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Standout Track: “Winner,” a sweetly fuzzed-out rocker from D.C. five-piece Big Hush. A My Bloody Valentine melody shines through the track’s big washes of distorted guitar, and its hiss-shrouded vocal harmonies could have been borrowed from Yo La Tengo. Singer-guitarist and Petworth resident Owen Wuerker, 25, recorded the song on his computer, which explains its low fidelity.
Musical Motivation: The single seems to offer its own self-critique. “We just wanna sound bad, as bad as you,” Wuerker sings with co-vocalist and guitarist Genevieve Ludwig, 23, who also lives in Petworth. That line intends to mock “the notion of having to try to sound bad,” says Wuerker, who wrote the lyrics. “I guess it’s about just how easy it can be to wind up with misplaced priorities when you’re trying to create music,” he says. “I know it’s something I have struggled with in my life.”
Quiet Time: Big Hush usually includes one of two drummers: Andy Gale of The Shirks or sometimes Daniel Saperstein of Greensboro, N.C., band Trouble. But when the group can’t pin down either one, it goes drummerless, mixing acoustic and electric instruments to find a balance between its high volume, rock style, and vocal harmonies. “We’re not particularly loud singers, so it’s always been a challenge,” Wuerker says. “Getting to hear these songs kind of breathe was really cool. Now that’s something we do when we want to.”
Listen to “Winner” after the jump. Big Hush plays Black Cat Dec. 19.