bennies + Luca Brasi + Harmony + The Gift Horse + Clowns + Wil Wagner + Grim Fandango + Lincoln Le Fevre + Paper Arms + Postblue + Hoodlum Shouts + Toy Boats + Fear Like Us + Infinite Void + High Tension + Apart From This + Ceres + Tape/Off + Mere Women + Freak Wave + Roku Music + Stockades + Initials + Ted Danson With Wolves + Death Mountain + Regrets

Corner Hotel, Richmond

Saturday 23rd August

Poison City Weekender feat.
Knapsack + Pity Sex + The Bennies + Luca Brasi + Harmony + The Gift Horse + Clowns + Wil Wagner + Grim Fandango + Lincoln Le Fevre + Paper Arms + Post Blue + Hoodlum Shouts + Toy Boats + Fear Like Us + Infinite Void + High Tension + Apart From This + Ceres + Tape/Off + Mere Women + Freak Wave + Roku Music + Stockades + Initials + Ted Danson With Wolves + Death Mountain + Regrets

The Curtin, Carlton

Sunday 24th August

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

Reverence Hotel, Footscray

Wednesday 27th August

Wil Wagner

Crown & Anchor, Adelaide

Thursday 28th August

Wil Wagner

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

The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine

Saturday 6th September

Wil Wagner + Georgia Maq

Northcote Social Club, Northcote

Sunday 7th September

Wil Wagner

Karova Lounge, Ballarat

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