It’s always an anxious evening when you are preparing to see one of your favorite bands for the first time. Will they play your favorite song? Will the show resemble the album precisely as you want it to sound? Will you walk away with the same respect as the moment you entered? Such were my thoughts as I spent Friday night preparing to see Ola Podrida at the Mohawk. The bill included Martin from Brazos and local favorites Balmorhea. Follow the jump for review and show pictures.
Ever since the first time I heard “Jordanna,” I was possessed with the songs of David Wingo. His group, Ola Podrida, has just released their newest album, Belly of the Lion, which is one of the best albums to come out of Austin (well, sort of NYC) this year, and we were lucky enough to catch up with David before he hits the road in 2010. Read more
David Wingo easily won me over with his first album, Ola Podrida, but at the time, he was living in New York, working on various film scores and what not. He’s returned to Austin, which makes me love him even more, and he’s just released another album, Belly of the Lion, that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Be it the warmth of his voice, or the emotional landscaping he creates with his tunes, you’ll find something enchanting throughout the duration of his second album under the Ola Podrida moniker.
For some reason, and this isn’t meant in a disenchanted way, this album feels ultimately louder than the self-titled album, well, as loud as Wingo seems to get. “The Closest We Will Ever Be” seems like a more complete version of the songs on his first record. Much as most of the songs are, this song has grown to include various layers to accompany David’s vocals. Perhaps some might see this as a less-intimate affair, but rest assured, getting inside the listener is something he accomplishes with ease.
“Your Father’s Basement” was the first single to be let loose from the wonderful label Western Vinyl, and this is just one of the many tracks that will standout in your mind. As usual, you’ll find precision guitar strumming, creating a comfort zone within the song; it’s a place for all the listeners to sit and rest. And as you do so, you’ll find it difficult not to fall in love with Wingo’s unique vocals. There is a familiarity in his delivery, perhaps one indebted in Texas folk musings; regardless, this song stands up to the expectations set forth by the former album’s “Jordanna.”
Songs such as “Monday Morning” and “Sink or Swim” definitely demonstrate that Wingo has done some work in the film industry. While “Monday Morning” uses various backing tracks to create and emotional appeal throughout the story of the song, “Sink or Swim” fits perfectly into the intimate moments between a romantic encounter, one that is likely to take place in some sort of wintery wonderland. Such is the strength of the album, as Wingo has included more in the bedroom listening he provides for his audience.
For this listener, “Lakes of Wine” is a remarkable track, aside from the fact that I consider them ALL remarkable. He gently picks at the heart of the guitar, drawing your ears closely into the song itself. And in doing so, you find yourself absorbed before the lyrics even jump into the tune. There is something extremely personal in both his delivery and his lyrics here, as he waxes nostalgic; you, too, will travel back into the past with him. Such is the true art of David Wingo.
While it seems that too few people have had a proper chance to expose themselves to Ola Podrida (such is the tragedy of technology’s effect on our listening habits), Belly of the Lion is an example of a confident piece of work that was carefully crafted to draw upon every human emotion, plugging it into each song. You’ll want to have this album on hand as we prepare for the winter, and as you prepare to make your record collection complete with masterful pieces of art.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/WV67_YFB.mp3]
Download: Ola Podrida – Your Father’s Basement [MP3]
Seeing as how we haven’t run one of our Austin Artist to Watch features in quite a while, we thought we’d kick things off again with obvious A2W choice Wooden Birds. This new Austin band has been getting a ton of local and national press coverage as of late, mostly for their mellow take on indie folk rock, and partly because the band is fronted by local music legend Andrew Kinney (American Analog Set). After 6 long years in Brooklyn, Mr. Kinney moved back to Austin recently and decided it was just about time for a new music project. We had the good fortune to speak to the man behind Wooden Birds and ask him some of those burning questions about his relocation and his music. Follow the jump for full interview with Andrew Kinney.