For six years now, Sara Magenheimer and Eben Portnoy have been musical partners-in-crime, collaborating and reinventing themselves. In 2008 they went under the name Fertile Crescent, and toured the US opening for Deerhoof. Shortly afterwards, the two disappeared into the Massachusetts woods to focus on their musical vision; the result was WOOM.
Their album, Muu’s Way, showcases the time and effort Magenheimer and Portnoy put into their new project while tucked away in that Massachusetts landscape. WOOM is a perfect division of the two parts that make it whole, and a display of not only thought-felt and provoking lyrics, but music that flirts with experimental just before snapping back to dream-like pop.
The album opens with “Backwards Beach,” and starts low and dense with both singers lending their sweet vocals to the song: an ideal way to preface what’s to come. While both voices leave one wanting more, it’s Magenheimer’s voice that sounds like it was pieced together by celestial beings, then placed back here on earth to be adored for its innocent cooing. Nowhere are her vocals more highlighted than in “Foggy Dew,” where the only background sound is the echo of summer peepers (those frogs that fill the air with their singing from spring to mid-summer). “Under Muu” directly follows and is a lovely instrumental track that ties the vocally-charged songs together like a necessary breath in a conversation.
Muu’s Way is great debut album from WOOM. With two musicians like Magenheimer and Portnoy at the helm of this band, there’s the guarantee that, musically, things will only be getting better from here.
WOOM toured all over Europe with Xiu Xiu in May and June, before heading back home to play Brooklyn’s Northside Festival the beginning of July. As of right now, they only have a few California dates for the rest of the summer.
By: Amanda Chatel
20 Aug: Grand, Oakland, CA
21 Aug: The Smell, Los Angeles, CA
23 Aug: The Echo, Los Angeles, CA
“Backwards Beach,” the first track off Muu’s Way: