Standout Track: No. 4, “Kalorama,” an upbeat ode to life on D.C.’s Kalorama Road NW. It rocks a little harder than the rest of the tracks on The Wilder, partly thanks to a drum beat added by lead singer Shannon Carey‘s brother Sean, the drummer for Bon Iver. The banjo line strummed throughout lends the song a rougher edge, like Joni Mitchell with more bite.
Musical Motivation: Much of The Wilder came together after Carey moved to D.C. from Oakland, Calif., and wanted a break from the hectic pace of city life. (Carey and her husband Gabriel Wisniewski now live in southern Maryland.) “In Kalorama, we’ll make it all right,” she sings, hopeful for the future. According to Carey, “it’s about a new start and a reprieve.” She points out some of the neighborhood’s quirks, like a hardware store that’s been shuttered since 1982 and the lack of street parking, but the resounding theme is one of shelter: The song concludes with the refrain, “Take cover, take cover, take cover from the dark.”
A Tale of Two Cities: Location plays an important role for Luray: The band (which also includes Wisniewski on electric guitar, C.J. Wolfe on drums, Brian Cruse on bass, and Sarah Gilberg on keyboards) takes its name from the small town in southern Virginia. Because Gilberg was also living in Kalorama at the time, the song and the neighborhood became a bit more special. As Carey says, “[the song] refers to the distance between two places and what that’s like.”
Listen to “Kalorama” after the jump.
Luray plays Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on Aug. 24.