More than a band, The Wonder Revolution is a collective that features musicians and visual artists, all seeking a return to wonder.
Based in Wichita, Kansas The Wonder Revolution brings together some of the Sunflower State’s most talented and imaginative players who explore the nature of wonder across a series of diverse musical settings that can only be described as wondermusic. More than just an amalgamation of post rock, indie, jazz and progressive styles, wondermusic is a genetic code shared by the collective’s diverse membership.
Led by guitarist David Lord (Francis Moss, Solagget), The Wonder Revolution also features drummer Nathan Wilder (Appleseed Cast, Paper Airplanes), Benjamin Hunt, Alisha Hunt, Matt Mundinger, Chelsea Monette, Sam Hake, Sean Fanning (Solagget, The Haunted Windchimes), Marcus Stoesz (Paper Airplanes, the Music Wrong), Ryan Rodine (And Academy, Reverend Rhodes) and others. Producer/recording engineer Micajah Ryan (Bob Dylan, Guns N’ Roses, Graham Nash, John Prine) is also an integral member, helping produce, record and mix all three wonder albums.
Taking its cues from musical giants such as Miles Davis, The Beatles, and other acts that consistently strove to explore new territories and idioms from album to album––and sometimes song to song––The Wonder Revolution has already unleashed three decidedly unique albums in 2012: Dots, The Forest Meeting, and the brand new Firefly.
Each album reassembles the players in a variety of configurations and presents a new mood and story in the evolution of wondermusic. “In a way,” David Lord explains, “each album is a new band, transcending the traditional model of what a band should be. We are a project-focused collective that is ever changing, with different members taking the creative lead on different albums.”
According to the group’s Matt Mundinger, “The wonder isn’t just stories about mushrooms and sparkflowers and sky bicycles. The songs, stories and art are tools to get us to think differently about how we live and experience our everyday lives. The listener/viewer uses these tools to help them re-arrive at their natural state of wonder. Once someone is able to return to wonder they’re free to live in a state of continual amazement, discovery, fascination, renewal, awe, exploration, love, personal expression, learning, etc. That’s the ultimate goal.”
Firefly consists of the group’s most concise musical statements to date, the opening track “Linden Tree” acting as a quiet, meditative invocation of the wonder muse, before giving way to the noisy pop that greets listeners on tracks such as the title piece, the understated “Here We Are” and “Layers of Miracles”. These pieces ask us to imagine M83, Stereolab, and classic era Yes collaborating on three minute slices of perfection, the radiant musical settings and enigmatic lyrics engaging the listener with their simplicity and vibrant images.
With “The Current” and “Invisible Until” the collective’s diverse musical concerns reach confluence as each tune subtly spotlights Lord’s unique and precise melody lines while allowing the collective itself to come to the fore. By the album’s end, comparisons to music of the past fall away and the listener can only embrace the future––in which wondermusic takes hold and becomes a celebrated form of musical expression.
With three more albums in the works, it seems that the future of this collective is indeed ever unfolding.