Russell Wieland – Summer EP (Existable Records)
Nantucket Islander Russell Wieland is a classically trained pianist with an interesting record collection. His debut EP was recorded in his home studio, and is a genuine solo effort (he’s credited with vocals, guitar, piano, synthesizer and programming) but the results are a long way from lo-fi bedroom folk or bare-boned singer-songwriter fare. His listed influences are all bands, or solo artists who record with bands, so we shouldn’t be shocked that Wieland uses his myriad talents to fill the sound, and provide an air of much appreciated professionalism.
‘80s synthpop, classic psychedelic and progressive rock, and contemporary artists such as Radiohead and Arcade Fire provide inspiration, and they all impact on how Wieland presents his music. Lead track “The Healer” shimmers and glistens before settling into a solid alt. pop song. “In the Valley of the Wind” floats by on indie breezes and my current favourite, the folktronic “Accretion” jerks and splutters, and inhabits a space between Magnetic Fields and Bon Iver. Only six tracks and 25 minutes long, “Summer” doesn’t outstay its welcome, and I’m already looking forward to his next recording.