It was with a pleasant surprise that I stumbled across this performance of Exit Strategy by Wax Fang as part of the CitySong series. The series is designed to explore the relationship between the artist and the spaces that they occupy, specifically in how that exchange influences their work. It’s a thing that I’ve definitely taken a fancy too, the sociological affect of environment to artist, and it’s nice to see something focused on that same cross roads here, especially as this dig far deeper in some ways, into the psyche of a musician by looking at the individual places that have influenced them in some quantifiable way.
There is a sadness to this track underscored by the setting. Performing here solo, Carney’s themes of astronauts and loneliness so part and parcel to his work before, all seem to come crashing down here. That’s not to say that that subject matter is necessarily repeated, but that the lights, twee drum machine, spaced out guitar work, and backdrop of the Science Center all served as perhaps the most obvious setting for his work, one in line with the band’s previous themes. There is just something so very distant about this, something kind of desperate almost, that makes for a compelling listen, and one juxtaposed against a venue ostensibly dedicated to exploring the unknown. Perhaps it’s the sheer gravity of exploring our natural world that makes it at times seem so overwhelming, that we all exist on this pale blue dot, and maybe that’s part of the vibe here.
Watch and learn below and keep your eyes peeled (gross) for more in the CitySong series from WFPK.