Get to Know Indie Band Wylder

Indie folk group Wylder are storming through Philly this Saturday with a captivating new album. Rain and Laura boasts infectious melodies, complex instrumental arrangements, and lyrics saturated with emotion. Their studio tracks alone prove that Wylder is not a band to miss.

In light of their upcoming show at MilkBoy, I talked to singer Will McCarry to learn more about Wylder’s progression. Check out the interview below!

Rock On Philly: I understand that you formed the band in college, originally under the name Save The Arcadian. Can you tell me a bit about the early years, as well as the decision to pursue music full-time?

Will McCarry: The early years of the band began in Fredericksburg, VA where we all met at the University of Mary Washington and formed as Save the Arcadian. In those early days, playing on campus and around downtown, we really had the chance to discover our path as a band, and meet some of our most loyal fans. The Save the Arcadian years will always be incredibly important to me, as the songs we developed at that time became the backbone of our sound and ultimately informed our choice to pursue the project more fully. As we stepped into the next phase under the name Wylder, we really started seeing people connect to the singles online, and we made the choice to pursue the project in a more full-time capacity.

ROP: Is there a story behind the name Wylder?

WM: We changed the name to Wylder about a year ago, right on the cusp of releasing our first single “Sunstroke”. Mostly it was conceived as an effort to pick something that would resonate more with our chosen sound. Wylder felt like a name that was rooted in the idea of the unknown, one that prompted imagery of the wilderness and provided the backdrop for our mix of folk and indie-rock.

ROP: Rain and Laura is an exceptional album, both lyrically and in composition. What was the recording process like? Were there any challenges, risks, or different approaches this time around?

WM: Thank you! I appreciate that. This was really our first time working on a full-length studio album, and we spent much of the last year recording at various studios all across the East Coast, from Savannah, GA to Washington, D.C. We wanted this record to feel epic in scale, and we got the chance to realize this vision fully, recording with some incredible studio musicians, and laying down string quartets and horn sections that we’d long wanted to include. Bryan Cook mixed the record and Brad Blackwood did the master, and they were both a blast to work with. Ultimately it was an experience that produced a collection of songs that I’m exceedingly proud of.

ROP: Why did you choose to revive tracks from The Bright Tide for Rain and Laura?

WM: Rain and Laura, for me, is ultimately about the end of a relationship told through an entire year, spanning seasons. As I dove into tackling this subject matter, I began to really feel as though the songs from That Bright Tide, which played an enormous part in not only the forming of the band, but also in this particular narrative, were essential to that story. The repeated question “Was this all in my head?” posed in “At the End Pt 2” felt like a necessary inclusion. The extended ending of that song in particular, but the tracklist as a whole, is about producing an answer, and hopefully the opportunity to move on.

ROP: What can we expect from a Wylder show, and what have been some of your most memorable performances?

WM: We’re so excited to head back to Philly for our first headlining show at Milkboy next week. Wylder shows are all about connection, and letting audience members into our world. Be prepared for a decent amount of stage banter, and an eclectic mix of tunes from Rain and Laura as well as a few brand new ones we’ve been working through. Our most memorable shows have always been the ones where we feel truly connected with the audience. We recently sold out DC9 in Washington, DC, and there’s nothing quite like hearing an entire audience singing the words that you’ve written at the top of their lungs. Conversely, there’s always something special about a room full of people that are entirely silent. Every time we perform for a Sofar Sounds show I’m blown away by the respect and sincerity of the crowd.

Be sure to check out Wylder’s show at MilkBoy this Saturday July 30 at 8:30pm. Tickets can be purchased here.

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