It's hard to talk about anything right now without mentioning Covid 19, but suffice to say that this record was started before the pandemic began, and completed before the pandemic finished. Mercifully, it was not a 'lockdown project', but rather a vision that the band maintained despite, not because of, the considerable interruption to all of our lives.
The first single, You Remind Me of Myself, came out over a year ago, scoring high rotation on Double J and ABC Country, as well as a bunch of spins on all the community stations that Lachlan and the band are very fond of. That song hinted at a different direction for the band's sound, and listeners will immediately notice this record pushes the definition of 'country' or 'Americana' music just about as far as it can be pushed.
You won't hear a banjo, a mandolin or a harmonica here, but you will find wigged out guitars, distorted pianos and even the occasional drum machine. It's a singer-songwriter science project. The recording was done 'in-house' at Wildes HQ, the increasingly popular End of the Road studios, south of Melbourne. The band all live near the beach (St Kilda and Edithvale) but thankfully it doesn't show in the music.
Lachlan, Damian and Shaun played, sampled and programmed all the instruments – beginning the job in late 2019 and finishing in June 2021. The writing credits are a little more evenly spread than on previous LB and The Wildes records – with 'new kid' Riley Catherall (a very fine emerging artist in his own right) getting a guernsey, bassist Shaun Ryan and guitarist/producer Damian Cafarella contributing strongly and 'outsiders' Tim Rogers and Harmony James contributing their substantial wit and wisdom respectively.
Despite the new sound, and the different methodology, the songs are LB and The Wildes most intensely personal to date. They take in break-ups, isolation, depression (sometimes of the manic variety) and a series of ongoing existential crises' – and show the band at both their most jubilant and most despairing – all within around 38 minutes.
"More than ever", explains Lachlan, "we're inviting you to experience the highs and lows with us. And to be honest, the highs have been higher, and lows lower, than we've ever been through before. I suspect we're not alone in that."