Sitting Down With The Wild Reeds

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The Wild Reeds are an Americana folk girl group from Los Angeles, California. Well known for their haunting harmonies and twangy musicality, they were a shoe-in for the 2016 Nelsonville Music Festival. Their new EP Best Wishes contains three songs as a sneak peek of their second studio album following their 2014 album entitled Songs for the Morning, Afternoon, and Evening. WOUB’s Darian Randolph got the chance to talk to Kinsey, Mackenzie, and Sharon about their group dynamic and what they hope to accomplish in the next couple of years as The Wild Reeds on the last day of NMF ’16.

WOUB: Hey guys! So how have you liked performing Nelsonville so far?

Mackenzie Howe: It’s awesome.

Sharon Silva: It’s amazing.

Kinsey Lee: We like how it’s going because we started with an acoustic set, then we had a little bit of amplification and now we’re going to full on rock out on the Main Stage. I feel really comfortable with that, I don’t know. It’s neat.

WOUB: You guys played the No-Fi cabin yesterday. What was that like?

KL: We didn’t know what to expect! We got there and it was super magical, everyone was piled in the room and it was super-hot out and it started to rain while we were playing. It was like a little wooden schoolhouse. A sweat lodge (laughs). It was really neat and really special.

SS: It’s rare that we get to do shows completely without mics unless it’s at like a house or something, I really love that and sometimes prefer it because you’re getting rid of that wall of the audio and engineering and other stuff.

WOUB: You recently released a new EP called Best Wishes. Could you go into detail about the process of recording that record?

MH: About a year ago we started demoing new songs for a new album and we were demoing them in a really nice studio with the notion that if any of these demos came out and were nice enough that we’d release them. It’s a taste of what our next album is going to sound like.

WOUB: Do guys have an idea as to what the next record is going to look like in terms of theme?

KL: We’re still trying to figure that out but we have a lot of songs and really good grip on them.

SS: We never really go through something with a theme in mind; we just do it as it comes. And because we have three songwriters, it can be vastly different but we’ve been touring and living life together for a while, the themes are starting to coincide and mimic each other. It’s most very general themes of strength, overcoming loss, but also more fun with the instrumentation and stuff. I don’t know, it’s very hard to answer that question. (Laughs).

MH: I think one thing that you just touched on that will be present in all of our songwriting is working really hard with the possibility of “I don’t know what’s going to happen” and putting everything you have out there knowing that this could go to the moon or this could go nowhere and I have to just go for it.

WOUB: How do you guys collaborate when, say, one person may want to write about love or one person wants to write a sad song, so that each of you has an equal voice in the album?

KL: I think because we’ve been touring together for so long, it comes very naturally. We don’t pick concepts before the songs come out. With all of us being around in our mid-twenties, we’ve been, like Sharon said, going through life together and it just naturally comes pretty evenly. We don’t write a certain number of songs each, it just flows through that way.

SS: Yeah, sometimes it’s broadcasted as “this person writes really intense emotional songs” and “this person writes really happy love songs” but we really write from everywhere so I think that the new record is going to show that we’re all very multi-faceted in our writing.

WOUB: What do you hope to accomplish in the next couple of years as a group?

MH: Man, that’s so hard. I think like most bands like the sky’s the limit in terms of where we’d like to go. We’d be grateful for whatever happens with our careers. I think the harder thing is how to not let any of it get to your head, how to stay creative, how to get along with your bandmates, essentially how to create a long term career in the music industry which is like an oxymoron. So that’s what I think is the ultimate struggle in terms of what’s next but the sky’s the limit. We’re ready for whatever.

SS: And also looking for a label to help us with that next step.

KL: Yeah, for sure.