The Pacific NW band Rabbit Wilde will be playing their first Wintergrass in 2016. Brothers Zach and Nathan Hamer have been playing music and reading each other’s minds since their earliest days running around the woods of their family farm in the far northwest of the U.S. On the other side of the same small town, Miranda Zickler was playing Radiohead and Jackson 5 covers at her high school’s lunchtime concerts. Yet it wasn’t until fate found them gathered at the same Manhattan diner that they decided to start making music together. They moved back to the Northwest in the summer of 2012, and have since dedicated their lives wholly to playing, writing, touring, and stomping. With the addition of Jillian Walker on cello at the end of 2013, the group has rounded out into a very unique breed of string band.
Their 2013 debut The Wild North propelled the band out of the woods and into the national spotlight. Recorded at the famed Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, WA (Fleet Foxes, The Lumineers, Brandi Carlile), the record debuted high on the CMJ Top 200 Chart and led to featured performances at festivals like Northwest Folklife and Summer Meltdown, and shared stages with the likes of Paper Bird, Leftover Salmon, Shook Twins, and The Family Crest, as well as several successful national headlining tours. With their widely varying influences, three distinct vocal styles and copious amounts of foot-stomping, they demonstrate a sound and presence that’s at once original and familiar, appealing to audiences of all generations and genres. When it came time to record the next chapter in their songbook, the band returned once again to Bear Creek, a giant converted barn outside of Seattle, WA. While melodically cohesive, the three primary songwriters intertwine their own stories and themes throughout the record. “Most of these songs were written over the last year and a half, and we’ve all had very different paths and experiences that often end up converging, mostly because we live, work, write, and tour together” explains Zickler. “There are some very candid torch songs, but we strive to take every experience as it comes and often write about moving forward when moving forward feels impossible. Our home in the Northwest is a consistent influence on our music, but we’re also hugely inspired by all the traveling we do, and a lot of our writing ends up being rooted in a restlessness and changing landscapes, both literal and figurative.”
“Our writing is very emotionally driven,” says Zickler, “and our favorite thing to hear from people is that it helps them deal with their own emotional lives, whether it’s because they’re relating to the lyrics or because they’re dancing so much that they’ve forgotten what they were worried about in the first place.”
Zach Hamer-lead guitar, vocals, kick drum + harmonica Miranda Zickler- vocals, banjo, rhythm guitar, percussion + piano Nathan Hamer- ukulele, vocals + mandolin Jillian Walker cello + vocals