[7 June 2010]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
There’s a reason Chapel Hill, North Carolina is still one of the great American hubs for independent music, and it’s not just indie rock stalwarts Superchunk and the Cat’s Cradle rock club. The reason is because there is a glut of homegrown talent, people like the Kingsbury Manx or Spider Bags that are churning out vital record after vital record. And go right ahead and add Wesley Wolfe to that list. Storage is, flat out, one of the finest pop records of the year. Wolfe recorded all the instruments himself, and these are as straight-up as pop songs come. Guitars, bass, drums, vocals, sweet melodies, clever and heartfelt lyrics, and hooks, hooks, hooks. But while the elements are simple, the songs are far from the same. Wolfe can pull off guileless love songs, lover-spurned indie rock, and spaced-out melancholia—and that’s just in the first three songs. His nasal bleat is urgent and sweet at the same time, and when he spits out lines like “sorry only counts the first time”, you know damn well he means it. So you’ve got 11 catchy as hell songs, full of driving guitars and deep hooks, telling earnest tales sung with both feeling and energy—aren’t those the things we expect from pop music? And does it make Storage one of the finest examples of it in 2010. The answer to both questions is a resounding ‘Yes’.