Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Waifs - New Album Temptation Out Now

Temptation was recorded last November at Underwood Studios, a ramshackle old house-turned-studio in Simpson's adopted home city of St Paul, Minneapolis. And it was a reunion as much as it was work. Josh, Donna and Vikki have all moved on in their personal lives since those formative years, whether through relationships, having children or relocating to different parts of the US. The band lived together for two weeks above the basement studio, cooking, reminiscing and finessing each of the songs that had been brought to the table. “You just went downstairs when it was your turn to do a take,'' says Cunningham. “It was a great atmosphere and I think you can hear that on the record.''

The title track, which has been on the band's live set list for a few years, is a rousing, gospel-tinged ballad, one of three Cunningham contributions to the album, all inspired by recent personal faith experiences. "I can only write about things that are close to my heart, that are real to me,'' says Cunningham. “To find faith ... that's a pretty powerful experience for a person to go through.''

Then there's “Buffalo”, a beautifully stark and melancholy song by Thorn that allows the strength and subtlety of her voice to shine through. In contrast, embracing those familiar Waifs characteristics is the first single, “Falling,” an effervescent few minutes of folk-pop that highlights the sultry voice and songwriting skills of Simpson, who wrote four songs for the album, including the infectious opening track, the raw, shuffling blues “I Learn the Hard Way.”

On “Some Days,” Thorn lets her melancholy run riot on a strutting, folky lament with a twist. “I got a man and a family that loves me/Sometimes I have to ask myself what the hell it's all for."In that same vein, the delicately funky “Beautiful Night” is about finding time to reflect with the ones you love.

That, it could be said, is what Temptation is all about - a band that has been on an amazing journey, through good times and bad, that has come together for the love of music and each other. “We're a family and we love playing music with each other and over the years I think we've contributed something ... made a difference,'' says Cunningham. “We've made simple songs that resonate with everyday people. That's all we can do. There's value in keeping that going.''




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