A composer of film scores by day, by night David Wingo is… well, an indie singer-songwriter, based in Austin, Texas. Not quite as exciting as a superhero, but with a pseudonym taken from a Mexican restaurant, he’s already got a fair amount of attention with his first LP, 2005’s Ola Podrida. As a musical outlet, Ola Podrida is essentially a one-man concern, recorded in Wingo’s apartment, but you wouldn’t know that from listening to Belly of the Lion.
David Wingo is better known as a soundtrack composer than as a songwriter, and you may have heard his music already in most of David Gordon Green's films or in the new Jared Hess mess, Gentlemen Broncos. Yet, as Ola Podrida, he emphasizes lyrics and music equally, using each to evoke what the other cannot express. Ola Podrida may bear some similarities to groups like Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket-- in the expansiveness and Americana textures of his songs-- but his second album, Belly of the Lion, is unlikely to get fists pumping or crowds surging: Wingo is a strong live performer, but his music remains private rather than public, introverted rather than outgoing.
David Wingo, the man behind Ola Podrida, has clearly learned a thing or two from his past, back when he used to score films for his pal David Gordon Green. Slipping in the subtle evocative sound, establishing a sonic landscape, expanding out into swells of emotion or coiling into near silence—Belly of the Lion gives us Wingo in complete control of all these effective moves. He’s built on the hushed tension of the first, mostly acoustic, Ola Podrida record, and built it up into an affecting rock record.