First Look: Dim Wizard

Dim Wizard

Hometown: Washington, DC
Album: “Ride the Vibe”, out now via Self-release

RIYL: Friends. Directionality. Vibes.

There’s something special, definitely spiritual, about connecting with another soul over art. We sometimes scoff at the idea that modern music, especially if it’s punk-inspired and/or catchy, fits that mold, but fuck those haters. Dim Wizard exists because of that desire to share the joy of creation with others. While people like me are limited to either sharing hopefully perfectly curated music with friends and colleagues (or finding the perfect metaphor for a band), more musically-inclined folks like David Combs can leverage not only their keen ear for stellar hooks but their rolodex of friends to collaborate. Thus, Combs started a new project, where ideas would only be beholden to the best parts for the song and not anything else. The most recent result, “Ride the Vibe” includes Superviolet, Jeff Rosenstock, and Illuminati Hotties, and it’s a wonderful encapsulation of how garage punk can feel right at home on the beach. Combs elaborates on the project’s aim:

“One of the guiding principles of the project has been to follow each song in whatever way best serves it. When you have a band, the band develops an identity and plays to the strengths of the people involved. At some point you start writing songs that adapt to the band identity, what you think you’re able to pull off, etc. You might still have a cool song idea that doesn’t play to the band’s strengths, so it gets deprioritized. For Dim Wizard I wanted to take any song that inspired me and customize a band to meet the song’s strengths.”

That sense of direction is a boon for inspiration, but it wasn’t always that way, as Combs shares:

“Dim Wizard was born out of the pandemic, during a prolonged period where it wasn’t feasible for my bandmates and I to get together. I was unemployed with plenty of time to write, but no outlet. I love to write on my own, but for me a lot of the joy of music comes from collaboration. At that time when most people I knew were fairly isolated, I was connecting more with my long-distance friends. We weren’t getting together in person anyway, so geography was less of a factor. When I started Dim Wizard, I reached out to folks I might not have thought to collaborate with before, sending them song ideas, either to co-write on, or produce or sing on. In that way I started accumulating these long-distance collaborations, just taking it song by song. I still have a backlog of songs I started during this time that I’m working my way through finishing!”

Photo courtesy of Dim Wizard.

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