Two years ago, my computer hard drive crashed and I lost everything. Subsequently I lost a lot of music. But recently I stumbled upon my iPod Classic and decided to plug it in. As I scrolled through the ancient (it’s four years old) iPod I rediscovered one of my favorite bands on the entire planet, Wavorly.
My guess, is that very few people have ever heard of this band. For one, they fall into genre limbo. They are a band, whose members happen to be Christians, but their lyrics aren’t blatantly religious. So, they aren’t “Christian” enough for Christian radio and they’re “too Christian” for mainstream. Several amazing bands slip into this category, but this is another story altogether.
Besides being ignored and passed off as music not deserving of respect, their career as a band was minimal. In their time, they released one full-length album, an EP (extended play) and a farewell collection. That’s it. And it’s a tragedy.
Since none of you have heard of them, pretend I’m talking about a favorite band of yours that never seemed to take off as you’d hoped. The sad story is so common among bands who actually write their own music and need sales in order to survive. As hard as they try, they don’t seem to fall on the same stroke of luck as the few in the Top 40.
Wavorly, who has release two previous albums under the name Freshman 15, released their first full-length album, Conquering the Fear of Flight, produced by Flicker Records in 2007. The first time I listened to this album, I was captivated.
Their style was unique, the Intro transports you to another era, reminiscent of film soundtracks for Victorian England inspired films. But also sounding similar to Panic! at the Disco. All the while incorporating the themes of C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” without it seeming like it. (Everyone should be ashamed now for rocking out to Justin Bieber.)
Wavorly manages to weave philosophical insight with haunting melodic string passages in order to create a unique yet easy listen. They manage to tell a story from beginning to end rather than just a collection of random songs that have no cohesive meaning.
After the release of Conquering the Fear of Flight, the band went silent. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Slowly I forgot about them. They, along with many other deserving bands either because of lack of resources or not enough sales, weren’t able to get more exposure and more success. After I stopped using my old iPod, they simply became a band I once listened to.
In a time where songs titled “Stupid Hoe” can make the top 100 on the charts, our society is in desperate need for music that has substance. Instead, we blast our radios with many artists who autotune and don’t even write their own songs. Songs that require thought and ingenuity are a lost art. Instead, the music we are forced to endure stays catchy and shallow.
Unfortunately, the artists that create music that goes further than repeating the same five words over and over again, tend to be the ones who suffer the most. Their time spent making music easily comes to a quick end.
While there is a time and a place for catchy and shallow, there is a vital need for music that truly pushes the boundaries, and I don’t mean the ones that compete to see how many poor radio edits it can get.