Dwight from WASHA was referred to me by his friend Sven, who was formerly in the band Stranger Cat, which I wrote about at the early onset of this column. I like referrals. There’s something very intimate about them. A lot of people go through life not saying shit, and I personally prefer the people who say the shit. Even if it’s non-verbal shit saying, but the saying of shit via action or intent. Dwight from WASHA is already a winner in my mind because he reached out. He did something. He got the ball rolling, as it were.
WASHA’s latest project is called The Bright, Part II, and according to Dwight the album was heavily influenced by the intricacies of vivid colors and experiences, visual art from film director Terrence Malick, and emotional experiences in the past years from struggling with depression. He also says that his sound has been influenced by Sufjan Stevens to some extent, and the world at large already knows how much I love HIM. So this is all great.
Here’s the premiere of “I Am Growing” off of The Bright, Part II.
If you were to base the sound of WASHA off of just this one song, you could paint yourself the picture of what it must feel like to live life as a 21-year-old man, if you were not one yourself already, in which case you’d already know. Rubbery skin, stretching aching muscle, the burden and the numbness of rampant opportunity. The difficulty of truly being present in your own life. You can hear it all here. It’s salty, like a light pole after a rain storm, or a lick of the lips after a car ride past the sea with your windows down.
Since Dwight mentioned that The Bright, Part II was influenced by the intricacies of vivid colors, I decided to ask him something about color.
Question: I do this thing sometimes when I have a terrible headache where I’ll envision a blue ball of light encircling the headache pain, and then mentally kick it away like a bouncing ball. It actually works and somehow makes my headache go away. Can you describe something similar that you might do?
Here’s what he said:
“When I was little I had this dream where I was standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking a grey void of nothingness. It was like the sky, but it had no end, upwards, or down. In the dream I took a deep breath and leaned forward; a sense of release came flooding in as I too, became nothingness. The sadness went away. I don’t feel that way anymore, though. That’s why I wrote this album. And that is what “I Am Growing” is about.”
You can catch WASHA perform live at Cameo Gallery tonight, or at Palisades on November 9th. Keep track of the songs via Bandcamp.