This week’s Audacy Alternative Pick of the Week is Wilderado's "Head Right."
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Formed in the California mountains, but originally hailing from Tulsa, OK, Wilderado have been steadily building a passionate fan base and defining who they are since 2015. When they first came together, Maxim Rainer (lead vocals, guitar), Tyler Wimpee (guitar, vocals) and Justin Kila (drums) spent a summer in Latigo Canyon, a secluded part of Malibu, with longtime Sufjan Stevens collaborator James McAlister, immersing themselves in writing and recording. Those songs went on to form early EP releases with tastemaker indie labels IAMSOUND and National Anthem, which garnered more than 70 million streams, but more crucially provided the backbone to years of touring.
Following initial recording sessions at their one-time home and creative space named “The Misty Shrub” (the title of the first EP) in Latigo Canyon (the title of the second EP), the band returned Tulsa to base themselves from their hometown. Since then, they’ve crisscrossed the USA a half dozen times playing with artists as diverse as Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, Mt. Joy, and Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and have performed on the main stage at such festivals as Lollapalooza, Bottlerock and Austin City Limits.
Some time off from the road in 2020 meant that the band were able to focus on completing their debut eponymous LP. Working with producers and friends James McAlister (The National, Sufjan Stevens, Taylor Swift), Chad Copelin (Broncho, LANY) and Angelo Petraglia (Kings of Leon) the record is slated for release in the fall of 2021 via Bright Antenna.
Maxim explains, “Making new music is the most fun part of being in a band. It gives you a future, it gives you something to look forward to, it gives you something to work on, something that hasn’t already been decided. There’s always a sense of hopefulness in new music. Once you've finished something, then you've done your job which is to give the world something it didn’t have before. That’s a special feeling, something I'm really proud of.”
The new single, “Head Right,” is the first taste of what’s to come and shows the ambition and intent of a band on the up. A moment that shows confidence and a rambunctious slice of rock n’ roll that builds on what Wilderado does best: the confluence of soaring melodies and lush three-part harmonies. The staple Wilderado sound. Something they have spent the past five years refining and perfecting - now is their time.
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