The Arcadian Wild began in the fall of 2013 “when a few choir students from Lipscomb University in Nashville” met up after class to jam for the afternoon. Ten years later the band — Bailey Warren on fiddle, Lincoln Mick on mandolin, and Isaac Horn on guitar — are still at it, set to release a new album and reaching new and larger audiences.
Mick and Horn are the long-time leaders of the group and share the songwriting duties. Much of the music that the band produces “explores an intersection of genre, blending the traditional with the contemporary in order to create a unique acoustic sound that is simultaneously unified and diverse.”
With one foot planted firmly in choral and formal vocal music, and the other in progressive folk and bluegrass, the band offers up songs of invitation: calls to come and see, to find refuge and rest, or to journey and wonder.
Rain Cloud, seen here in a 2022 performance, was the first track on the band’s self-titled 2015 album.
I’m being followed by the rain clouds
My clothes are soaking up the pain that keeps pouring down
Too much more and I may drown
I’m being followed by the night sky
It stole away my sight; it seems I have lost my way
I need someone to be my guide
Listen to my voice
Close your frightened eyes
Hide behind my love for you
‘Cause fear’s only a choice
One that we all must make someday
So know you’re not alone in this
Silence, a Stranger from the band’s 2019 album Finch in the Pantry features fiddler Paige Park, an early member of the group.
Silence is a stranger that I’ve never let inside
I hear him knocking, but I do not dare reply
God knows what he would say if I opened up my door
I’ll keep up this clamor so he can’t tell me the score.
Solitude’s an old friend from the other side of town
When he comes across the river I pretend I’m not around
HIs voice brings me comfort and his counsel’s always wise
But I can’t stand to face the disappointment in his eyes
Quiet, come another time
Isn’t on my side
I need to look alive
The group has finely tuned instrumental chops, as heard in the title tune and Holemabier, both from the 2019 Finch in the Pantry album.
Hey Runner — like so many of their tunes — is about some of the absurdities of the modern world.
Welcome, let me take you to your very own private room.
Whatever you need is on the way, from the absurd to the insane
Remember I’m a volunteer
I know your people have people, and I know this should make my day
There’s none with whom I’d rather spend my afternoon than with an ego that can fill a room
But still, still all I hear:
“You better run fast. Get it done even if it takes all night
I don’t know what else you’ve been told, but I’m above that
And if I change my mind it’ll be alright
It’s not like you’ve got somewhere to be
“Run fast. Don’t for get who I am, and I don’t ask twice
And while you’re at it would you mind to read mine
Cause I needed that last week, but take your time
It’s not like I’ve got somewhere to be”
The band not only does original music, but they also cover the work of other musicians, such as with this version of Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears.
A new album entitled Welcome, to be released in July, continues to “blur the lines between chamber folk and progressive bluegrass, drawing on everything from country and classical to pop and choral music with lush harmonies and dazzling fretwork.” The band has released an audio of the tune Dopamine — a work with clear Nickel Creek influences — from the new album. One reviewer described it as “a punchy track that confronts the insidious ways that smartphones and social media have hijacked our brains.”
The Arcadian Wild is touring in 2023, with upcoming shows on June 1st in Charlottesville, on June 2nd at the Hamilton in Washington, and on June 3rd at the Rams Head in Annapolis.
More to come…
Photo of The Arcadian Wild via TheArcadianWild.com
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