Delving into the familiar realm of indecision and the anxieties that accompany it, Wax Owls’ new single “All on Red” explores the delicate space between making a choice and the ultimate outcome. This LA indie/folk trio has a unique knack for crafting beautifully evocative melodies, and “All on Red” is no exception. Drawing parallelisms with artists such as The Lumineers and Local Natives, Wax Owls carve a niche with their warm yet refreshingly novel sound.
The opening lines, “Autumn, like the way that you act / Last bit of color with the light still in tact,” not only paint an exquisite picture of a fleeting moment but subtly reference the impermanence of emotions and decisions. This ties perfectly with the song’s recurring motif, the bet on the roulette table, as vocalist Gerry Hirschfeld explained. This gamble, symbolized by the phrase “Bet it all on red,” speaks volumes of the anxieties that plague our choices, hinting at the transient nature of hope and doubt.
The melodic rise and fall of the song mirror the emotional rollercoaster of second-guessing oneself. Hirschfeld’s raspy vocals, which are as effortless as they are haunting, lend a sense of raw vulnerability to the song. His lyrical prowess shines through lines like, “If forest meets blacktop, what’s priceless, what’s fact?” and “Like panting leaves, we all shake until our graves,” which are laden with profound reflections and self-awareness.
Wax Owls have consistently showcased their ability to blend indie, anthemic folk, rock, and pop, creating a tapestry of sound that’s at once vast and intimate. “All on Red” is no different. The lush instrumentation and expansive choral harmonies, both of which have become Wax Owls’ signatures, play into the song’s theme, immersing the listener in a soundscape of introspection.
The recurring choruses, “Time to Raise / Maybe there’s two ways to say it / Call / Maybe we’re all hesitating” bring out the overarching narrative of the song—the deliberation of choice. It’s a sentiment most listeners can relate to, especially in times when decisions can carry profound consequences.
Earning well-deserved acclaim from notable publications, Wax Owls continue to rise in the indie-folk scene. The intricate blend of jangling acoustics and electric guitar in “All on Red,” along with its moving vocal harmonies, is proof of their evolving musicianship and commitment to storytelling. Their collaboration with Kevin Griffin adds an extra layer of depth, pointing to exciting future prospects for the band.
In summary, “All on Red” by Wax Owls is a profound exploration of the human psyche—its hopes, fears, and the intricacies of decision-making. It’s a track that resonates with listeners on multiple levels, blending poignant lyricism with rich, enveloping instrumentation. In a world that constantly demands certainty, Wax Owls beautifully remind us of the beauty in ambiguity, and the power of hope, even in the face of uncertainty.