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DAG! Records

The Inner Banks

Brooklyn band THE INNER BANKS is the musical alter ego of married couple Caroline Schutz and David Gould and their revolving cast of talented friends. Since forming in 2006, THE INNER BANKS has eluded easy categorization, and in its upcoming third release Wild, the band shows no sign of bucking that trend. The ensemble’s rich, cinematic orchestration skews the traditional country twang of instruments like the lap steel by integrating string sections, wurlitzer and layered female vocals. THE INNER BANKS draws inspiration from a wide variety of traditions—British folk,‘60s pop, shoegaze, film music and Americana among them—but ultimately emerges with a sound that is grander and more unique than the sum of its parts.

SPIN magazine has noted,"The musical pastiche of The Inner Banks is an exercise in euphony, with each disparate sound complementing the piece as a whole. Epics from anthills, each track is grand in scope yet completely unassuming, a piece of a soundtrack that never swells but always delivers." While Terrascope (UK) has described the albums as "crammed with shimmering pop nuggets well worth discovering... the sound of Americana played by Air."

A rich musical history gave rise to THE INNER BANKS’ eclectic sound. Caroline’s grandmother starred in Broadway musicals in the 1920s, and her mother sang regularly in New York and performed with the USO during the Korean War. Caroline also made her mark as the principal singer-songwriter for Folksongs For The Afterlife, whose 2003 full-length record Put Danger Back In Your Life earned a devoted following, as well as praise in Magnet, Time Out New York and Entertainment Weekly. David holds a Master’s degree in ethnomusicology and has a rich background in composing and producing, as well. A true multi-instrumentalist, he played banjo and upright bass in his previous band, The Bootleg Remedy, but has added lap steel guitar, acoustic finger-picking, sound collage and various analog synthesizers to his Inner Banks palette. David also founded DAG! Records in the early 2000s, which now serves as the vessel for his and Caroline's music, as well as a few acclaimed outside projects.

Wild is THE INNER BANKS’ most substantial release yet, offering 13 new tracks. It is also the most hopeful. Whereas prior albums The Inner Banks and Songs from Disko Bay, the latter of which was written after the death of Caroline’s father, struck a more ominous tone, Wild is a more vibrant exploration of identity, destiny and transformation. You can hear the contrast from the opening notes of the title track, "Wild," a propulsive alt-country burst of energy that contemplates the road not taken. As the album progresses through the dark angular folk of "Box and Crown," the cinematic swell of "Sketch" and the unexpected levity of "Found Holiday," there are plenty of surprises and mood swings to go around. Like a good road trip mixed tape, Wild is a soundtrack that ebbs and flow, but ultimately, one that leaves plenty of room for the listener to write their own story into it.