Wilder Maker - Zion (LP)
James Joyce once said that if all of Dublin was destroyed, they ought to be able to rebuild it brick by brick just from reading his novels. Wilder Maker's Zion is the first chapter in a musical novel that makes the same claim for Brooklyn, NY. Written by guitarist/saxophonist/singer Gabriel Birnbaum and brought to life with long time collaborators Katie Von Schleicher, Nick Jost (Baroness), Adam Brisbin (Sam Evian, Jolie Holland) and Sean Mullins, Zion is a kaleidoscopic snapshot of years hustling for a break in New York City: waking up at 5 am to pour coffee for the brownstone-owning elite, waiting for a drug dealer on a city bench outside a blurry house party, moving catastrophically from apartment to apartment in the garbage scented heat, glimpsing euphoria through the ritual of taking your place among the anonymous crowd at a music festival, having your heart shattered in front of an audience at a bar, drunkenly contemplating bodega window displays, circling ever closer to something that could either be perfection or the drain, depending on the day. Last year's Saddle Creek single New Streets showcased the band in their poppiest Fleetwood-Mac-channeling mode, breezy summer jams for driving with the windows down, and it got them noticed by NPR, SPIN and Stereogum, but Zion hugely expands their palate of tools. This is a record to dance to, to cry to, to sing along to, maybe all three at once.