The quartet known as Strange Wilde wrote their latest work “Southern Winters” in bits and pieces while on the road. The five-track album is what can be described as “folk-stomp Americana.”
The group describes itself on its website as “Rooted deeply in the front-porch songbook of American acoustic music but are never afraid to move outside the bounds of tradition.”
Although the group met in New York, each member grew up in areas of the same small town in the northwest corner of Wash. state.
Harmonicas, ukuleles, banjos, guitars, mandolins and cellos are just some of the instruments the group uses to create their distinct folk sound. Paired with authentic and honest vocals, the group is able to take a genre and make it their own.
The group revamps classic string band instrumentation with homespun percussion and the unique integration of a six-string ukulele and cello, according to their website.
Their album “Southern Winters” is a short EP released in September. Its full-length companion is set to be released next year.
While there aren’t many songs on this small album, there are a few in particular that listeners can’t afford to miss.
The first song on the album, “Howl,” will immediately catch the attention of listeners. It starts off with a fast beat and a unique melody. Each instrument is easily distinguishable in the background, and paired with vocals, there’s a nice balance. Nothing overpowers in this song.
“Sailor and Siren” highlights the cello and has an interesting effect with the other string instruments, creating an enticing feeling of fading. This song also features male and female vocals, which complement one another.
“Winters” takes a different approach from the other songs on the album, starting out slowly with minimal instrumentation, which then picks up. The song particularly showcases vocals.
The last track on the album, “My Heart is a Wandering Vessel” is the highlight. The song showcases everything unique about the group. Listeners will want to put this song on repeat.
This short album earned every one of the five stars this listener gives it. As someone who has only recently gotten into the folk genre, it’s safe to say that this group has made me love it even more. Rabbit Wilde is a great place to start if you’re not sure which folk group to listen to.