The Wiyos’ Twist

 

The Wiyos’ new album, Twist, is appropriately titled, although perhaps in a way other than that which the musicians intended. Loosely based on The Wizard of Oz, the witch and wizard and all of the other classic characters are present in the songs — along with a few unexpected figures — but in an updated way and are written from an alternate perspective. This is most likely the actual inspiration for the title of the album, but the reason behind why I say it’s appropriate is because the musicians twist everything they touch into something truly spectacular and special — and The Wiyos have taken their creative genius to new heights with their new album.

Twist is a conceptual album, but it’s also more than that. So strong is the diversity of instruments, styles, and storytelling that each song is a journey and seems like an album onto itself. When put together, however, the songs combine to create a solid, overarching narrative that will draw you in and confuse your sense of reality. That’s okay, though, because The Wiyos conjure up an alternate reality for you, one where you might run into marching bands, derelicts, a hairy-chinned Cruella De Ville, and a headless baby. I don’t think Dorothy ever dreamt up this stuff, but The Wiyos have.

It takes an open listener to discover the magic of the band’s ever-evolving sound and the culmination that sound has reached in Twist, the band’s most fully developed album to date. Equal parts silly, contemplative, and outright crazy, the songs are made from elbow grease and imagination, simultaneously containing a dream-like quality and a healthy dose of grit. This is music that will kick you in the gut and twist it around a bit, but it’s exactly what you need — and if you do have an open ear and mind you’ll be taken on an inspiring ride. To reference another classic story, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole The Wiyos call Twist.

  Photo by Brian Geltner

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