Originating in Halifax, The Wayo is a young band charting its path with a mixture of ‘antique’ and modern sounds. Consisting of four songs, their first extended play (EP), titled The Wandering, utilizes eclectic instrumentation in order to hold true to the roots of R&B while also appealing to younger listeners. The Wandering is a breath of fresh air for those who appreciate the fusion of musical genres; this EP allows alto saxophones, groovy basslines, and an electronic drum machine to combine for a wholly unique sound.
Charlotte Day Wilson’s vocals immediately stand out. Her tone is smooth and raw, clearly drawing inspiration from the female Motown singers of the ‘60s. She also doubles as the band’s saxophonist. The third track, “Undone,” features both of her talents, while an exceptional rhythm section backs her up.
One of the band’s specific techniques is guitarist Mike Fong’s use of FX, which provides an intriguing echo to his guitar chords. “Lay It Down” is the best exemplar of this effect, giving this song a funky groove and sexual tone—a recurring theme in the EP.
Despite the refreshing sound it brings to a student culture plagued by house and electronic music, The Wandering is still slightly monotonous. But this isn’t uncommon criticism for a band’s debut EP, and it’s one that The Wayo will likely shed as they further develop their musical capabilities.
This also doesn’t change the fact that The Wayo have produced four songs that are easy to dance to and pay excellent tribute to the R&B sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Wandering is a positive stepping-stone in their career and I’m excited to hear whatever—“smooth ass R&B” is the phrasing on their Bandcamp page—they release next.