Words by Russell Carstens

Originally from New Zealand, the Brooklyn-based Streets of Laredo have made an inspiring, genre-defying record with Wild, out on Dine Alone Records. Singer/percussionist Sarahjane Gibson’s voice is immediately trustworthy. Hints of sexiness, no posturing necessary. Sounding a little weathered (in a Mark Lanegan way), perhaps she’s weathered some tough times. On most tracks though, lead vocals are handled by her brother, Daniel Gibson.

There’s simply something about the turns the songs take on Wild … Streets of Laredo have a way of hitting just the right spot to quench emotional thirsts and lift spirits. The latter half of the opener/title track has the same effect as driving a convertible on the first warm day of spring. As early as the second song, “Hammer and the Nail,” the album already touches the same soulful nerves as records like Slave Ambient by The War on Drugs — a sound of triumph, as if its wide-eyed creators are embarking on a new adventure, leaving the past behind, full of optimism. There’s the lighthearted “Silly Bones,” the funky, carefree “Traps for Young Players,” and the redemptive, goosebump-inducing “Caught the Fire.”

The dynamics of Wild‘s well thought-out production strengthens the already-solid songs. In some places, its backup vocals sound somewhat inspired by world music, giving it a cultured, other-worldy vibe. This is how a band should effectively use the studio: not as a crutch, but as a spice.


Streets of Laredo
Dine Alone Records
© October 21st, 2016



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