Wooden Aquarium

$ 12.00

01. Astigmatism
02. Salford
03. It Is What It Is
04. Explode Into Col(o)urs
05. Vapour Trails
06. RIPP
07. Letters Between U&V
08. Mineral Springs
09. Stamford Hill
10. Universal Me
11. The Third Ridge

 

Completed in just two weeks between the sub-zero conditions of commuter town Cornwall, New York and the heart of Brooklyn, Wooden Aquarium marks the apex at which Mazes’ music to date meets. While debut album A Thousand Heys was recorded on a boat and recent album Ores and Minerals was recorded across numerous takes in the back room of Dalston’s Shacklewell Arms and Jack's bedroom, Wooden Aquarium has brought Cooper, drummer Neil Robinson and bassist Conan Roberts together in a studio again. Recorded completely live and laid down entirely onto beautifully thick two-inch tape, the trio also had company in enlisting the skills of Parquet Courts’ producer Jonathan Schenke. “If it wasn't for Jonny, things would've got a little bleak,” admits Cooper. “The dynamics of our band are very English, so can be quite tense and focused. I think that comes across in the music, but Jonny kept everything light and breezy.”

“With this record a lot more care has been taken over the lyrics and themes,” Cooper reveals. “I've always looked back on my late teens as being idyllic so that nostalgic hazy image of riding my bike around in the sun as a teenager, coupled with a new sense of optimism mostly colours the record, but there's still stuff on there I don't have a clue about.”That sense of nostalgia is never clearer than on ‘Universal Me’, capturing Wooden Aquarium’s theme of finding yourself caught between two places. Akin to Field Music’s articulate songwriting prowess and the punky guitar rhythms of The Feelies or Television, ‘Letters Between U&V’ is about unfinished moments, half notes or things left unsaid, whilst personal ailments (‘Astigmatism’) and see-sawing between extreme confidence and self doubt (‘Salford’) are explored through hypnotic lo-fi pop melodies of motorik rhythms bolstered by spiky hooks and Cooper’s distinctively carefree vocals.