Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade session is the band behind one of 2023’s most charming, confident, and critically acclaimed albums. Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, Wednesday have gained a strong following since debuting five years ago. Working at a grueling pace (as documented in the band’s eye-opening thread about the realities of making a living as a touring musician), the group has released an album a year since 2020, including an eclectic set of covers last spring. Wednesday stopped by our studio in April, the day before the release of their latest album, Rat Saw God. This was the first time they’ve played these songs in a live setting, though the band’s hard-earned cohesion makes each take sound effortlessly tight.
Most bands would give anything to two of their members operate in perfect, locked-in synchronization; all five members of Wednesday function as a complete unit, even as the songs’ arrangements erupt. Guitarist Jake “MJ” Lenderman (who releases his own stellar music backed by his Wednesday bandmates) and lap steel player Xandy Chelmis trade scorching licks while bassist Ethan Baechtold and drummer Alan Miller construct a sturdy rhythmic foundation. All this serves to underpin singer Karly Hartzman’s dynamic delivery of her detail-heavy lyrics. From wigging out on antihistamines (“Chosen to Deserve”) to ingesting chemically-colored soft drinks (“Bath County”), these touches give the songs rich, lived-in character.
The showstopper of this session is the performance of “Bull Believer.” Released as the album’s earliest teaser track, the two-in-one epic begins with the vision of a matador preparing to make his final strike and ends with a refrain of “finish him” drawn straight from Mortal Kombat. It’s one of the most captivating performances you’re likely to witness.
Watch and stream Wednesday’s full Indie Rock Hit Parade performance below, and check out Paige Walter’s photos and portraits from the studio. Wednesday return to Philly on June 17th for a headlining show at Union Transfer.