Riding the wave
For their sophomore album, the Wind and the Wave got a little help from a friend.
Austin duo the Wind and the Wave charmed critics and fans alike with their 2014 debut “From the Wreckage.” Vocalist Patty Lynn Drew and producerguitarist Dwight A. Baker are best friends who just enjoy making really, really good music, and it’s utterly refreshing.
For their second album, Baker handed over the production reigns to Butch Walker, a new experience for both he and Drew, who had never recorded with someone else before. The result being “Happiness is Not a Place,” their sophomore LP under a new label (they hopped from RCA to Island last year) and a poppy first single, “Grand Canyon,” a rapturous toe-tapping departure from their indie folk roots. Baker calls in from a break from the studio to discuss the new single, working with Walker and his personal “Grand Canyon.”
Tell me about “Grand Canyon.” What’s the moral of the story?
That one in particular is about [Patty] and her brother being in a horrible car accident, and a coma on the eve of our first record coming out. I feel on a deeper way, it’s about not taking for granted the moments that you’re given. Go see the amazing things.
Is that a self-serving mantra, too?
That’s mainly where the song comes from. Patty is a 28-year-old hermit who has a soul of a 60-year-old, and I’ve had the soul of a 60-year-old since I was 6. We just want to eat macaroni and cheese and chill, but you’ve got to force yourself to go out. See the sights.
What’s on your bucket list? What’s your personal “Grand Canyon”?
Well I’m fascinated by history, and I’d love to see some of the things that are impossible now. Things in Iraq and Egypt, where I don’t think things would go very well for me and my giant Nordic ass. I love cities like London and Madrid and Paris and Vancouver, where it’s more about finding the footsteps of how a country was founded. I’d like to walk those steps myself.
What was it like working with Butch Walker?
Butch is rad. He’s similar to me. We chose him because I went in after making two records backto-back, and I was burned out. It was time to make a new album for a new label, and I had zero desire to go into the studio, which is a bad place to start a record.
Butch turned out to be a good choice because he had just done [his own] album with Ryan Adams, and it was the first he [didn’t produce himself] in 20 years. Butch was someone who knew what it was like being “the guy,” but then have to deal with someone new. He knew when to be brutal and when to be understanding.
The Wind and the Wave will join Butch Walker in Brooklyn and NYC.