There is a veil of doubt that hangs over Signs of Wear, the debut EP from the new Atlanta-Athens trio WF Addams. Formed from the ashes of emo stalwarts Juna, the band is carved out of a similarly moody mold, only the edges have been sharpened and the contours smoothed out. Still, the rainy day introspection remains largely intact, with the three-piece crafting stormy songs where the future weighs heavily on the mind, uncertainty reigns supreme, and every relationship seems to hang in the balance.
For all of its deaths and resurrections, the lifeblood of emo has always been tension and drama, and on these six songs WF Addams display an uncanny ability to wring out an exceeding amount of turbulence from every contorted note and elliptical groove. And yet, despite their penchant for emotional upheaval, the group’s songwriting remains decidedly thoughtful and nuanced. Overall, it’s an EP that stresses a kind of technical proficiency without losing the cathartic immediacy that has earned the genre its devoted legions. That’s no easy triumph, and with it WF Addams has provided us with one more solid debuts of 2016.
Ahead of the band’s release show this Thursday at the Caledonia Lounge, we spoke with guitarist and vocalist Hunter Whitehead about the formation of the band and some of the themes underlying their debut. You can read the interview below, and when you’re done make sure to listen to our exclusive stream of Signs of Wear.
Can you give us some of the backstory on how WF Addams came to be?
Me and [drummer] Sasha [Schilbrack-Cole] were living together at the time Juna was winding down in spring of 2016 and we had been jamming off and on together. It wasn’t until [bassist] Mikey [Heptinstall] joined that WF Addams coalesced around our friendship and sort of naturally fell into place as a band. Once we got enough material we liked, we hit the studio with our friend Jesse Mangum at The Glow to record Signs of Wear.
Do you consider yourselves more of a project or are you pursuing this band fully?
In its fledgling state, I’d say WF was definitely a project but now it’s become a full band for us.
I think fans of Juna will find a lot in the record that sounds familiar, yet overall the songs seem more refined and accessible. Was that part of your intention when writing this record?
It wasn’t really intentional, but it isn’t surprising. We’ve all played together for so long that anytime we get into a space to make music it always sounds at least reminiscent of our past projects.
As a title, Signs of Wear could be interpreted as something ominous, the idea that the cracks are starting to show and a breakdown is imminent. And certainly there’s a high degree of tension and catharsis both in the music and the lyrics. What were some of the themes you wanted to explore with this record?
Emotional vacancy, self-reflection and self-destructive behavior are all some of the themes that found themselves represented in the release. Playing together for 5+ years in various bands and projects while being intimately involved in each others lives as friends has afforded us a lot of shared experiences and common ground to write from and so a majority of the record is about people, places, and events that we all share in some capacity.
What can we expect from WF Addams in 2017?
Lots of shows, maybe a tour, and new material.
WF Addams will celebrate the release of Signs of Wear on Thursday, December 14 when they play in support of Scooterbabe and New Wives at the Caledonia Lounge. Harlot Party kick off the show. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $7 for 18-20 or $5 for 21+.