Asheville, North Carolina, quintet Wednesday have a new label, Dead Oceans, and a stunning new single and video, “Bull Believer.” The eight-and-a-half-minute track actually stitches two distinct song concepts together, “Bull” and “Believer,” as if challenging the listener to connect their seemingly disparate emotional dots.
“This song is an excuse for me to scream on stage, an outlet for the anger and sadness that has been collected by the current and past versions of myself,” says Wednesday vocalist/guitarist and songwriter Karly Hartzman. “An offering to myself of a brief moment of release from being tolerant of the cruelty of life: feels like cutting my hair to let go of the history it holds.”
With its guitar-harmonic flares and quiet, coiled tension, “Bull” feels something like a spiritual successor to Sonic Youth’s “Bull in the Heather”—at least at first. In the second verse, while Hartzman traces the cyclical heartache of caring for someone in the throes of addiction (“Comfort fools us into faith / Then fate pulls us away again”), MJ Lenderman and Xandy Chelmis suddenly unleash explosions of distorted guitar and lap steel, respectively, as if attempting to tear the song apart. Hartzman soon bridges the gap between the song’s two phases—literally referencing a bridge on either side of the shift—as “Believer” swerves into subdued shoegaze strums, images of lightning-split skies and makeshift roadside memorials steering the song from anger into sadness. Between its first two verses, the song shakes, as if sobbing. Margo Shultz and Alan Miller’s steady low end and Lenderman’s probing riff accompany Hartzman into her memories of teenage angst, but it’s the vocalist’s emotional catharsis, buoyed by the band’s waves of crashing noise-rock, that takes over the track as she quotes Mortal Kombat with increasing intensity: “Finish him.” Eventually, her words dissolve into full-throated screams, as if Hartzman is exorcising a lifetime of pain.
Wednesday kick off a fall tour alongside Truth Club on Sept. 21 in Greensboro, North Carolina, with a dozen dates—including stops in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Chicago—culminating in a hometown show in Asheville on Oct. 6.
See the “Bull Believer” video (dir. Josh Finck) and Wednesday’s tour dates down below.
Wednesday Tour Dates:
21 – Greensboro, NC @ The Crown at Carolina Theatre *
22 – Durham, NC @ Motorco *
23 – Washington, DC @ DC9 *
24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Ukie Club *
25 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Bond Street Bar *
27 – Somerville, MA @ Crystal Ballroom *
29 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Made *
01 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village *
02 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop *
03 – Lexington, KY @ The Burl *
04 – Knoxville, TN @ The Pilot Light *
06 – Asheville, NC @ DIFFERENT WRLD *
(* w/ Truth Club)