Fort Collins alternative folk-rock trio Whippoorwill – Alysia Kraft (guitar, vocals), Staci Foster (guitar, banjo, harmonica, vocals), and Tobias Bank (drums, vocals) – finished work in February 2109 on a much-anticipated full-length debut album. Produced by J.Tom Hnatow (Horse Feathers, Vandaveer) and mixed by Duane Lundy (Jim James, Ringo Starr) at Lexington, KY's Shangri-La Studio, the album is the product of two years touring the American west honing a sound expansive and raw, rootsy and otherworldly, and always landing in the grittier ‘alt’ corners of country and folk.
“Cathartic, experiential alt-folk written by boots-in-the-dirt, partner-in-crime country girls (Staci Foster and Alysia Kraft) and delivered across drummer Tobias Bank's vast percussive landscape. For Whippoorwill, there's little separation between the soul and the scenery-- heartbreak is a ripped floodplain and longing, an unbroken expanse of sky. It's Cormac McCarthy meets Neil Young via non-traditional banjo, long harmonica riffs, distorted guitar, and three-part harmonies that can scorch, soar, or haunt accordingly. "
“Masterful at containing the true dynamic nature of emotions. At once, sad and joyful, yearning and fulfilled. Which element stands out strongest depends on your mood. This is beautiful, masterfully crafted, skillfully performed music..” HEY REVERB
THE NATURE OF STORMS - COMING FALL 2019
'These songs were all birthed of storms-- personal storms, the post-Trump political shit-storm, and then the literal storms we drove through almost everywhere we played over a period of eight months-- Oklahoma tornados, Texas floods, Northwestern forest fires, Wyoming white-outs. The instability outdoors reflected a lot of the volatility we were all wrestling in our personal lives as we committed to this project and really became a band. The calmer moments are lush and needed, but there's a theme of things being unsettled, unstable, and needing badly to come to a place of reckoning and resolution.
We travel as a trio because we trust each other creatively and have gotten precious about the energy and commitment we share —we all feel how rare and special that is in a band— but we wanted to make an album with more atmosphere and sonic density than we're capable of live. We met J.Tom Hnatow while touring with Horse Feathers and knew he had the right aesthetic and skillset to guide this project. We bonded over a mutual love of the Emmy Lou Harris, Lanois-produced Wrecking Ball, and the moments Tom sat in on pedal steel with us on the road gave us all chills. He engineered, played bass, pedal steel, synth, keys, added guitar textures, dreamed up production experiments for our three part harmonies, coaxed hooks out of us in places that needed them, gave pep talks when we needed them, dialed in arrangements, kept us on track, and stayed 100% laser focused for ten straight, 12-14 hour days until this record was in the late stages of mixing and we had to get back in the van. He put the same commitment into this album that we put into the writing and arrangements and it was a really rewarding, really validating recording experience."
There’s a classic familiarity to the song structures (think Harvest era Neil Young), a Fleetwood Mac-ish synergy of writers and voices, and an organic stitching together of diverse influences that keeps us on the fringes of country, rock and folk. I think we’re all pretty comfortable not quite fitting in. It’s helped to explore what is ‘our own’ sonically and has meant that we’ve been able to tour with bands in diverse genres that we’re equally excited about and always learning from. Based on what everyone plays in the van and brings to the rehearsal space, we're fans of things raw and real, things that sound like they had to become songs in order to be understood. We're all students of the sounds people use to get there.'
- Alysia Kraft
THE FULL STORY
Alysia Kraft was raised on a family-owned Wyoming cattle ranch, Staci Foster alongside the rivers of the Texas Hill Country. Foster and Kraft met by chance at a porch picking party at SXSW 2013. The two exchanged songs throughout the night before parting for separate tours, later naming themselves “Whippoorwill” for the bird cooing through the pauses in song on the night of their meeting.
In 2016, Foster and Kraft put other musical projects (Staci Foster, The Patti Fiasco) on the back-burner and worked as ranch hands while pre-producing debut EP, "Good to Be Around." Recorded at GPM Studio in Fort Collins and co-produced by Tallgrass, their debut album contains six- stick-to-heart tracks that earned them regional nominations for Wyoming Public Radio and the Colorado Playlist's Best Albums of the Year. Culture Trip named them to the female edition of 50 Musicians You Need to Know from Each State and MYCounty 95.5 called them a Top Ten Act to Watch in 2017. Tobias Bank (Von Stomper) joined the band in November 2016 on drums, brining depth and musicality to the rhythm section and adding third part harmonies to a rich set of singing.
In 2018 the band has shared sold out stages with diverse acts such as Big Thief, Shovels and Rope, Mipso, Horse Feathers and Aaron Lee Tasjan. With palpable chemistry, dynamic live shows, and a long-game approach to their creative work, Whippoorwill’s become a Colorado darling and one of the region’s most-hyped bands on the brink. Look for the band’s full-length debut in Fall 2019.