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David Wax Museum, 'Remember My Future'


Published February 23, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.

David Wax Museum, Remember My Future - COURTESY
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  • David Wax Museum, Remember My Future

(Self-released, digital)

Blending elements of Mexican folk music with American roots and indie rock, David Wax Museum have always stood out in an Americana scene crowded with imitators. With its fearless approach, the husband-and-wife duo of David Wax and Suz Slezak consistently pushes boundaries to create new sounds and intricate melodies.

On its eighth album, Remember My Future, released on New Year's Eve, the duo weaves in psychedelic pop and rigid, amplified guitars. That's a new evolution for the self-described "Mexo-Americana" band. But the presence of string instruments, acoustic guitars, piano and heartfelt harmonies suggests that it has held on to its musical roots while discovering new creative avenues.

Wax and Slezak founded David Wax Museum in Boston in 2007 and are now based in Charlottesville, Va. They made the new album, produced by Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Alec Spiegelman, while in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inspired by looping, improvisation, collaboration and sonic exploration, the duo ventures through a wide emotional spectrum. Topics range from a love song for a smartphone, to the Spanish conquest of Mexico told from the perspective of the Aztec gods, to numerous other existential quandaries.

Clearly, there's a lot going on within Remember My Future. It's an audial expedition in which each track brings something different to the forefront. Songs feature orchestral progressions and choruses heightened by unison vocals, rhythmic storytelling or numerous distinct tones.

Mandolin, guitar and drums drive the steady rhythms in "Georgette." It's an excellent example of how a song can be soothingly catchy without becoming mind-bendingly annoying.

Looping techniques provide the foundation for "You Don't Need Anyone," a track characterized by heartfelt singing and a distinct Mexican influence. Wax sings at a higher pitch over the looped verses of "Two Solitudes," which flow in and out of harmonic, acoustic-driven choruses.

There's something quaint and romantic about "Missouri Skies," a song that's accented by the piano, with lyrics that describe how getting lost in a person's pupils can evoke pleasant memories.

"Gods and Heathens" highlights electric riffs alongside a vocal supergroup composed of Slezak and special guests Diane Cluck, Devon Sproule and Lauren Goans. Speaking of vocal standouts, Slezak sings in French on "Tu Tiens la Lune." The title means "You Hold the Moon" in English, and Slezak's exquisite delivery takes on a jazz vibe.

Remember My Future has no filler; each of its 11 tracks stands on its own. Inventive and expansive, this isn't rinky-dink folk music.

David Wax Museum perform on Wednesday, March 2, at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge in South Burlington. Remember My Future is available on Spotify.