There’s a hint of Bill Callahan’s lackadaisical deepness in Gabe Birnbaum’s voice, but if you stop at that comparison then you’ll miss the idiosyncrasies that make Wilder Maker distinct. Everyday Crimes Against Objects Of Desire, Vol II. is the second in a series of three EPs that the Brooklyn-based folk group is releasing this year, and we’re premiering it today. (You can hear the first one here.) This EP may be only four songs long, but they’re a sprawling four. Birnbaum fronts the project, his loping, sonorous voice driving the whole outfit. Luckily, he knows when to let someone else take the wheel, as on the slow-waltzing “Relief,” when Katie Von Schleicher ditches harmonies and steps out of shadows to interrogate an oppressive silence.
“Fools” is another collective effort, with its rousing bar-crowd chorus and damning, backwards glances at curdled love. “Never wanted to tie you down because I loved your flight,” he sings, an earnest compliment with enough sting to come off as a parting shot. EP opener “Careless” shows the most Callahan influence, an easy favorite if you find the ex-Smog singer’s clipped diction as endlessly appealing as I do. Finally, “Liliana” is a complete curveball; a revolving epic drama that’s more akin to RACES — a band responsible for some of my favorite underrated drama-pop — than any folk touchstone. Despite the disparities, there’s a cohesiveness to Birnbaum’s surgical songwriting, a sort of cowboy pop that’s got one eye wandering toward outlaw territory and one fixed on catchy melodies. Recorded by Julian Fader and Carlos Hernandez (of Ava Luna) at Brooklyn’s Gravesend Recordings, Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire, Vol II. sounds like the first sure strides past hesitation’s boundaries. Stream it below.
Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire, Vol II. is out 4/7. Pre-order it via Bandcamp.