Wake Owl - 'Wild Country' CD Review (Vagrant) // Show at Rockwood Music Hall on Feb. 22nd ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Wake Owl - 'Wild Country' CD Review (Vagrant) // Show at Rockwood Music Hall on Feb. 22nd

Wake Owl - 'Wild Country' CD Ep Review (Vagrant Records)
Wake Owl began with primary member Colyn Cameron, who started writing songs around age 16. The Vancouver, by way of Southern California, native traversed the world in his late teens and early 20s and his vast travels acted as a songwriting catalyst: after returning home to British Columbia and spending a brief period playing in other bands, Cameron began creating and recording his own songs as Wake Owl. Now also comprised of multi-instrumentalist Aiden Briscall and additional supporting players, Wake Owl has toured Canada supporting Bahamas, Zeus and The Jezabels, and have played a number of their own US shows. The band's debut EP, "Wild Country", comes out January 29th on Vagrant Records.

"Wild Country" is comprised of six tracks and has a distinctly Southern California sound. Cameron's lyrics are introspective but he breaks away from his alt-folk contemporaries by adding rich vocal harmonies and the band's pedal steel, violin, and brushed drums take on a mellow rock sound rather than alt-folk. The end result sounds like something that could have come out of Laurel Canyon in the 70's and has elements of both Crosby, Stills and Nash and the initial albums from the Lindsey Buckingham lineup of Fleetwood Mac.

The music is fairly varied across the disc's six tracks - opener "Wild Country" starts out with a acoustic guitar providing the foundation for a twisting and bending electric guitar line but other instruments kick in shortly thereafter and the song molds itself into a moody SoCal rock number. "You'll Never Go" is an upbeat number that is powered by Cameron's upfront vocals and the song has a repetitive, catchy rhythm that is likely to have a live audience swaying in place. This is followed by "Gold" which has a melancholy aura as the sparse piano and emotive vocals of the song's beginning build up to a sing-along chorus where Wake Owl sounds a sounds a bit like Fleetwood Mac. A demo version of "Gold" closes this disc and this is a nice counterpoint as this demo version is stripped down and rawly emotive. Overall, the six songs on this new EP pass by way too quick leaving me looking forward to a full-length release from the band.

Wake Owl Tour Dates:
Feb 08 - Sunset, Seattle, WA
Feb 09 - Bunk Bar, Portland, OR
Feb 14 - 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, MN
Feb 17 - Old Town School of Folk / Szold Hall, Chicago, IL
Feb 20 - Cafe 939, Boston, MA

Feb 22 - Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2), New York, NY
* Tickets are $10 and this is an early show - 6:30PM doors.  Opening band is (probably) Andy Shauf

Feb 23 - First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA
Feb 25 - Jammin Java, Vienna, VA
Feb 26 - Brillobox, Pittsburgh, PA
Feb 28 - Basement, Nashville, TN
Mar 03 - Riot Room, Kansas City, MO
Mar 04 - Hi-Dive, Denver, CO
Mar 07 - Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles, CA
Mar 08 - Hotel Utah, San Francisco, CA
Mar 09 - Crepe Place, Santa Cruz, CA

Wake Owl