Those Pretty Wrongs
Holiday Camp / *CD
Now Shipping out 3/31/23
10 brand new songs recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis TN
Having been a founding member of one of the most revered power pop bands of all time tends to be a footnote that follows you around. Yet Jody Stephens’ contribution to the pop canon goes well beyond his beginnings in Big Star, helping to refine alt-country with Golden Smog and shaping the Ardent Records legacy well into the current era. Jody formed Those Pretty Wrongs with longtime friend Luther Russell, an accomplished songwriter and producer in his own right. The comfort between the duo is key to what makes Those Pretty Wrongs work. Luther and Jody bounce ideas off of one another with the kind of natural symbiosis that most bands can only hope to achieve. Their latest album, Holiday Camp, finds Those Pretty Wrongs crafting a record that’s autumnal, searching for solace, and yet unsettled. With shades of home-grown Memphis power pop, nods to Apple Records alums, and an appeal that trickles down to fans of open-hearted pop from Emmit Rhodes to The Elephant 6, Those Pretty Wrongs draw the listener into an environment that’s familiar and fragrant.
Heading into this third album, the band found themselves a new haven in the rising California outpost of Cosmic Americana, Roots, and Power Pop: Curation Records. While distance may have been inherent in its writing, the recording sparked reconnection in spite of the creeping constant of a remote roster. Holiday Camp finds more than a few friends turning up to lace songs with their contributions. Recorded from their own home studios, string arrangements from Chris Stamey, moog from Wilco’s Patrick Sansone, and glockenspiel from Mitch Easter all bolster the record’s mercurial grace. From the sunset serenity of “New September Song,” to the pastoral chamber folk of “Brother, My Brother,” the songs blanket the listener in a bittersweet bliss. Jody and Luther’s harmonies have taken on a sublime alchemy. Like lost brothers found once more, they weave wonder into the pensive meditations on “This Painted Sky,” and the hopeful send-off of “The Way.” With their full catalog in the steady hands of Curation, the band members find themselves poised to re-examine their past while excited to enter a new era with their most affecting album on the way.