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Legendary journalist Greil Marcus stays true to his reputation as a scholar of modern rock’s intersection with rock history when noting in a 2019 Rolling Stone column that “some of the same dirt rubbed off” in regard to how Seattle foursome Loose Wing picked up mess from fellow Emerald City singer Merilee Rush, best-known for her 1968 hit “Angel of the Morning.”
Loose Wing hasn’t cleaned up completely since its critically praised debut album — “Loose Wing are serving as an example that the area’s still got it,” says UPROXX. Instead the band, led by songwriter Claire Tucker, has further focused its pounding and present sound via their sophomore release Miracle Baby.
Miracle Baby delivers an even more potent version of Loose Wing’s ability to capture themes of “isolation, intimacy, and teen angst that has yet to be outgrown” (The Big Takeover), recalling Neko Case or Low — Tucker recently organized a benefit concert to benefit Low’s surviving member Alan Sparhawk following the untimely passing of Mimi Parker — set loose through the lens of Throwing Muses.
Fans of PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, and Guided By Voices will also understand.
Much of Miracle Baby was recorded at Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, WA where another sonic touchstone — U.F.O.F. by Big Thief — was produced. Being at Bear Creek made an impression on Tucker, and on the record.
“It felt like a great place to immerse ourselves in the recording process and to find inspiration,” Tucker members. “It was a bit of a rock and roll vacation. The studio has a little apartment area, where we would work on overdub ideas on the grand piano, vintage pump organ, and other instruments. Or we would soak in the hot tub by the creek.”
Things are looking up for the company
They’re gonna buy the moon
Things are looking up for the company
We’ve got a flash sale on single use plastics
These lyrics are taken from “Capital Alphabet,” the lead track and first single taken from Miracle Baby. “I had a web development job I hated,” Tucker explains. “I was in way over my head and having panic attacks while driving to work.”
“Capital Alphabet” is a perfect example of Tucker’s ability to make plain complex feelings of anxiety about consumerism, and the rest of Miracle Baby repeats that tension, albeit around more personal reflections on Tucker’s sense of “contemporary humanity.”
While Tucker claims that Miracle Baby is “sort of a grab-bag,” thematically, the album holds together quite well, even with its divergent styles that shouldn’t work on one album, but do.
“We like to keep things interesting,” Tucker (Guitar, Vocals, Keys) says of her bandmates, Jack Peters (Bass), Aimee Zoe (Drums, Percussion,) and Bill Patton (Guitar, Pedal Steel, Vocals, Keys.) “I think we influence each other, and maybe that explains why no two songs on this album sound alike.”
Maybe Greil Marcus’ “dirt rubbed off” reference subconsciously makes Miracle Baby what it is.
Songs that combine catchy college rock with arty, left-field pop... ‘Capital Alphabet’ is our first taste of what to expect. It’s a gritty and defiant indie pop song that rallies against the soul-sucking drudgery enforced on many by the capitalist overlords. - Various Small Flames, UK
With their welcome return, Loose Wing seem to be asking questions that really cut close to the bone. Claire Tucker’s own take on 'contemporary humanity' isn’t a scathing takedown, it’s an arm around the shoulder, a question asked, can we change things? Can we be better to one another? And when she sings it with such beauty and gusto, it’s hard not to believe for the duration of a three-minute pop song that anything is possible. - For the Rabbits, UK
Loose Wing land classic with their nostalgic breakthrough single Country Numbers. Vintage vibes that trend elusive, Country Numbers recalls a vibe known to The Band and Joni Mitchell with an authenticity that shines like a long lost musical reel treasure. It’s a testament to Country Numbers' intriguing melodic movement and effective arrangement.
It’s a detail lost on modern country Americana, but Loose Wing gives it a fitting revival and matches that intellect with a dark vinyl era mix. Most notably, Country Numbers captures that aura without replicating any song specifically. They show that there’s more room to roam within this vibe.
- The Wild is Calling, Philly PA