Local Wire

The Wiley One

Sammy Wiley, a.k.a. The Wiley One, is the brother of Cristiana Cole and Marta Wiley (of local esoteric rock group W.O.M.B.), and judging by his new CD, there's some serious talent in the genes. Wiley's album opens with "Possibilities," an upbeat acoustic song reminiscent of Jack Johnson's work on Brushfire Fairytales, then moves on to bouncy folk-ska with "False Reality." Wiley's guitar-playing harks back to the hard pick-and-pluck style of players like Nick Drake (minus the morose vibes), but all the songs here are driven by springy reggae beats and positive panache. "Open the Lock" sails along on a booming dancehall beat, mixed with rap and oh-oh-ee-oo vocals not unlike those the Police used on "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," while "The Beer Song" displays the kind of funky swagger usually reserved for stumbling downstairs after a Saturday night spent drinking and doing things you don't remember on Sunday morning. Not every track is a standout ("No. 7 Kid" sounds too much like a 311 song), but tunes like "Vampire Scars" — with its lovely, languid synths, breathy vocals, and pulsing beats — more than fill the gaps.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea