I’d say that it’s a ubiquitous pleasure to have a song or songs written about you . The recent EP by Wigwam aka Jesse Duquette entitled Holiday Hymns is for his lady and I’m sure she appreciates it.
The hardest thing to get past on Holiday Hymns is the recording quality. There are some songs such as ”Roundabout,” “I Know So Well” and “Time With Her” which I was having a hard time forgiving the sub par recording quality. Other songs such “Let Me Slip Through Your Hands” benefits from sparse instrumentation and sounds good enough where his songwriting shines through. The most offensive culprit is the opener ”Queen Of X-Mas Fun” which is one of the better songs but about six dbs louder than everything else.
On ”Queen Of X-Mas Fun” Duquette’s lo-fi approach works in tandem with the nonchalant J Mascis style of singing. The song is catchy and simple. The basic chord progression gets the job done and supports his singing.
I have a hard time saying anything about “Roundabout” because it sounds like it was recorded in the bathroom and the mics were a couple of rooms over. “Time With Her” has some decent melodies but I'm sure his girlfriend would have liked to hear his voice a little bit more in the mix.
“Let Me Slip Through Your Hands” is the highlight on the EP by a pretty wide margin but sounds very similar to Elliott Smith. Everything from the way he strums to the vocal melodies reminded me of Elliott Smith. That's not necessarily a bad thing and I think it should be considered a compliment. That being said if he choses to play another song with this style he should be cognizant of the similarities.
The vocal melody is catchy and it’s memorable when he sings, “Wearing out the shoes I've only had a week / From following a gypsy through alleys like a sheik / But I never tire of the way you tease my cheek.”
Holiday Hymns won’t be taking the indie world by storm but it does serve as a nice present for his lady.
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