This week brought us some ugly weather, but now, Philadelphians can escape down the Shore and have some Wawa by the ocean — in our minds, anyway.
That’s thanks to Mary Lattimore, a Philadelphia-based harpist. Lattimore’s name may be familiar to fans of Philly indie rock, with the harpist having performed on recordings from area artists like Kurt Vile, Hop Along, and Steve Gunn.
Now, Lattimore has added to her own solo catalog with Collected Pieces, an LP that serves as “a little time capsule of stuff I recorded in my dining room in Fishtown over the years,” as she wrote on Facebook. That album features “Wawa by the Ocean,” a 10-minute harp-led ode to every good Philadelphian's person’s favorite convenience store.
Lattimore had a specific beach — and a specific Wawa — in mind when she wrote the song, as she recently told music news site CLRVYNT. Her preferred order: A veggie hoagie, water, and “a container of pineapple with a fork.”
“‘Wawa by the Ocean’ is dedicated to my favorite beach, Ship Bottom, New Jersey, and my favorite Wawa convenience store, Wawa #700. The store is so close to the entrance to the beach, so you can change into your swimsuit, grab a veggie hoagie, a giant water [and] a container of pineapple with a fork, and you have your own little mini-vacation all day before driving back home. Twelve summers of solo trips to Ship Bottom and it hasn’t really changed. I’ll always visit it in my dreams.”
Lattimore’s Collected Pieces is due out April 14 via Ghostly International. “Wawa by the Ocean” was initially released in June 2016, but the new album serves as a collection of recordings previously only available online.
As for Wawa itself, a recent poll from GasBuddy put central Pennsylvania’s Sheetz ahead of Wawa as customers' favorite convenience store in Pennsylvania, although Wawa won in New Jersey and Delaware. The store was also outranked by Sheetz in a similar poll in June 2016.