Wilderado’s music — especially the tunes featured on its debut LP — is the stuff of road trip dreams.
With raucous and effusive melodies, mixed with nostalgic and somber lyrics, the folk-rockers have found their sound.
It was a hard-won journey in some ways.
The band, which plays Albany on Wednesday, first formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2015 and in the first few years released several EPs and a lot of singles. Those garnered the band thousands of streams and a following. It kept them on the road on a pretty intense touring schedule for several years, sharing bills with bands like alt-J, Mt. Joy and Rainbow Kitten Surprise.
Then, the pandemic gave them a chance to take their time.
“It was the first time we’ve ever been able to mix anything from home. We were always on the road listening to mixes and being rushed,” said Maxim Rainer, who is joined by Tyler Wimpee and Justin Kila.
They recorded the eponymous album in 2020, working with producers and collaborators James McAlister (The National, Sufjan Stevens, Taylor Swift), Chad Copelin (Broncho, LANY) and Angelo Petraglia (Kings of Leon). It was released last fall.
Working through each song presented its peaks and valleys; perhaps most challenging was “Head Right,” which was a hit on the Alternative charts.
“The hardest time kind of fight it from feeling to just bashy to Thrall rock and roll so yeah, we struggled with that for a long time and honestly didn’t at all fully get into the tune until the mix,” Rainer said.
“Every song hits this kind of moment. They all have their valleys, if you will. But that’s the fun is you have the initial idea and then at some point, you get exhausted, worn out by it and have to push through.”
The result is a tight 10-track album with some dance-worthy tracks, alongside more melancholy, contemplative ones.
Among the standouts is “Surefire.” Rainer wrote the song in an old church several years ago.
“I found freedom in the fact that no one could hear me and I could sing and say whatever I wanted, so I wrote about everything. Meeting Natalia [his wife], struggling with the monotony of touring, starting to become depressed, addressing unfair expectations, having children, being forced to realize life is something that begins and ends, seeing the world through a better lens, stepping outside my head, slowing down and then learning that although everything goes down, it comes back up again,” Rainer said.
The opener, “Stranger,” pulls listeners forward with its pulsing rhythm; while “Astronaut” and “Take Some Time,” are roaming rock, with longing lyrics.
For the last six months or so the band’s been on the road touring with the album and seeing it connect with fans.
“The highs have been seeing it connect to people and we’ve seen immediately, everyone knows the words. It translated the way I hoped it would. That’s always incredibly satisfying,” Rainer said.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday
WHERE: Empire Live, Albany
TICKETS: $18 in advance and $20 day of
MORE INFO: EmpireLiveAlbany.com