Share new track “A Professional”
Feat. Felicia Douglass (Dirty Projectors, Ava Luna)
New album Male Models
due 29th July via Western Vinyl
Having recently announced Wilder Maker’s upcoming album Male Models, due July 29th via Western Vinyl, today they’ve shared the new single “A Professional.” Beautifully sung by Felicia Douglass of Dirty Projectors and Ava Luna, “A Professional” showcases the band’s unique blend of control and playfulness.
“’A Professional’ dips into the feeling of digital isolation,” explains singer-songwriter Gabriel Birnbaum, “the way the physical world has become less real and more ghostly, less mysterious and more quantifiable. It’s inspired by this recurring experience I have, usually traveling, where I’ve been alone all day and I suddenly want to connect very badly with people I care about. I fire off several texts and sit there waiting for the phone to light up, with this strange feeling that everyone I know might have vanished. As soon as I imagined Felicia singing this song, I knew she’d be perfect for it, and she was. I’m so happy and grateful she was able to do it.”
This collaboration just oozes this vibrant appeal, the energy of the new single consumes the audience. A truly immersive and soulful composition, the combined vocal harmonies elevate the attention to detail and bring the words to life. A powerful and expressive piece with a lasting influence, the visceral atmosphere becomes the ultimate destination whilst the harmonies add emotion to the course of this piece.
Featuring a dynamic roster of musicians that includes singer-songwriter Gabriel Birnbaum, Nick Jost and Sean Mullins as the core trio, Male Models also boasts guest lead vocal spots from Adam Duritz (Counting Crows), Katie Von Schleicher, Felicia Douglass (Dirty Projectors, Ava Luna), Alex Schaaf (Yellow Ostrich), V.V. Lightbody, and Mutual Benefit.
Ask Gabriel Birnbaum what inspired Male Models and he’ll mention everything from American novelist James Salter and the NBA playoffs to Thin Lizzy and the delicate tightrope of positive masculinity. These reference points might sound arbitrary to the uninitiated listener, but together they provide some insight into the creation of an album that somehow succeeds at being both an apocalyptic novel of ideas and the most cohesive party playlist that you’ve ever heard.
Male Models was recorded live over several days and despite his status as the frontman and principal songwriter of Wilder Maker, Birnbaum’s voice can only be heard singing lead on seven of the twelve songs. The remaining tracks have guest vocalists taking the mic, unveiling an impressive lineup that includes (but isn’t limited to) Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz, Katie Von Schleicher, and Jordan Lee (aka Mutual Benefit). Like guests at a strange afterparty, when you hear these accomplished vocalists recount Birnbaum’s tales of unrequited love, drunkenness, and desperation, it feels almost voyeuristic, as if you were sitting in a crowded cocktail bar, sneaking glances at nearby tables.
“We all listen to playlists a lot, even us album diehards” Birnbaum admits, “I’ve been keeping an ever-expanding playlist of songs that I never want to skip, with all of these different voices back to back. I wanted to make a record that sounded like a playlist in this way; it became a kind of songwriting challenge for me.”
Male Models succeeds in capturing the energy of a crowded party and its accompanying playlist without losing the philosophical underpinnings of its concept. Musically, it also changes shape constantly. Across the 12 songs of the album, listeners will hear electrified soul, heartfelt folk songs, indie rock, and searing barn burners, all of which are expertly tethered by Birnbaum’s sardonic and doom-laden storytelling.
1. Letter of Apology
2. A Professional ft. Felicia Douglass
3. New Anxiety ft. Mutual Benefit
4. Static ft. V.V. Lightbody
5. Surfers Trace ft. Yellow Ostrich
6. All Power Must Remain Hidden
7. Scam Likely
8. Silver Car ft. Katie Von Schleicher
9. 5 Train
10. O Anna ft. Adam Duritz
11. Against Numbers ft. Katie Von Schleicher