Wishbeard charts its own course.
Funneled up through whirlpooling guitar, teetering synths and skittering drums, a voice rings out of the distance, small but intent: If you wanna keep me, take a key and lock me up. The song is “Strawberry ’79,” taken from Wishbeard’s debut EP, and even while celebrating submission to confinement, it breaks free. The four songs on It’s All Gonna Break showcase a band that broadens horizons through songwriting and sonic flourish.
The four women of Wishbeard hover near 30 years old and “look like 12-year-old boys,” says keyboardist Erin Resso. Their luscious, dreamy space-rock has garnered a diverse following in Seattle, but their scruffy, androgynous appeal—plus lead singer Bryn Santillan’s appearance in Mary Lambert’s zillion-times-viewed “She Keeps Me Warm” video—has snagged a significant teenage-queer-girl contingent from across the United States. “We have this weird, funny boy band-ish following,” Resso says.
In the spirit of Tiger Beat, we asked the members of Wishbeard to each describe a song from It’s All Gonna Break in their own words.
Strawberry ’79 This is my favorite song to play. It doesn’t matter how I’m feeling during a show, this song always makes me feel great about what we’re doing as a band. -—Bryn Santillan
Vision Quest This song is what its title suggests: a journey into the unknown. It stops and starts, it accentuates the moments of hesitation, it echoes off into the parallel universes of the decisions we didn’t make. Ultimately it finds its footing and presses on into the unknown. Plus it reminds me of Portishead. —Erin Resso
Circles Bittersweet love. Hopeful/Sad. We don’t play this song live very much anymore, I think because we captured it so beautifully on the recording. The mix is perfect. Vocals are more raw and upfront. The bass is deeper. The keys are swirling around in the background. Drums perfectly held back. Beautiful. —Brighton Kenoyer
Adeline St. “Adeline Street” is a happy cry. It symbolizes stillness, introspection, zoning out. As the song takes shape, I begin to feel like I’m pumping my legs as hard as I can to get as high as I can on a swing set. I’m smiling so big my face hurts. —Jude Miqueli
Illustration by Tom Dougherty