Newark Wilder stormed onto the scene last March with their debut album, Vanessa Atalanta, released via The Cottage Recording Co., that explored the depths of the underground new wave, post punk, and garage rock scenes that gained traction in the 70’s and 80’s. Newark Wilder is the brainchild of Ben Kinzer, who at only 17 at the time of the debut release, showed a maturity way beyond those years with the music they first put out into the world.
One of the beautiful things about being a young DIY band in today’s music industry is that the rules of the past don’t necessarily have to apply. Without a major label behind the project pushing the artist to make a similar record that the label believes fans want to hear all over again, artists like Ben Kinzer are able to open themselves up, find their own path, and grow into the artist they truly want to become. And for someone still in high school, this is an artist with plenty of growth to occur over these next formative years; which makes what Newark Wilder is doing today even more exciting.
We are thrilled to help announce Newark Wilder’s sophomore album, A Winter And Spring, set for release on March 17th, and premiere the first single, “Concert By the Sea”.
With “Concert By the Sea,” on the surface you hear a dramatic shift for Newark Wilder. Replacing the guitar driven rock of the last record, subtle dance beats, keyboard, synths and a sexy bassline immediately grab your attention. Yet despite the shift away from guitar rock, Ben’s monotone vocals stand out over the track, making it still feel like the Newark Wilder their hometown of Atlanta has gotten to know over the last 2 years. While influences like CAN that were so prevalent on the first record remain, Kinzer seems to have been able to meld those past influences together with more modern loves like Frank Ocean, D’Angelo, Burial, CARIBOU, J Dilla, and Travis Scott. What we have is a new, fresh incarnation of Newark Wilder; where the first single could draw comparisons to a more upbeat Majical Cloudz.
Said Kinzer on A Winter And Spring: “Where the last album was written during a time of stress, difficulty and transition, I found myself in a really happy time of my life during this record and wanted to write about that as much as possible. I think tons of bands are fixed on writing sad material, thinking it’s the most emotionally raw, and I really wanted to create the same feeling of rawness and vulnerability from joyful music. I want to capture the feeling of overwhelming happiness in a way that I don’t see done very much right now. Especially during this year, I’m not a person who should at all be asking people to listen to my thoughts on the current sociopolitical climate so instead I just want to generate as much positivity as I possibly can.”
“It’s also quite a stylistic shift since the last record. I was listening to Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Multi-Love for the first time and it just hit me, that for so long I’ve been fascinated with so many different areas of the musical world, but largely only drew from post-punk and guitar music for influence on my own songs. I love hip-hop, I love jazz. Dance music is one of my favorite Genres ever. I felt like I was pulling from musical movements that I could only replicate, never add to, and I feel like I have so much more to give than that.”
While there are many complaints that one could list about today’s music industry, for a music nerd such as Ben (whom was recently accepted into Berklee College of Music, though TBD on where his college years will be spent), growing up in the age of streaming music where one has open access to explore the depths of music history, while also able to keep up with modern trends, affords an opportunity for young artists to really to soak it all up and find out who they really want to be. Whereas many artists today can let the open access convolute what they are doing, Newark Wilder takes the focus of a young artist and builds upon the basics into something new and compelling. But that’s all fodder really, this “New”-ark Wilder is just fucking good and has been on repeat since “Concert By the Sea” came through our inbox. There’s just something provoking and smooth about the new song. 2017 is off to a hell of a start.
Listen to the premiere of “Concert By the Sea” above, and be sure to catch Newark Wilder live at 529 on January 16th with TV GIRL and Poppet.
Album Title: A Winter And Spring
Release Date: March 17th
Milk and Honey
My Mind Is Your Mind
Concert By The Sea
Tightrope Walker (w/t)
No One Knows Where Ben Has Gone
Newark Wilder online: