|Little Sur Records
Release Date: 09 October 2015
Format: LP Vinyl
|Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers Loved Wild Lost Limited Vinyl LP
With Loved Wild Lost, Little Sur recording group Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers fully affirm a current place in the long winding continuum of the California Sound, born of folk, rock, country, psychedelia, blues, and pop, as ageless, adventurous, and ever-adaptive as the Golden State itself. The new record – which follows their much lauded self-titled 2013 debut – sees Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers teaming with producer Brian Deck (Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse, Josh Ritter), their first time working with an outside collaborator. The result is the critically acclaimed band’s most compelling collection thus far, its richly layered sound the ideal foundation for Bluhm’s remarkable voice and resonant lyrical gifts. Further colour comes from San Francisco’s Magik*Magik Orchestra (Death Cab for Cutie, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Walkmen), whose complex arrangements serve to amplify the indelibly universal themes of Simpler Times and the captivating first single Waiting On Love.
With three years and hundreds of live shows behind them since the release of their debut, a period of creative growth and personal reflection was spurred, giving rise to songs like Love Your Loved Ones which explores life’s seismic shifts, in what Nicki describes as “the struggle to retain the energy and optimism of youth as life becomes more complex.” Together, Deck and the band made a conscious effort to hone The Gramblers’ sound, fusing a framework of archetypal musical idioms into something unique and universal, its individual elements complementing and counterpointing the songs’ deeper themes.
“On the last record there’s a little bit of soul, a little bit of country, a little bit of rock,” Nicki says. “This record, we were trying to make it much more cohesive.”
Also enlisted in songwriting duties is multi-instrumentalist, and Nicki’s husband, Tim Bluhm. The quintessential Golden State journeyman musician, known for two decades as singer/guitarist/primary songwriter in beloved SF rock ‘n’ rollers The Mother Hips, first assembled The Gramblers in 2008 to serve as Nicki’s road band in support of her two Tim-produced solo outings. The line-up soon gelled into its current state, comprising Nicki’s childhood friend, guitarist/songwriter Derek Ney, bassist Steve Adams, rhythm guitarist Dave Mulligan, and drummer Mike Curry. The Gramblers no longer being just a vehicle for Nicki’s songs, but a full-blown band experience. Nicki’s “favorite living songwriter,” Tim-penned songs like High Neck Lace allow his beloved to articulate herself on a vast array of subjects, spanning aging, personal politics, intense psychological observation, the search for meaning, and the very mysteries of life itself.
Keep an eye out for Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers to tour the UK in January 2016.
1. Only Always 2. Waiting On Love 3. Heartache 4. Queen of the Rodeo 5. Mr Saturday Night 6. Love Your Loved Ones 7. Heart Gets Through 8. Simpler Times 9. Me and Slim 10. High Neck Lace 11. Heavy Hey Ya