Release Date: Feb 19, 2013
Record label: Nine Mile Records
Anders & KendallWild Chorus(Nine Mile Records)Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5) A lot of debut projects suffer from excessive showiness, which is understandable in a climate where so much music gets released that it’s a battle to be heard. That’s why one of the most refreshing things about Wild Chorus, the first ever album-length collaboration from Anders Parker and Kendall Meade, is how the two never seem to be trying too hard. Maybe that’s because the pair are veterans of the indie rock scene and have been a part of many projects in the past.
The term “alt-country” has fallen by the wayside in the last 10 years. After the genre began to move in from the fringes, descriptors like “Americana” or “roots music” twisted themselves around to fit a surprising wide range of music that was maybe too twangy to be rock and too raw to be country. There’s something about that original phrase, though– alt-country — that couldn’t be better suited for Anders and Kendall’s debut album, Wild Chorus.
Longtime pals Anders Parker (ex-Varnaline, current solo auteur and Jay Farrar associate) and Kendall Meade (leader of indie act Mascott) have entwined voices on nearly every project the former has done, but Wild Chorus constitutes the first full-on confab. The volume stays low mostly, but modesty works to the album's advantage in that folk-pop confections "We're On Fire, Babe," "Can You Forgive Me," and "City of Greats" benefit from the living-room atmosphere. Even relative rockers "Gettin' Ready" and "Dreamers On the Ground" sound homey, with emphasis firmly on the pair's larnyx interaction.