Hello all! This week we are chatting to Jack Whitby and Alex Wedlock whom together, come under several umbrellas, the duo Acoustic Toothbrush; the five piece band Happy Accident, the punk/grunge group Sister Sadie, but also as perfectly competent solo artists.
They are perfect examples of the modern musician; freelancer; experimentalist who is not a slave to a record label or other third parties.
The pair make quite the pear, (though I don’t think they will be recruiting me as a joke writer) and have today released their EP titled The Toothbrush Sessions. It’s a heart-warming diary of projects they have worked on together.
Whitby & Wedlock aren’t interested in sacrificing what they enjoy in the interest of pleasing an investor. Their image is many images, and their sound is many sounds.
When it comes to their personalities you can hear in each song that these guys are two sides of the same coin, each perspective different but at the same time; indispensable to the other.
The songs have a Jack Johnson-type bounce and groove but the lyrics and old school conversation in between tracks are totally different.
It’s like American surfers and British journalists decided to have a gathering. Coca Cola and Custard Creams (WARNING: only suggested for figurative purposes, don’t try that at home).
The idea of this collection is to create firstly (and interestingly), an almost interactive album.
You feel as though you are in the room with them, watching them enjoy their own performance experience. It is friendly and immersive.
They are emotive and have perfect ‘mistakes’ if you can even call them that. They are the cracks in the voice that we try to refrain from, but when they slip out at the right moment create something far more beautiful than perfect pitch.
But the other side of the story of this collection is a time capsule. You see as young musicians, and with burgeoning careers, the gift of the future has yet to be unwrapped.
In the words of Whitby: “At the moment we are young and we have a lot of resources to use and abuse to our heart’s content – but this album is a snapshot of this time. If we were to become seriously famous in years to come, we thought this relic would be a funny thing to find; in some dark forgotten corner of the internet – but always a treasured memory for us.”
They locked themselves in a studio for a weekend to create this, and played together in the live room until they recorded takes that they were happy with, and banter they felt appropriate for those of us not in on the inside jokes.
It’s cheerful and more than anything it is honest. It has been put together with innovation and creativity. What is special about this album is hundreds of people have already heard these songs live, and because of the style of these musicians, each gig is quite different and the two often change the pace of a song or add different harmonies.
As Alex added: “We’ve taken songs off each other, written together, taken something old and added something new. We’ve borrowed the best and hopefully made it better.”
This album is like a screenshot of a constantly moving image that is not stored or saved anywhere. These songs will never be played the same way again but for a mere £3 you can have these toothbrush sessions play at your own leisure.
I recommend it for summer barbeques, for wine nights, for morning tea.
It’s like a little black dress, it can cheer you up, and it can make bigger things look…smaller.
Their optimistic, playful way of describing some painful subjects forces you to acknowledge the light at the end of the tunnel.
Whitby and Wedlock are a cup of tea that is always half full, and they come with your choice of biscuit. An umbrella in the rain, and the sarcasm required to get through your Friday shift.
This is where you can purchase the album. Be inspired. Be British. Be Whitby and Wedlock.
See y’all soon!