By: Hope Ankney
You’re huddled into a densely packed coffee shop. It’s dark. It’s cramped. It’s musky. It’s chalked full of noise and distraction, but up on the dimly lit stage, in the corner, is a voice so alluring and freshly squeezed that it keeps your feet planted onto the wooden flooring. It’s muted the roar around you, holding your attention like a blurring noise-barrier. It’s the sound of the ever-so-refreshing Wist performing the opening to a song titled “karen.”
That’s how one feels while listening to the debut effort little deity from Australian indie group Wist. With life’s disorders and the constant murmur of generic melancholy from the indie community, little deity is definitely a breath of fresh air. It is a simple getaway masked by the charming vocals of Gainesville local, Courtney Carnaby. Accompanied by elementary instrumentals, Carnaby’s voice personifies a spoonful of sugar that keeps the listener enveloped in the four-track EP- a slightly sunny, bedroom indie rock.
The production on little deity creates an environment of the listener sitting in the same room as the band, absorbing the grounded nature of the recording. This constructs an intimacy between the listener and Carnaby’s vocals where one feels connected to every word she trills. With traces of Sophie Allison and Greta Kline here and there, it’s no wonder Wist can be set apart from being just another name on a Bandcamp page.
The EP seems to follow the uncertainty that comes from relationships with others as well as the relationship with oneself. On the introductory track, “karen,” a simple song driven predominantly by an isolated, acoustic guitar, the lyrics compare one to stardust which can be sprinkled throughout the record symbolizing the remains of something once cosmic.
“jazzy taps” is easily the standout on the debut- a song laced with groovy undertones, a more involved instrumental, and pronounced synths from Ethan Reed with a highlighted range from Carnaby that is not overlooked. “lemon water” follows which features a catchy hook that will leave one humming along after listening, and the closure of the EP takes a saddened twist with “a metaphor (flowerpot)” where one can hear the apology and self-blame etched in Carnaby’s downcast vocals with lyrics like “a menagerie of consequences I have left to learn” that leaves Reed’s haunting synths to fade the record out.
Overall, Wist’s little deity is full of quirky charm and charisma that is fitting for a day drive, trips to the beach, snapshots with friends, bedroom bops, and everything in between. The ability to have such a broad appeal keeps the listener coming back for more, and maybe for the zany likes of Wist, that’s the point.