The Lonely Wild recently emerged from John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone Studios
in San Francisco with a new record and a new lease on life. “We walked into the studio with an album about death,” says Carroll, “and John taught us to let go.” The album, which follows the group’s 2013 effort The Sun As it Comes
, was born last year as Carroll was faced with the death of his wife’s grandmother. “When that happens to people you know and love, you often pause and reflect on people you’ve known who passed away,” he notes. “And then the topic started coming out in songs naturally. “Scar,” a folksy indie rock tune, was one of the first songs to emerge during that process. The reflective track recounts the passing of Andrew’s childhood friend who died after they’d grown apart. “That was a moment of pause for me,” he says. “You wonder what could have happened if you were still part of that person’s life.” The rest of the album followed easily. Chasing White Light
The Lonely Wild’s self-proclaimed “death album” reflects on death in a way that is both accepting and uplifting.
Vanderslice, known for his signature “sloppy hi-fi” approach to recording, worked with the band to create an album unlike anything they had done before. “In the past, we’ve always labored over every detail of our recordings, picking apart each performance.” Carroll continues, “But with John, you can’t do that. He’s always on the move, whipping up this infectious, magical energy. The first thing we did was throw out all of our demos and approach each song like it was the first time we ever played it.” In the studio, the musicians used antique instruments like harpsichord and cello, as well as analog synthesizers and electric organs, and recorded the entire album to tape. Instead of recreating the band’s demo, Vanderslice forced them out of their comfort zone, encouraging each song to evolve into its best incarnation. It was a deeply liberating experience for the band.