On More Like Tomorrow, The Way Down Wanderers has created a thoughtful and introspective album that musically embraces all the facets in life.
More Like Tomorrow is the third album from The Way Down Wanderers and will be available on September 10th. For those new to the band, they are Austin Krauss-Thompson (lead vocals, guitar, mandolin), Colin Krauss (lead vocals, mandolin, guitar, fiddle) John Merikoski (drums), Travis Kowalsly (banjo), and John Williams (bass).
The music on More Like Tomorrow defies categorization. At the core, it is a folk sensibility for heartfelt emotional songs. Around this framework, The Way Down Wanderers embrace styles ranging from bluegrass to 70s pop. In a way, they are the Baskin Robbins of alternative folk music. You’ll get 31 flavors and then some on this album.
The opening song “Codeine Rest & Loneliness” is a favorite. A somber start builds up into an assertive anthem. The wave crests in a rousing barn dance. It is in this song that you find the most satisfying elements of The Way Down Wanderers. Here they shine with creativity.
The message on “The Wire” is so very fitting for our times. It calls out the need for many to seek a sign of division in the eyes of those we meet. The fanciful piano and inviting sing-along echoes the message that while we may feel we are different, our similarities are greater. The lyrics here are inventive and sly.
The bass line and groove on “Forever” is reminiscent of Gomez. This soulful pop song dazzles with a flanging organ provided by special guest Roger Joseph Manning, Jr (Beck, Jellyfish). The hopeful sound within the music reflects a theme of redemption and change.
With “Hard Times,” you are greeted with a jaunty springtime mix of fiddle, banjo, bubbling bass, and percussion mimicking a washboard. The mandolin rings with hope.
The stand-up bass on “Love is My Gospel” adds to its simple beauty. The genre shift goes into high gear on “Hiding”. This song deals with embracing who you are with the music moving into pop boarding on disco. The organ adds to the 70’s dance vibe. The sugar is sweet on this one.
Another favorite on More Like Tomorrow is “Two Parts One Heart.” This parental love song is full of lush vocal harmonies. The banjo, guitar, and violin feel like a sweet summer breeze.
The final track called “Everything’s Made Out of Sand” moves us back into the jug band and bluegrass roots of The Way Down Wanderers. If anything, there is a harkening to an Irish reel with a delightful quick step. To be honest, while the broad sonic palette of The Way Down Wanderers adds intrigue, it is in their folkie roots that the music excels.