Iowa City’s Wet Hair has been getting poppier and poppier since it emerged from the ashes of art-rock darlings Raccoo-oo-oon as a solo moniker of Shawn Reed. Now that the troupe has swollen to a trio (and benefiting from writing partner and fellow Coo-oo-oon-er Ryan Garbes), the sun shines a bit brighter on their muddy, dubby tunes. Reed’s no longer burying his baritone caterwauling beneath an ocean of reverb and distortion, he now uses almost negligible levels of echo on his now melodic lines. Garbes’ drums are spirited, almost shimmering with creativity. The addition of now departed Matt Fenner (concentrating on his other band Solid Attitude) on bass, adds even more pop punch to this new incarnation of Wet Hair.
Their forthcoming album, In Vogue Spirit, is due on De Stijl Records later this Spring, and is easily the group’s most accomplished and accessible collection. The lead single, “Echo Lady” is not only a standout cut from the outfit’s 10th release and 3rd full-length, it’s exemplary of their new, sunnier disposition.
Speaking of sunnier, the video for “Echo Lady” has more sun flares than all of J.J. Abrams‘ combined film stock. The footage, shot by Reed and edited by a friend of the band, is a languid and kalaidescopic feast of summer scenery. The video’s a bit too laid back and and chilled-out to match the driving rhythm of the the tune, but both the visuals and music are so nice, it’s hard to really complain all that much.

Wet Hair has a couple dates left in March and then a spate of shows with Australian garage rockers, The Twerps in April, short run with Washington’s Broken Water to kick off May, before a long trek with Rene Hell (locations and dates to be announced/confirmed for Rene Hell dates):

3/28: Ypsilanti MI – 317 S. Grove St. w/Winter Ruby, Full Frontal, Daytime Television
3/29: Toronto, ON – Tranzac w/Simon Frank + the Deeep DJ Set
4/1: Montreal, QC – ARPRIM (art show opening, show runs through 5/7)
4/2: Northhampton, MA – Feeding Tube Records w/ Sore Eros & Blanche Blanche Blanche
4/3: Brooklyn, NY – Monster Island Basement w/Dog Leather, Silk Flowers, Coconuts, & Driphouse
4/6: Cleveland, OH – The Happy Dog w/The Twerps & Puffy Areolas
4/7: Chicago, IL – The Crown Tap Room w/The Twerps & Tyler Jon Tyler
4/8: Minneapolis, MN – Medusa w/ The Twerps & Food Pyramid
4/9: Iowa City, IA – TBA w/The Twerps
5/7: Iowa City, IA – TBA w/Broken Water
5/9: Lawrence, KS – Jackpot Music Hall w/Broken Water
5/10: Denver, CO – Rhinoceropolis w/Broken Water
5/11: Salt Lake City, UT – The Compound w/Broken Water
5/13: Portland, OR – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/15: Seattle, WA – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/15: Vancouver, BC – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/16: Olympia, WA – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/19: Sacramento, CA – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/20: San Francisco, CA – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/21: Los Angeles, CA – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/24: Phoenix, AZ – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/25: El Paso, TX – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/27: Austin, TX – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/28: Dallas, TX – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/29: Memphis, TN – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/30: St. Louis, MO – TBA w/Rene Hell
5/31: Chicago, IL – TBA w/Rene Hell