The Lonely Wild
Rarely does a young band emerge with a combination of skills, talents and vision fully developed. But the LA-based quintet The Lonely Wild is that true gem who's writing and arranging talents are only surpassed by its members' ability to work seamlessly as a singular, dynamic voice.
Formed in 2010, The Lonely Wild is the brainchild of Andrew Carroll who had moved to Los Angeles to study writing, music and film. Carroll and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Ross met in school and quickly discovered that their skills as composers and arrangers complimented one another's abilities. The two added lead guitarist Andrew Schneider, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jessi Williams and drummer Dave Farina to round out the mix – each a friend or fellow LA performer bringing their own unique background and talent.
Picking up solid momentum from their critically acclaimed debut EP, Dead End, The Lonely Wild quickly made a name for themselves in and around greater LA with fans such as Nic Harcourt (KCSN), Chris Douridas (KCRW) and Kevin Bronson (BuzzBands LA) on board. The band continued to hone their dynamic live performance through a series of high-profile shows opening for John Doe, Damien Rice, The Elected, Laura Marling and Lord Huron in addition to their highly successful residency at Silverlake's famed Satellite.
In early 2012, the band holed up in The Hangar in Sacramento for a weeklong recording session. Working through consecutive 16, 18 and 24 hour days to produce what would ultimately become The Sun As It Comes, an album filled with gut-wrenching emotion, fragile beauty, and explosive energy. "It was a true labor of love," Carroll says, "and a sheer force of will, that allowed us to
finish this record. We all knew it was the most important artistic statement we had ever made, so we had to pull out all the stops."
The title-track kicks things off, opening with sparse guitar and dual male/female vocals of parents imparting a lesson to a child. As the arrangement expands to multiple layers and textures, the lyrics transition to a more global scope with the second verse questioning how long someone can
ignore the sound of one drum being played by "the hands of millions."
"The song was inspired by the Arab Spring," explains Carroll. Despite the arguably polarizing subject matter, the lyrical nuance and cinematic arrangement ascend to an emotional climax, bringing the listener closer to the beauty that can lie in unsettling chaos.
Heavily influenced by Matt Taibi's The Griftopia, "Banks and Ballrooms" explores the idea of success being defined solely by monetary wealth. Drums pulse and persist, almost as if leading the charge of the common-man marching to confront the 1% head-on.
The album's up-tempo "Everything You Need" hits the ground running with thumping guitars and rhythm section before the mariachi-influenced two-part trumpet line interjects. Sung in tandem by Carroll and Williams, the narrator professes that they will be the constant in the listener's life, singing, "I will beat your heart," a line that recurs throughout the album – a subtle beacon of hope.
The epic track "Buried In The Murder" is a sonic voyage that perhaps best showcases The Lonely Wild's unique and genre-defying sound. Carroll's lyrics act almost as a confession of guilt for playing a part in corruption, greed and entitlement. With an arrangement reminiscent of a classic western, the song allows The Lonely Wild to truly showcase their unique ability to perform each
part with bombastic confidence as a singular unit. No one voice outshines the other; no member more important – collaboration rarely found in a developing band.
Slated for an April 2, 2013 release via their own Ursa Major Recordings (distributed and marketed by Thirty Tigers/RED), The Lonely Wild's The Sun As It Comes is a record that reflects upon the times in which we live while taking the listener on a sonic journey of impressive heights.
Hidden Lakes contributes its birth to an old black and white photograph and a breakup of a previous band. The photo was a picture of frontman Kory Kunze's grandfather with his mother and aunt when they were children, standing in front of his airplane. "I was feeling nostalgic, both from a family perspective and from a music perspective. My previous band, Fractured Army, was on hiatus and I had a lot of ideas spinning. I was infatuated with the story of my late grandfather, and how he loved to fly, and how he won his airplane in a stove sales contest, of all things. I was also listening to a lot of my favorite albums that I hadn't listened to in quite awhile, like Wilco's Summerteeth and Son Volt's Trace, and I wanted to bring folk instruments back into my music." Kunze recruited his wife, Holly, into the fold and they started laying down the basic tracks to their debut album, Model Airplanes. "I pitched the idea to Rod (Campbell) and Jessica (Spitzer) (former bassist and keyboardist from Fractured Army) that I wanted to form a group that combined a live stripped-down drum kit over electronic beats, keyboards, kaossilators, horns, banjo, mandolin, lap steel, acoustic and electric guitars, all handled by the four of us. On the surface, it sounded like a complete mess, but fortunately they were game to try it." The result was a surprisingly cohesive sound, and if you are a fan of indie pop groups like Broken Social Scene, The Raveonettes, The XX, Cut Copy, or Sufjan Stevens, there is something here for you.
Brother Lee & the Leather Jackals
Brother Lee & the Leather Jackals is a St. Louis outfit of snakes that hiss and spit chords and chaos of 60s-70s blues-infused rock and roll. The four piece’s knack for reptilian antics manifests during their live sets. Ribald commentary, inside jokes, unintentional stage dives: the Jackals live and breathe the devil-may-care ethos of our cold-blooded comrades.
Members Josh Eaker, Danny Blaies, Jared Dickinson, and Dylan Doughty represent different facets of the Jackals nearly half-century of influences. Eaker has the rasp of a man who spent years carving salt mines. His throat coated with microscopic minerals, he chucks his voice around a room like an open can of paint. The mess it creates splashes against the wall of chunky, pedal shaken riffs haunted by the war cries of classic rock heroes. Stuck in the doldrums of Dallas, Texas, Eaker etched out song sketches alone, but afloat, in Dallas’ musicianless pool. With a guitar and a superb grasp of Pro Tools, Eaker channeled his malaise into gritty guitar tracks slung under the eerie calls of a man searching for his voice. Joined by Blaies on drums after he returned to St. Louis, the two-piece began as Brother Lee, then added the Leather Jackals when Dickinson and Doughty joined on bass and keys. Together, Brother Lee and the Leather Jackals renounce the sleaze of alt-country and take the name and swagger of legends fallen before them: Derek and the Dominos and The Doors, most pointedly. Contemporaries Deer Tick and Tame Impala are cut from the same revivalist cloth.
Enveloped in tradition, Dickinson’s bass gurgles and grumbles with the impatience of a chained dragon. Set free, it sets afoot across Eaker’s guitar tracks with the clobbering power of John Deacon. Doughty’s spattered keys rain over Blaies percussion which thumps like a heart looking down the barrel of a shotgun. Together the Jackals create a well-meaning raucous forever threatening to run off the rails at any given moment.