What if, instead of doing that, a bunch of your favorite musicians from your favorite bands started a NEW band that played NEW music? Like that band Eric Bachman, Mac McCaughan, Davey von Bohlen, and Björk started, Smokejumper. Or the one Carrie Brownstein, Rebecca Cole, Mary Timony, and Janet Weiss started, Wild Flag.
Okay, that first one’s 100% made-up, but how crazy would that band be? The second one, however, is as real as the massive cloud of humidity that’s settled upon New York City and most everywhere else in the US today. But much, MUCH more awesome. Timony (of Helium fame, for anyone who’s having trouble harkening back), who now lives in DC, and the other band mates (Brownstein + Weiss of Sleater-Kinney, most notably, Cole of the Minders), who live in Portland, were evidently hesitant to proclaim this a ‘new band’ at first, understandably. As their Merge bio puts it:
“Wild Flag wanted to figure out dynamics, hear how the songs breathed in a live context, build cohesion and unity, and emerge as a singular force prior to putting those sounds onto tape. Wild Flag always intended to grow organically, never wanting to take for granted that an audience existed based on previous endeavors. So, instead of recording an album and then playing shows, they went on various tours, playing tiny club shows in the US and building up a fervent audience of their own.”
So kinda the opposite of what all these other old bands are doing—”Hey kid…who is now an old man…come see us play all those old songs. You liked it then, you’ll like it now. We can drink $9 Buds.” Or something. Admirable, but how do they SOUND?
So far, so good, we say. Of the three songs released so far, one’s a pretty tripped out, psych-y version of what I would assume to be a modern day Helium song, with Timony taking the lead vocals; one’s a rather blissfully simple nod to the more classic Sleater-Kinney sound (this week’s Song of the Week); and the most recent one—”Romance”—seems the most unique so far, blending a whole lot of recognizable sounds with some retro-sounding backing vocals and handclaps and plenty of new…just goodness. High-five to the new-old-new!!!!
Wild Flag’s playing all over the place this fall to support their debut full-length that….HEY!…is coming out on our anniversary. Well now we HAVE to pre-order it. Let’s see, 1st is paper; 2nd, cotton;…and yeah, 8th—indie rock super-group albums! What are the odds?