Houston transplant Wise Blood made himself visible in Pittsburgh at the perfect time. It’s early May and the summer needs a soundtrack. Living in Pittsburgh, I don’t need all that jazz about the beach and surfing and taking drugs, blah blah blah; we have water sure, but being landlocked is the name of the game. I want a sound that feels like the city’s about to fucking pass out. We have the kind of summers where asphalt sweats, buildings collapse from exhaustion, the kid’s on your block laugh constantly and fire sirens light up the 2 a.m. sky.
The sunbaked groove of Wise Blood’s “B.I.G. E.G.O.” projects itself like a burnt out Super 8 VHS, revealing the small nostalgic details of a summer that (probably) never existed. It’s a slogging, sweaty daydream dressed up in a soulful hymn: the hovering organ line, lumbering boom-bap beat and blaring symphonic sample mutate into one swinging hump, while the muted falsetto plays like Prince remixed by Delorean. Truthfully, it sounds like nothing I’ve heard in Pittsburgh since I’ve lived here. Truthfully, that’s why I love it.
It makes me wonder “where the hell did this kid come from?” Pittsburgh Music Report did a nice little interview with the young man last week and it blew my mind. Hearing Wise Blood’s handful of tracks for the first time I felt like the Steelers just traded up ten slots in the NFL draft. I kept saying to myself “We got him? Damn.” Like the interview says, he’s got a few irons on the fire, but nothing approaching an album yet. The possibility of this whole Wise Blood fantasy world pumped up into a live show is a dizzying thought, but right now I’m content to make these cuts my summer’s soundtrack.