Karl Blau–prolific songwriter from Anacortes WA–made a cool album a few years ago wherein he played grunge versions of songs written by women who influence him. He covered songs by a lot of my favorites–heroes of the pacific-northwest K-Records scene that a young southeastern sun-sickened boy like me mythologized–Mirah, Jean Smith of Mecca Normal, Lois Maffeo, Laura Veirs, Khaela Maricich of The Blow, and Ashley Eriksson of Lake. One songwriter I didn’t recognize was Konako Pooknyw (who sometimes credits herself reversely as “Wynkoop”) of Olympia WA bands Sisters and Broken Water. Her song “Michael Row” leads off Blau’s album, a testament to her place in a newer Olympia mythology.
Though Broken Water’s discography stretches back over five years, Wrought is their first new release since I learned about them. And what an entry point it is. Wrought finds Pooknyw trading off songs with collaborator Jon Hanna, creating a whirlpool of murky, kelp-entangled rock. The trade-off powers the album through at an excellent pace. Hanna’s voice reverberates between Lou Barlow and Bob Mould; Pooknyw’s hits closer to Doug Martsch’s slippery heaviness. Even within many of Wrought‘s songs, there’s a vacillation between noisy and sugary messes–earthquake begetting tidal wave. This collection is not to be missed. Accessible doses of pop destruction are great to come by.