hymn for her

by Erin Thursby
Rocking out with an Americana sound, Hymn for Her has stretched past the acoustic and old timey, into a more hard-edged sound.
Their first album, Year of the Golden Pig, was all about folk harmony, tempered by angst, but a lot has changed for Lucy Tight and Wayne Waxing. First, they bought an Airsteam trailer circa 1961. Lucy and Wayne got lucky and picked up their Airstream, which had been kept in excellent condition, for a relatively low price because the older couple who sold it wasn’t very internet literate, and so had not researched what a vintage Airstream goes for these days.
They recorded their newest album, Lucy and Wayne and the Amairican Stream, inside the 16 foot trailer as they toured, which made for an interesting and intimate sound. “In the small tight space it comes across as live,” explains Tight. “It’s pretty raw because we didn’t overproduce it.” On one track, you can even hear the sound of a thunderstorm and the patter of rain on the metal shell of the Airstream.
Their sound has evolved, from the more folk and harmony driven sound of The Year of the Pig to their more rock-savvy current album. Partially responsible for this shift in sounds is a change of instruments. Instead of an acoustic guitar, Lucy now plays an electric guitar fashioned from a cigar box and a broom handle. The custom instrument has both guitar and bass strings, which helps Lucy Tight pull triple duty as lead, bass and rhythm. Wayne Waxing, in the meantime, fills in the gaps by working the drums with a foot pedal as he plays the banjo and/or the harmonica. So even with just two artists, their sound is as full as it would be if they had a four member band.
Tight and Waxing weren’t traveling alone while they recorded in their airstream from coast to coast. They tour and live in the trailer along with their diapered daughter Diver and their large black lab, Pokey.
Pokey sometimes hangs out as they record and seems to like their music, except when Wayne plays the harmonica. “He’s either singing along or crying along,” says Waxing. “Can’t really tell which.”
Their daughter Diver’s voice is on some tracks of Lucy and Wayne and the Amairican Stream. “She’s involved because she’s with us all the time,” says Tight. “Once in a while she’ll chime in with a word that’ll throw us in a different direction.” Diver actually wrote one line of a song that hasn’t been recorded yet. Lucy and Wayne hope she’ll be singing harmonies by the time they get around to it.
The limitations that Lucy and Wayne have to work with (the small living and recording space, working with only two musicians, the pared down lifestyle of the road) all work to focus them. “Sometimes when there’s a plethora of instruments to pick up you don’t know what to write and you get kind of lost over-thinking and over-analyzing,” says Tight. “This way it’s just like ‘This is what we’ve got and these are the sounds we can make with it.’”


april, 2022