Brooklyn’s Wilder Maker have announced the first details of their forthcoming new record, Male Models, which is due out July 29 through Western Vinyl.
Built around the creative trio of Gabriel Birnbaum, Nick Jost, and Sean Mullins, the band sought to expand their roster, if only temporarily, for this album, featuring a handful of guest vocalists including Adam Duritz (Counting Crows), Katie Von Schleicher, Felicia Douglass (Dirty Projectors, Ava Luna), Alex Schaaf (Yellow Ostrich), V.V. Lightbody, and Mutual Benefit. Veering between experimental pop rhythms and Heartland rock narratives, this collection of songs finds them finding a balance between the ever-present weight of their influences and a unique perspective honed by their collective experiences.
Regarding the album’s creation, Birnbaum says: “I’ve been keeping an ever-expanding playlist of songs that I never want to skip, with all of these different voices back to back. I wanted to make a record that sounded like a playlist in this way; it became a kind of songwriting challenge for me.”
For our first glimpse into Male Models, the band has offered “Letter of Apology”, a dense and jangling rocker that recalls the early work of The Hold Steady and even the weirder inclinations of Do the Collapse-era Guided By Voices. They tackle the doom of depression within a landscape littered with shards of forgotten memories and broken hearts and the spare bit of light that we all try to hold close to our hearts.
“‘Letter’ is a hooky pop song about apocalyptic depression,” Birnbaum reveals. “It’s been a part of the live set for years but it took us a while to get that manic edge it needs on record. I remember bringing a pile of songs I’d lost perspective on over to Katie’s apartment to see if they were any good, and as soon as we started singing the chorus on this one together it felt electric. She didn’t want to play the guitar solo at first, but we persuaded her eventually, and she kills it.”