Urban pastorals unfold in the music of Gabriel Birnbaum, the multi-instrumentalist, singer and writer behind the songs of Brooklyn’s Wilder Maker. Wilder Maker’s songs keenly observe landscapes of desire and abandon, filled with colorful characters and street revelations, in a musical setting as boldly diverse as their NYC home base.
Birnbaum’s songs find expression through longtime collaborators Katie Von Schleicher, who releases her own mesmerizing solo work, on keyboards and vocals; Sean Mullins (Kevin Garrett) on drums; and Nick Jost (Baroness) on bass. Von Schleicher’s singing balances and supports Birnbaum’s writing and vocals, a counterpoint fully explored on “New Streets”/“Only Child,” Wilder Maker’s contribution to Saddle Creek’s Document series of singles that introduce new work from innovative bands around the country. It marks Wilder Maker’s first release since 2015’s EP trilogy, Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire.
“New Streets,” a restless stroll through an ecstatic day, driven by guitars, saxophones, and Von Schleicher's vocals, was recorded at Figure 8 Recording by Sam Owens, who records for Saddle Creek as Sam Evian, and features lead guitar from Adam Brisbin (Sam Evian, Jolie Holland). “Only Child,” Birnbaum’s poetic evocation of childhood echoes and ghosts, insinuates itself with familiar-feeling guitars until minor-key shivers reveal the song’s aching heart. “Only Child” was recorded by Bryan Pugh at Rubber Tracks Brooklyn, and features the guitar work of another longtime associate, Will Graefe (Okkervil River, Star Rover).