Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Listen: Wilder Maker - "New Streets"
Well we've certainly been out of the loop. Since Brooklyn's Wilder Maker's brilliant sophomore effort Year of Endless Light, they've gone on to release three (three!) EPs in the following two years. While the EPs were certainly good enough not to escape my notice I still managed to completely miss covering them. "New Streets", the second in Saddle Creek Record's ongoing Document series, is the first taste of new music from the band since the third and final volume of Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire dropped at the tail end of 2015. Though the band has certainly kept busy since then with shows and other projects there's no denying a sense of refreshing ease in "New Streets".
Part of the feeling lies in shelving singer/songwriter Gabriel Birnbaum's rumbling baritone in favor of Katie Von Schleicher's softer vocals. It's a change up that's not totally unheard of for the band but one that's deployed rarely enough that it's still an ear-catching treat. Another is the sense of new, bright beginnings the song invokes with its upbeat arrangements especially given the languorous heartbreak jams of Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire.
On "New Streets" Wilder Maker are back in their genre-blurring groove combining the best bits of Birnbaum's jazz saxophone roots with a casual trotting rock pop. Where much of Year of Endless Light and Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire fell mostly in Americana territory with it's pedal steel and slide guitar, "New Streets" aims at a broader sound. Though it's shorter than most of Birnbaum's longform ruminations, "New Streets" earns each and every moment of its nearly four minute track length. From its instrumental intro that gives Von Schleicher her initial melody, its a veritable band showcase. Wilder Maker are in top form; catchy but just the right amount of unpredictable as they gradually build and disassemble their various complementary layers. Von Schleicher is a charming lead vocalist and the band provide not only a strong display of talents and potential tonal growth but also one of those wind-in-your-face driving jams quintessential to the summer soundtrack. It's a rather good look for them and one they hopefully have plans to revisit between their more longform efforts.
Listen to Wilder Maker's new single "New Streets". Digital singles are available now while physical 7"s ship around June 1st. You can order/pre-order here.