Band Gives Track-By-Track Dive Into New Self-Titled LP – Hollywood Life
Image Credit: Courtesy of UwUw
Like the geometrical image gracing the cover of their debut LP, UWUW (pronounced you-you) are multifaceted in their self-titled album. The album, out today on We Are Busy Bodies Records, is the best late-Autumn block party, and everyone is invited. UWUW – a supergroup comprised of Jason Haberman (Dan Mangan, Yaehsun), Jay Anderson (Badge Epoque, Biblical, Lammping), and Ian Blurton (Change of Heart, C’mon) – created an experience that will appeal to fans of funk, jazz, soul, R&B, prog rock, and classic ’60s pop. Songwriters Chris A. Cummings and Drew Smith mix in their distinctive ingredients to what is a feast for the ears.
From the start of “Scattered Ashes,” UWUW is not a vibe but a groove that goes deep and all night. “Staircase To The End Of The Night” will soundtrack many a 4 am’s as people head home before the sun rises. “Landlord,” with its intricate steps and mathematical movements, argues for UWUW’s place on your Summer Jams playlist next July. Closing with “Box Office Poison,” a song that seems like the progeny of Herbie Handcock and the Steve Miller Band, UWUW ends on a high note. With a cool runtime of under 30 minutes, UWUW never overstays its welcome. It actually might leave you wanting more.
For more about this album, UWUW’s Chris A. Cummings and Drew Smith gave HollywoodLife an EXCLUSIVE track-by-track rundown of the self-titled release and how both John Fogerty and Jim Morrison led to this album’s creation.
Articles Trending Now
Chris A. Cummings: I attempted to shoehorn every stray apocalyptic thought I had circa Summer of 2021 into the song, including readings from the screenplay of Jean-Luc Godard‘s Alphaville (1965). The world is ending, or perhaps, as Sun Ra believed, we’re already past the end of the world. You might end up dying for a cause, or even “just because.” Who knows what tomorrow may bring, and like the Zombies, being forever Hung Up on a Dream—in this case, a lost vision of a kind of hippie or punk utopia—is the only way to live your life, the only way to maintain a healing state of mind.
“Staircase To The End of The Night”
Drew: The first rock n roll band I ever loved, for better or worse, was The Doors. That must play into the lyrics of this song a little bit – The End, End Of The Night. It’s not a big leap to see that those tunes are imprinted in my musical DNA.
‘Magic Mike 3’: First-Look Photo & More Updates On Channing Tatum’s Movie
Most of the lyrics and harmonies were suggested by the music. It’s already in there. It’s not even a case of heavy lifting, just listening. I was just interpreting what Ian, Jay, and Jason put to tape. My job was more fun than work.
Drew: Lyrically, It’s like [Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s] “Bad Moon Rising” but by a way-worse writer. When Jay asked me for the title, I was going to say, “When The Landlord Comes,” but that would have led to google search hell for a lot of people. Or heaven. Maybe you’re into that kind of thing.
“Box Office Poison”
Chris: The early 20th-century expression, “box office poison,” meaning a once-popular star now suddenly striking out with the public, was something I latched onto at an early age. Something about the romanticism of failure appealed to my young mind. During the pandemic I began watching Turner Classic Movies for at least 8 hours a day, in the course of which I rewatched Hitchcock’s small-town murder mystery Shadow of a Doubt (1943), which prompted the opening line, “Don’t strain my disbelief”—as in, “Suspension of disbelief is all well and good, but this is pushing it.”
(The plot of the movie, according to IMDB, is: “A teenage girl, overjoyed when her favorite uncle comes to visit the family in their quiet California town, slowly begins to suspect that he is in fact the ‘Merry Widow’ killer sought by the authorities.”)
Watching the movie now for the third or fourth time in 2021, it occurred to me that the whole thing hangs on a premise that I’ve never quite been able to believe in: the niece’s strained belief that the uncle was not a murderer when he so clearly was. Was this all part of a propaganda exercise, promoting the wholesomeness of small-town living as a distraction from the realities of WWII? We’ll never know.
The assignment was to write appropriate lyrics for the brilliant backing track by Anderson/Blurton/Haberman/Hay, and I used whatever materials I had at hand, whether it were lines from a Godard screenplay or watching a Hitchcock film on TCM.