The weird-bearded wait is over: the new album by Tempe based-gaze project Local Wizards has arrived in sweet digital stream and neat-looking CD digi-pak format.
Performed, recorded, and released entirely by 19-year-old Kendall Humbert, The Signal is a collection of amorphous dream-pop, understated space ballads, and cathartic synth rippers.
Humbert also put together a video for new bit-crushed rocker "Thomas Kinkade," one he says aimed for the feel of simple yet transfixing one-take videos like LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge" or Tyler, the Creator's "Yonkers."
"I just thought, 'I'm going to do that, but with food,'" he says. "The first take seemed to work out perfectly, which is good, because I wasn't looking forward to washing more egg out of my hair."
The Signal also marks a more mature and narrative-driven lyrical shift for Local Wizards. "I mostly just wanted to tell stories that I thought were funny or disturbing or somehow resonated with me," Kendall says of the songwriting process. "'Thomas Kinkade' is just that; a funny story about some sort of bizarre party, like Animal House meets Eyes Wide Shut on acid."
The tense, teetering "Wernicke's Aphasia" is about a character with a mental language handicap. "The song is a horror story about someone who can't say no meets someone who is willing to take advantage of that to live out their own weird fantasies, which I find extremely disturbing," Humbert says.
"The song is kind of a story about someone who finds their happy ending completely at the expense of someone else. Anyone who won't take no for an answer, or who extrapolates 'yes' from no response, is a horrifying type of person. The other character is having some sort of life-threatening brain condition and, as a result, has some sort of aphasic disorder, thus the name. "
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Download or order the CD version of The Signal on the Local Wizards Bandcamp.