Ancient Athens was a powerful place; referred to as the “cradle of Western civilization”, the city was a center of the arts. Aptly-named Athens, Georgia, home of the first and most famous college music scene, has consistently produced legendary bands like R.E.M., The B-52s, and Drive-By Truckers; new bands continually emerge from Athens’ fertile musical landscape—Thayer Sarrano, New Madrid, and T. Hardy Morris, to name a few. Athens is also home to Matt Martin, a.k.a. Wanderwild, a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, and producer who released his debut EP, Fleeting, on March 25th.
Fleeting offers six tracks of Martin’s buttery vocals complemented by shimmering indie pop, with a little touch of folk for good measure. Upbeat tunes like “Glow” and “Optimist” explore the ideas of need, longing, and uncertainty; “Evergreens”, which Martin calls the “most tense and cynical” song on the EP, is balanced by the lighthearted and hopeful “Misty Morning”. “Natural Desire”, an acoustic, folk-driven gem that allows his beautiful voice to shine, is about a feeling of relief and of everything being in its right place. The EP ends with “La Mer”, which bears a special significance to Martin; “I wrote it when I was 15, but had never done anything with it. The idea for the ending section that starts around the three minute mark came to me quite randomly one day, and gave the song a whole new life and identity,” he recalls. “I knew it’d be a fantastic way to end a record, at least to me anyway.”
Martin, who takes lyrical cues from the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Death Cab For Cutie’s Benjamin Gibbard, grew up on a heavy dose of indie rock from the early 2000s. “That’s when “indie” really became a genre and a force to be reckoned with in the industry,” he says. “I was also always fascinated with bands that weren’t afraid to be brash, while still being beautiful. I’ve always been moved by artists who are open and authentic, who ask questions, and who paint an honest picture of the human experience — full of both celebration and sadness, with the awareness that with every moment of joy comes a moment of doubt.”
Wanderwild’s upcoming shows are in Georgia, but I’ve convinced Martin to venture to the Music City in June…stay tuned for details!
Purchase Fleeting: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fleeting-ep/id1091647239