Photo: Chris Higdon

Wax Fang – “Glass Island” (audio) (premiere)

Kentucky outfit continues its long-held tradition of defying the rules and coming up winning.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Wax Fang returns with a track to give you the shivers. Built on an eerie, hip-hop-ish rhythms, psychedelic-cum-horror rock keyboard figures and a devastatingly beautiful vocal take from Lacey Guthrie (Twin Limb), “Glass Island” bursts into a deep-cutting, prog-influenced ecstasy that’ll leave listeners marveling at the ease with which this quartet moves between these disparate spheres.

Lead vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Scott Carney offered insights into the track’s genesis and evolution: “Our former bassist Jacob Heustis was listening to a lot of hip-hop and had made some tracks on this weird machine called a Roland D-2,” Carney recalls. “It’s this pre-iPhone era touchscreen music production thing. It was completely unintuitive to use, but somehow he figured it out. He produced what would become the backbeat and the two main synth lines of ‘Glass Island’ on that thing.”

The song came along fine but with time Carney began to suspect it was missing something. “After we mixed it the first time,” he says, “I began to second guess myself because I’d originally sung the first half of the song in a falsetto, but the melody, combined with the key we put it in to accommodate the second half, forced me to use the lowest range my falsetto. We decided to have someone else sing it. As big fans of Twin Limb, we reached out to Lacey. Her voice is amazing. She came in and she just killed it.”

The vocalist adds that the piece challenged him in some unexpected ways. “I had an idea to introduce a rock element halfway through and to end it with a ridiculously long guitar solo,” he remembers. “The vocals, melody, and lyrics came easy. The solo took some time. We knew it had to be strong because it was the entire length of a verse and a chorus. It took Corey and me several sessions of sitting down, playing around, and coming back to it until it felt interesting from start to finish.”

“Glass Island” is released on 27 October. Wax Fang is on the road in early December for three dates.

12/6 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle

12/8 – Indianapolis, IN – The Pioneer

12/9 – Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox