:: Hodi’s Half Note :: January 11 ::
By Timothy Dwenger
For many bands, it’s the adversity and the bumps in the road that shape their sound and develop their character, but most of the time you don’t get to hear about it until after they’ve “made it.” For the Fort Collins trio Mosey West, when they put their stamp on the map with their very first EP Vaca Money — a five song collection of boot stomping alt-country tunes that were impeccably written and delivered — the group all but screamed out “We’re here to stay.” Today, just a little more than two years since Vaca Money hit the shelves, the band has experienced some of the adversity that befalls bands many years their senior, but resiliently, they are poised to release their third EP, ominously titled Bermuda.
“We kind of thought it was a cool name and thought it had cool vibes, but it has a deeper meaning for me now after what we’ve been through this year,” said guitarist and vocalist Adam Brown during a recent interview with The Marquee as he relaxed before a hometown show. “We tried to put the record out in May, but in April our original drummer Matt [Weitz] let us know that he was gonna move to Montana for a girl. So, when he told us that we were in the middle of trying to release the record and do a bunch of tours in the summer and it was kind of like, ‘Alright dude, you’re gonna take off and we’re gonna have to figure out how we’re gonna keep on keeping on.’”
In the midst of Weitz leaving the band, Brown and his co-founder Mike McGraw came to the realization that their newest member, pedal steel player Cody Russell, just didn’t have the same dedication to the band that they did, so things were really up in the air. The trio that had recently become a quartet was staring straight at the prospect of being a duo if they didn’t take stock of the situation and set things right.
“We had the record done but we were kind of like, ‘Fuck it. Let’s not rush to put it out. Let’s make it a 2014 release, get press, let people hear it, and shop it around to some labels and stuff.’ So that’s kind of the whole story with that,” Brown said.
Rather than getting lost in their ‘Bermuda Triangle,’ Mosey West seems to have found themselves. They now treat Russell as a special guest when he shows up to sit in and they have joined forces with Max Barcelow (formerly of the Dovekins) on drums.
“Max is really helping us push into the psychedelic rock/indie rock spectrum,” Brown said. “He’s really professional and I think he has more of an indie rock sound, which we’re stoked about. We’re trying to get away from the whole Americana thing and he’s in to that and he’s got really creative styles.”
Though Barcelow isn’t featured on the new EP, the band’s new direction is obvious as the alt-country sound of Bermuda’s opening track “Old Stone” gives way to a haunting chorus that swirls and soars around the central theme of the song. It’s reminiscent of the Laurel Canyon sound of the 1970s, but also harnesses the influence of the modern psych movement. It’s unique, it’s different and it’s memorable, but most importantly, it’s intentional. “You don’t really realize what you’re able to do in the studio until you start experimenting with it,” Brown admitted. “After making our first two records we learned so much from going into the studio — about what kind of sounds we could get and what kind of overdubs we could do, all while maintaining our live sound and not straying too far away from that. So when we made this EP we made really sure to push into the indie rock and psychedelic worlds.”
Simply put, they succeeded, and succeeded with an amazing collection of songs which lays the groundwork for the band to build upon in this new chapter. Bermuda seems like a logical step in a maturing process that, while not ‘necessary,’ can’t do anything but help this band’s trajectory in the long run.
“I think everything happens for a reason and I couldn’t be happier about where we are today,” said Brown. “Everything that’s happened this year could have been something we looked at in a negative way, but I feel it was positive. I’m really happy with the lineup and the songs and where we’re going. It was definitely a bump in the road for a minute, but I’m really stoked about it now.”
:: Mosey West ::
:: hi-dive :: January 10 ::
:: Hodi’s Half Note :: January 11 ::
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