photo: Vera Pash
We don’t know exactly what Bob Dylan was getting at when he penned Long and Wasted Years, a song that may or may not be relevant to Seattle band Long Wasted, but if the lyrics on Long Wasted's self-titled debut EP are any sign, perhaps the correlation is not off the mark. There is the bittersweet taste of nostalgia and regret when Dylan sings "it's been such a long, long time since our hearts were true" and Long Wasted's singer-songwriter Katy Palmer, who was a singer for The Bolos and other ‘90s Seattle groups, seems to be getting at something similar. As with any well-sequenced album she waits until the last track, Confounded, to deliver the knockout punch, singing to her longtime life and songwriting partner James Palmer (Ottoman Bigwigs, The Lawnmowers, Dodi) "do you ever want to run away, too? Come find me, come find me, and want me again. Let's start all over again," with James’ distinctive guitar line providing the hook, and the answer (we think it’s yes!). The song packs a vocal attack and musical edge that would be right at home on any PJ Harvey album, underlining the tension in asking for more from a long-term romantic relationship.
The six interpersonal pop, folk and rock tunes offered here are the product of the years Katy spent waiting for the time, and the courage, to reassert her voice after years spent raising a kid and navigating the uncertain terrain of balancing a family and day job while staying in touch with her muse. And oftentimes the muse takes the backseat in the family sedan, or more likely can be found desperately hanging on to the rear bumper for dear life. We’re thankful Palmer didn’t leave her muse in the rearview mirror; she's had a lot on her mind all these years and she's ready to let us know.
Rounding out the group are longtime friends and superb musical collaborators Bruce Wirth (glimmer) on lap steel, Jon Hyde (1 Uppers, Jon Hyde Band) on bass and guitar, and Terri Pearson (Terri Tarantula, The Transmissionary Six, The Walkabouts) on drums.
- Michael Wells