by Patrick Pilch (@pratprilch)
What originally began as a side project during their time in Earth Mk. II, Eerie Wanda has quickly become Marina Tadic’s main gig. The Dutch/Croatian audiovisual artist wowed fans and critics with 2016’s sleeper-hit Hum, and has since landed a spot on Joyful Noise’s wonderfully eclectic roster. Pet Town is the band’s latest, marking a newfound sense of comfort and clarity that reflects Tadic’s hermetic songwriting and recording process.
With the help of Jasper Verhulst and Jeroen de Heuvel, Pet Town was crafted in three separate locations and patched together through Marina Tadic’s quietly psychedelic vision of solitude and introspection. While the album’s recording process mirrors the songwriter’s period of creative detachment, Pet Town still produces an unmistakable intimacy and charm. Minimal production keeps Tadic’s vocal presence in tact, generating an air of confidence within the band’s blooming bedroom pop. Through layers of delicate fingerpicking, reflective lyricism and a Roland CR-78, Eerie Wanda snaps and claps through wistful, homespun melodies that land somewhere between The Velvet Underground’s melancholy and The Everly Brothers’ sentimentality.
Pet Town is dreamy and distant, built like a fever dream that sweats a distinct mid-century musical synthesis through Tadic’s creative intuition. The title track opener is like a Dear Nora doo-wop while the languid bossa nova influence of “Magnetic Woman” briefly and brilliantly captures the Brazilian new wave. “Blue Big Bird” rhythmically tiptoes on steel-scrubbed horse-hooves as standout “Sleepy Eyes” builds upon two start-up chords that hark back to the tune of “Jailhouse Rock.” Eerie Wanda’s simplicity is both endearing and enviable, each track materializing as breezy pop fusions of past, present and future.
With Pet Town, Eerie Wanda further prove their knack for churning out clever, clear-eyed tunes through instinct and subtlety. The album never commits to a specific style, making Tadic’s vision a unique and refreshing idea operating on its own plane of existence. In the end, Pet Town hits like a light buzz on the first day of spring, administered by a songwriter’s soft hum from the sun room, engulfed in both warmth and light.