Band of the Week: Warm in the Wake

Music Features Warm in the Wake
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Band of the Week: Warm in the Wake

Hometown: Decatur, Ga.Fun Fact:drummer James Taylor Jr. for the first time moments later and the two formed a bond that has spanned a decade and a half.Why It's Worth Watching: As raconteurs for the everyman, the band's unique brand of American Realist Rock combines scenic snapshots of the tangible and unhurried, organic instrumentation with a nod to Regionalist painter Andrew Wyeth.For Fans Of: Band of Horses, Bon Iver, Cass McCombs, The National
"It's about needing to feed the exploration part of our personalities. I mean geographically," explains vocalist and guitarist Chris Rowell, describing the mindset behind the opening track on Warm In The Wake's new, digitally-released EP, Speak Plainly. "Not whatever dirty thing you were thinking," he continues, every bit as straightforward about the group's third recorded effort as would be expected from the no-nonsense lyricist.In The Wake—comprised of Rowell, drummer James Taylor Jr., bassist Andy Barker and his brother, keyboard and harmonica-player Dan Barker—is currently revisiting the same reconnaissance that has fueled their career time and time again.
of the Drive-By Truckers before spontaneously leaving both groups behind to relocate to Atlanta. They united with the Barker brothers and formed King Lear Jet, before eventually changing the name to Warm In The Wake. "Living in a geographical region for any length of time changes your outlook on society," says Rowell of relocation, explaining that, "The more places you live, the more you are changed."
Warm In The Wake—named after both an 1800's-era school book where its subjects survived a shipwreck and a string of funerals in the band mates' inner circle—found a home on Atlanta's Livewire Recordings and released 2007's Gold Dust Trail and American Prehistoric. Following thenational tour, including high-exposure dates with Band of Horses. As the group looked toward the future, an unexpected dissolution of its label earlier this year left Warm In The Wake with no other choice than to explore the options, a challenge accepted with grace. "We released two records nationally last year then our label dissolved," Barker says. "Going through all of the tedious things about this business also reaffirms how great it is to write songs, record them and get them out to people. We've always thought that was the best part."
Fans of the indie-folk outfit would agree. Before the dust even settled on American Prehistoric, which has migrated as far Juneau, Alaska's KXLL radio station where it has been in rotation for an astounding six-month period, the band's members sought solace in their work. Speak Plainly is Warm in the Wake's purest effort to date, and has provided the band with a platform to discuss everything from human nature to the sport of caving through a recording that's "free of corporate manufacture" in Rowell's words.
Speak Plainly encompasses its creators' past lives as farmers, audio-visual techs and book peddlers, in an EP chock full of precise, organic production flowing through intelligent, agrarian narratives. Calling their own shots, the guys opted to release Speak Plainly digitally from their own website, allowing fans to forward the EP to friends in exchange for access to its tracks. "We hope that by releasing it this way we are able to reach out to new people in a new way," says Barker. "We hope that [Speak Plainly] takes off like gangbusters and we can charter our own plane to Juneau!"
Every bit the realist, Rowell takes a moment to reflect on the people and places that make up the band's regionally-influenced fare, aspiring against all odds for Speak Plainly to reach its subjects. "We want to leave something behind after we are all ashes," he says, "when then Internet is old technology like the telegraph is today."
Listen to tracks from Warm in the Wake's Speak Plainly on the band's MySpace page.