New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
In the process of making her latest album, Chicago
singer-songwriter Xoe Wise discovered that sometimes the deepest cuts come when you open the Wounds. The 8 tracks show Wise at her most confident voice yet as she further evolves from her folk pop beginnings to a defiant brand of alternative rock with a growing electronic belly that could fit well within the leagues of Metric, and Wolf Alice. Wounds will be released on October 20, 2023.
The songs are mirrorball confessionals that shine through nimble guitars and glossy synths while the beautifully warbled "Back on Earth" talks about an alien lover in digital limbo. Wise falls with grace on the tenderized "Side Effects
" after finding her alternative voice on the opening track "Dollhouse," which sounds like a lost Veruca Salt/Garbage collaboration. The album ends with the retro French noir of "Armor Amore". To achieve the heavier, textured sounds on Wounds, Wise worked closely with producer Howie Beno (Ministry, Depeche Mode) and assembled a full supporting band including guitarists Steve Stone and Pat McKillen, drummer Chris Pagnani, Curtis Ruptash on bass, and her Kinky Love bandmate Dan Zima on bass, synths, and programming. The record was mixed at Narwal Studios by Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine, Counting Crows) and mastered by Jett Galindo (Barbra Streisand, Weezer). Unfortunately, Beno passed away during the making of the album, which fueled Wise to release the album in tribute to him.
Xoe explains, "The record "Wounds" was completed in 2016. We were looking for a label to release it on, wanted to have some industry backing for it, as well as needing a final mix/mastering. I put the record on the back burner as I was also beginning to get more involved in school, and exploring spending time in music outreach and the mental health field. Since then a pandemic hit, I played a bunch of shows on my motor scooter (reconnecting with my busking roots from North Carolina but on wheels), and I started working as a therapist. Most tragically, we experienced a huge loss when Howie died in 2020. I knew I wanted to release our album, and as time passed, I felt unsure of how, and wanted to make sure I honored Howie as well as find a mixing engineer I trusted to finish the project. So much has changed, but I still love the songs and want to release them for the world, remember the art we made with Howie, and the messages of the album. There may never be a perfect time or way, but so much of the album speaks to facing the past. So, I want to let these songs breathe, and shed light on them. Afterall, wounds do not heal in isolation, or without connection. It feels just as important that the album gets a chance to be received with love, just as Howie received me as a young artist trying to make an album, just as music has received me as a young queer person looking for solace, and just as community and therapy received me as a wounded brain and body looking for ways to heal. We do not have to heal or release wounds alone."
Wounds follows 2020 album Air which continues to build on the trajectory the North Carolina native first established in 2009 with the debut Echo. Wise released Racecar Orgasm in 2015, and the year 2012 welcomed folk pop standout Archive of Illusions (which reached #41 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart and was promoted to the "New and Noteworthy" section), while the 2013 minimalist alt rock EP Breakfast reached #20 on iTunes's songwriter charts. The latter offered a collaboration with MC Nikki
Lynette, "Too Young," that qualified for NPR NewSong Regional Finals. On each of her records, Wise has continued to build her relationship with prominent media including Chicago
Tribune Redeye that called an early single "spiritual," Chicago
Innerview who recognized Wise as "the singer/songwriter and pop counterpart to Toro Y Moi's chill-wave synth ballads" and The Deli Chicago
that named Wise a best emerging artist of 2012. Wise has also been a Tunecore featured artist and enjoyed spotlights in Forbes, Chicago
Reader, Car Con Carne, Chicago
Tribune, MTV, WGN television, 101WKQX, Fearless Radio, and WLUW.
Xoe Wise is a singer-songwriter, and producer originally from a small town in NC, now based in Chicago. Xoe began playing music around 8 when she was enlisted as a triangle player for a local zydeco band. Her releases have spanned from folk to rock. Xoe has also been seen and heard in Netflix shows such as Sense8, and Showtime's Work in Progress. Xoe enjoys making records, comedic improv songs, and homemade hot sauce. In 2020 Forbes magazine and Chicago
Tribune featured her series "Curbside Live" where she played pop up shows off her motor scooter to raise money for local music venues and bring some joy to carry-out lines.
Wise's music has been recognized by NPR, and Huffington Post. You can find her not only on stage, but also developing songwriting and music programs for Chicago
LGBTQ youth that help inspire self exploration, like music did for her as a young queer artist looking for ways to heal. In addition to her work as a musician, she holds a BS in Psychology, and a masters in social work from The University of Chicago. She is a social worker and therapist focusing on music-centered, integrative, and trauma responsive psychotherapy and creative arts care.