The Floating World is the final album from Iowa City psych-pop group Wet Hair, who disbanded in 2013 as the band's three members left their home base. The album was recorded that year and eventually released by Brooklyn's Wharf Cat Records in 2017. Essentially, it's a continuation of their previous full-length, 2012's Spill into Atmosphere -- both albums feature the same lineup of the group (Shawn Reed, Ryan Garbes, and Justin Thye), and even the colorful, collage-like cover art is similar. Just as the artwork is much brighter and busier than the monochromatic (or at least limited-palette) designs of earlier Wet Hair releases, the group made its sound more refined and accessible in its final incarnation. Even more so than Spill into Atmosphere, The Floating World seems like properly composed tunes rather than snippets of lengthy jam sessions. The vocals are much more melodic, with none of the acidic snarl or occasionally grating drawl they had before, and the group's rhythm section has never sounded stronger. The overall tone is much warmer and more driven than the group had previously been. Also, given the information that this is Wet Hair's final work, the songs inevitably seem bittersweet. Wet Hair have never sounded happier or sadder than on this album, and they reflect this on tracks like the epic centerpiece "Endless Procession." The track begins with a spacy intro that patiently builds up to a perfect distillation of the group's Krautrock-meets-post-punk sound, and the passionate vocals allude to the group's conclusion: "They say it's the end of our time." Following the album's six mighty songs, The Floating World ends with "Ice Cream," a brief monologue reflecting on life in an earlier time and place, one that is deeply missed now. Taken in context of Wet Hair's entire catalog, The Floating World is the culmination of everything they had previously worked toward, and is easily their best and most accomplished work.
|Label:||Wharf Cat Records|