On Tuesday the 11th of November 2014, WYATT’s “Here Comes Everybody” was released on MNRCH. That same day I had just spent five hours on the Chinatown bus coming from Washington DC to the city that never sleeps and I will admit, I was not in the best of moods and I almost stayed in the Beer Garden down the street because whenever I get to New York I never get to rest and I am always hungry and sticky and walking twenty blocks. But, I love music – I mean that’s why I write for P&W and I was secretly excited to see the show I was about to cover, because I knew whatever was about to happen was going to be an experience worth writing about.
On the same day of the family band new release, they performed a stellar show for their new material at the Mercury Lounge in New York City. It was a wonderful performance, really; very retro in the fact that they did not perform with a lot of techy supplies, like using a MAC on stage to spit out sounds, but used only their extensive diaphragms and hands which was a nice change to be sure. And that is not to say “Internet Bands” like FKA TWIGS (those that only use special mics and pre recorded sounds) are not chill to listen to on occasion and perhaps get freaky with- but organic material always summons a pleasant energy. That positivity was something I was eager to enjoy and sap up.
Before I got the opportunity to see them live I had never heard of WYATT and I was not sure what I was to see that night but by the end of the evening I was buying beers for the band with laissez-faire attitude, standing behind the merch station chatting up with Maddy while she sold CD’s and posters to red cheeked fans, receiving invitations for an after party by the WYATT brothers and also given the unexpected blessing of an intimate interview in the basement of the Mercury Lounge with the lead singer Maddy Wyatt and that is when, my friends, I simply began to fall in reporter love! I mean she is like Janis Joplin recarniate with her strong voice, slow deliberate movements, love filled attitude towards life. Her brothers as well, they are all a joy to be around and to listen to- I mean I recorded a video of them live on my phone (cause I only have a photo-camera at the moment) and it turned out amazing, it was like that NASA rocket landing on the comet- I mean never have I recorded something live on my phone that turned out so dope.
Quick information on the band if you were not already tuned in, just so you know who I am talking about: Maddy, Paul, and Alex Wyatt grew up outside Denver. The say it is right where the mountains start. WYATT states that their music is influenced by the “space, peace and grandeur that Colorado exudes” which is pretty damn poetic already. They had come from French Canadian roots (which explains their obscene friendliness) on their fathers side. Their father, a music director for the Catholic church, is someone of whom they are very influenced by and who has also taught songs to Maddy Wyatt in French from a very early age giving an international tint to the bands music.
According to Maddy, she “embraces the inherent beauty and flow of the language, and enjoys the challenge of writing in a second language, as it forces her to keep things simple and efficient as she puts the pen to paper.” WYATT states that “The album title came about through a late night dinner on Christmas Eve. The topic was religion. The three kids had gone their own ways, but their dad (a music director for the Catholic church) threw out this moniker from the 70’s, drawn from James Joyce – “Here Comes Everybody.” It struck a chord with Maddy — spiritually perhaps, but more importantly as a call to arms for the band itself.” The simple lyrics, linguistic nature of the therapeutic sounds, and calm vibrant energy of the family combined truly produce a child like quality. This is what dubbs WYATT as a band of Yesterday’s Children.
Excerpt from personal interview with Maddy Wyatt:
P&W: So tell me a little about how you all got started?
Well, music has always been around us. We have been playing some instrument or singing from the time we could walk and talk so there’s that. It was always a part of us. And then we all eventually ended up in New York City. I came first and then Paul and Alex followed a couple years after. And we were kind of doing our own thing for a while, Alex is a great Jazz drummer and Paul’s an excellent actor actually and a wonderful songwriter, and then I was sort of doing this solo singer songwriter thing for a few years. So we were all sort of carving our own paths and then a few years we all sort of gravitated towards each other and then we were all ready to make a go at it to see if it would work and it has been good. It has been a nice process. Paul and I write really well together and Alex brings his own rhythmic vocabulary to the stuff that we are coming up with. And because we are siblings and we have known each other our whole lives there is not a lot of worry about stepping on other peoples toes. If someone has something to say then we say what we need to say. If there is contentiousness or if something doesn’t sit well then we just talk through and then we keep going because we are used to that because we have been fighting our whole lives.
P&W: Being siblings who are artists, how you able to create a working relationship? How was that initial conversation brought up? Well, we didn’t go into it saying “how are we going to do this and remain family?” We were just “lets try this or lets try making songs together” it was very gradual thats the thing, it was very gradual. I think before Paul and I started writing together Alex would just occasionally play on my shows because I was playing only solo shows. Then once Paul was in the city and playing a lot of interesting music on his own we began to collaborate and it grew organically and it happened over a good stretch of time so it didn’t seem like we are trying this- this is what we are doing- it kind of took its own pace and it seemed to be working so we just going with it and we have always had other people in the mix like Dana who plays on the keys for us who is a wonderful musician and arranger and amazing piano player and he is almost like family too. There has always been a family element to it but it has always been more expansive than that.
P&W: Did you always know you wanted to be an artist by trade? Did you ever think it might compromise you as a person and artist? Mhmm. That is a big question. I think it is a very hard path to choose for yourself. Especially in new york city especially right now with the music industry being the way it is with the whole system of streaming. It is not an easy choice but I feel I keep making it against all odds and sometimes I am like “what are you doing? one of these days you got to have a bit more sense of security or sense of the future or begin to lay down roots” but somehow the music itself wins. It is always a back and forth and it is always a struggle. But I guess that is what hopefully makes the music richer and richer. You know. There is a lot of faith in there. Doing something that…
P&W: Matters?… Matters! That’s good. I was gonna say like leading somewhere but thats not true who knows where anything is leading. I really appreciate that. You identified with some type of truth we were putting out there. Especially this album, as opposed to the last album, this album in particular I was trying to say things simply- on how I was trying to communicate them- rather than being very verbose or flowery with my words I just wanted to say this is what I am going through this is how I feel. So, if any element of truth has been communicated then that is enough to keep me going. We will see.
Article by: Marissa Mireles