New album keeps Michigan Accidentals’ trip going – Macomb Daily

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“Vessel” from the Accidentals is about a journey – as people, musicians, band mates. The album, the Michigan trio’s third feature film, takes stock of a 10-year journey that was filled with twists and turns, hairpin turns and a few stops.

He also had his own journey, and not always easy.

“Vessel”, on which the group began working three years ago, finally surfaced on October 1. He was delayed by the pandemic but also took advantage of the time Accidentals were able to spend working there when his usual busy touring schedule was cut short. It coincidentally comes close to the 10th anniversary of Savannah Buist and Katie Larson forming the group in Traverse City, which only makes the reflective tone of the 14 tracks all the more appropriate.

“It’s about realizing there is no finish line,” says Buist, 26, by Zoom from Traverse City, where she and Larson are preparing for a tour that kicks off this week in their city. native and comes to the Arch in Ann Arbor for a pair of shows on October 2nd.

Multi-instrumentalist Michael Dause, who joined the Accidentals seven years ago, is Zooming from Grand Rapids, where he works on some of his own musical projects before hitting the road again.

Much of the meaning of “Vessel” can be found in its title track and its upbeat chorus of “we’ll get to where we want to be”. “As soon as we started playing this one live we knew we wanted it to be the title song of an album we wanted to follow ‘Odyssey’,” said Larsen, 25, referring to the debut of 2017 on an Accidental major. “’Odyssey’ consisted of boldly advancing, despite fear. This album is more about taking everything in perspective, zooming out, seeing where we are, stopping feeling like we’re trying to run to get to a certain place.

“We’ve been playing some of the songs on this album for five years now, and some songs were written in quarantine,” notes Buist. “It makes sense that the album is all about perspective, that parallax notion of being stuck in something and going 500 miles an hour. The songs are a representation of it.

The speed of sound of the Accidentals has certainly evolved at a breathtaking pace.

Prodigies and avowed “music nerds” in the high school orchestra, Buist and Larson were on a trajectory of formal education, including admission to the Interlochen Center for the Arts, when they decided to pursue the group at the place. Mixing a multitude of influences – from Americana to alt.rock and middle points – they independently released their debut album, “Tangled Red and Blue”, in 2012 and achieved national notoriety for their sophisticated harmonic sensibility. but fresh and their musicality well beyond their years. .

The addition of Dause made two plus one equal more than three, and thanks to relentless touring and an ethic of promoting DIY (including teas, wine, and band clothing), the Accidentals have long been a thing of the past. on a multitude of radars.

“Things seemed to go very, very fast,” says Dause, 26, “and in other ways it feels like it’s been 100 years. After last year, I finally got to see the change physically. Thinking back to many photos from our tours, I looked the same for a long time. Now, after this year, I feel like I’ve changed so much. I can have the prospect of seeing a difference instead of feeling like the same person for so long.

Larson, too, says the pandemic break allowed the trio to descend from what had become a useful treadmill – mostly enjoyable, but with a few challenges like stealing the trailer and equipment in January 2019, with fans stepping up to replace everything via a Go Fund Me campaign.

“We were constantly on the move and we were afraid of reaching a plateau, constantly pushing ourselves to ourselves, ‘What can we do that is different? »How to improve? What novelty can we pick up? What else can we try? ‘ », She explains. “I felt like it was going slowly, but when we stopped I was like, ‘Wow, I really feel 25 now. I finally feel my age.

Alterations (clockwise from top), Michael Dause, Katie Larson and Savannah Buist, bubbled up during the pandemic, producing a new album, “Vessel.” Photo by Loren Johnson

The Accidentals were in Arkansas and were on the verge of recording “Vessel” when the music industry, like so many others, closed in March 2020. Although Buist and Larson moved to Nashville the year before, they got Buist’s cat back. and headed north, bubbling with Dause at home. There, the group took place primarily online, with a steady diet of virtual shows such as “Three for Tea” and “Daily Breather”, as well as performances for the Ann Arbor Folk Festival and other events. in streaming. Buist even composed a 40 page manual / tutorial of live streaming guidelines from the Recording Academy and Bandcamp.

They also recorded a new EP, “Time Out (Session 1)”, a five-track set that included songwriting collaborations with Kim Richey, Dar Williams, Maia Sharp, Tom Paxton and the Mary Gauthier duo and Jamiee Harris.

“It was good to stay in a productive place for a while while we thought about how long this was going to last,” said Buist. “It was nice to be back in Michigan, nice to hear the birdsong and all that. We all live with people who are immunocompromised, so we didn’t go anywhere for a while and quarantine ourselves together to make the record. “

Dause, who also released a solo album last year under the name Treeskin, adds, “It was quite interesting to have time to dive into something. After six years of traveling so much and “go, go, go…”, when we decided to come back and start recording on our own, we had time to really dig some of these tracks and go through three hours getting a the sound of the cello and… just digging our heels, really.

The band had recorded parts of “Vessel” with producers such as Tucker Martine and John Congleton, but the album was mostly completed at Atticus Blue Studios in Buist’s attic and at Cedar House Studios in Larson’s Cedar, Michigan, where the three Accidentals honed their engineering skills. Some songs have been refined, others have been recreated. Buist believes the band worked on seven different versions of the song “Slow and Steady,” while the revealing lyrics of “Count the Rings” were rewritten from scratch at one point. The Accidentals also found additional inspiration from a wide range of other artists such as Phoebe Bridgers, The National, Nickel Creek and the Gin Blossoms, while a song like “Go Getter” would even fit well on an album. by Taylor Swift.

“We had time to find out who we are and what we wanted to look like,” says Buist. “A lot of the songs on this album are really some of the most honest songs we’ve ever written – that means something, because songs have always been free therapy for us, for a long time. There is a real mourning on this record, and a little hope. We are really proud of it.

The Accidentals will be on the road in early November to present “Vessel” and are already in the process of setting the 2022 route. Buist and Larson are returning to Nashville part-time for co-writing and session work, and they promise the Accidentals music will continue to come, including a second volume of “Time Out” collaborations.

“We were a bit short of hardware in 2020,” Buist recalls. “When we were feeling creatively stuck, we would call a friend, ‘Hey, do you want to write a song together? We can use this practice, this inspiration. It was nice to get those juices flowing again, and it got us back to (“Vessel”) in a very good state of mind. “

• The Accidentals and Sawyer Fredericks perform at 7 and 9:30 pm Friday, October 2 at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $ 25 and more at 734-761-1800 or theark.org.

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