WILDER MAKER / Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire, Vol III.

OCTOBER 09, 2015

Photo by Shervin Lainez, L to R, Gabriel Birnbaum, Katie Von Schleicher, Nick Jost, Will Graefe, Sean Mullins



Full EP as zip file

First single "Summer Drifts" only

Second single "EZ River" only

Download Vol I as a zip file

Download Vol II as a zip file


Wilder Maker is the songwriting project of Gabriel Birnbaum (b. 1986, Boston, MA) a multi-instrumentalist and composer living in Brooklyn, NY. He has performed on stage and on record with artists such as Sharon Van Etten, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Jens Lekman, Sixto Rodriguez, DeVotchKa, Landlady, Akron/Family and SKATERS and his projects have shared stages with The Arcade Fire, Deerhoof, Gogol Bordello, Dr. John, Phosphorescent, and Dan Deacon. He has performed at Lincoln Center, the Bonnaroo Music Festival, the Kennedy Center, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Birnbaum is also a full time member of the Ethiopian pop ensemble Debo Band, whose Sub Pop debut was one of NPR's 50 best albums of 2012. He was an ISLAND Hill House artist in residence in 2014, and will be an artist in residence at Wildacres in North Carolina in spring 2015. 

Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire, the follow up to 2013's tremendous Year of Endless Light, is a series of three intertwining EPs. November 2014 saw Volume One hailed as "A fulmination of raw talent," "lovely music, finely detailed and plush," "thoroughly original and twisted," "deeply cathartic," and "a piece of roaming beauty," in publications such as Wondering Sound, Paste, Consequence of Sound, and Impose, as well as countless smaller music blogs. The series continued with Volume Two finding praise in blogs like Stereogum and The Wild Honey Pie, with CMJ listing it alongside Courtney Barnett and Lower Dens on their Top 15 of 2015 thus far. 

Each of the three EPs was recorded in a different studio with different parameters, but each deals with the same subject matter. Think of it as a musical Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. The blackbird here is, of course, a rough breakup. It's a perfect subject for an artist obsessed with unresolvable contradictions and ambiguities: full of good people behaving cruelly, lasting romantic love as the highest cultural goal and yet something that inevitably shifts with terrifying frequency, the savage power dynamics hidden within even the most loving relationships, the closed universe of two - impenetrable to anyone outside yet familiar to all, the way the blissful and agonizing elements are not at odds with one another but in fact elements of the same thing. There's a reason there are so many breakup records. 

Volume three is, sonically, the most experimental of all. Unlike the sparse, mostly live EC2, these songs were engineered entirely by songwriter Gabriel Birnbaum, and have been built into an incredible density of sounds - woodwinds proliferate, Katie Von Schleicher's voice is stacked like an orchestra into huge clouds of ghostly harmonies, sampled drums blend with live playing by Sean Mullins. Saxophones are pitched up into an approximation of Mellotrons. The blurred sonics help make the individual instruments less distinct and give the listener an immersive space to float in. 

Thematically, EC3 is the stage in a breakup where the torment you suffer over the other person fades away (mostly) and you're left alone with yourself, the real source of the torment. Opener "Only Wanted You" broods over the loss in a slow burn but with more than a hint of resignation creeping in to replace the despair. If "Relief" on EC2 was the agonized cry, this is the slow breathing after. 

"Summer Drifts" is the long slow summer drunk, a blur of details from a sunny rooftop party with the rumble of disquiet just under the surface, in spite of the narrator's protests. "EZ River" is a sunny 1970s LA swirl of sound that just happens to be all about the blankness of crippling depression. The lush, dreamy production circles the vocals, almost taunting the narrator with lovely lead guitar and smooth saxophone flourishes. Hearing the song, Will Stratton said that "The structure{...}is like someone's mind breaking apart in real time."

"California" features Katie Von Schleicher taking over lead vocal duty again, spinning a web of beautiful, eerie harmonies over clarinets and loose percussion. "No Xmas In Bushwick," initially conceived as a stark, Welch/Rawlings style ballad, turns here into a lush pop song, with a chorus full of voices and the police sirens of Church Ave in Brooklyn sneaking in the background. And finally, closing out the EP cycle the same way it began, we have the original version of "Hope Springs," with all the instruments played by Birnbaum. The song was the first to be written after the breakup, and this version, recorded at the time, has a special significance: thematically, it ends the cycle on a note of kindness and love, a hand reached out in spite of pain. Musically, it's the origin of the sound of EC3, the first full thought in a new language. Here it is finished with an extra coda: a quiet, gentle melody, fleshed out by slide guitar and the wordless vocals of Birnbaum and Von Schleicher. 

Here and there on the EP a new style of lyric appears in an early form. It's inspired by authors like Ben Lerner and Karl Ove Knausgård and written first, apart from the music. It's rooted in specificity: a camera lens jammed into the back pocket of tight jeans, sleeping fitfully with a cell phone in hand, roommates stoned in the kitchen daydreaming about what they'd say to their now-famous former acquaintances. Frustrated with the vagueness and loftiness of most songwriting in a world where most of us do 90 percent of our talking via text and work lousy service jobs, it's a start at an attempt to bring the sharp edges of truth back into music. To let the real world rear its head. 

The EP was recorded and mixed in various bedrooms across Brooklyn by Gabriel Birnbaum, and mastered by TW Walsh

The band also features Will Graefe (Star Rover) on lead guitar, Katie Von Schleicher on keyboards/vocals, Sean Mullins on drums, and Nick Jost (Baroness) and Wayne Whittaker on the bass.

Thank you for listening!


Download all press photos as a zip file.




Selected Press for Everyday Crimes Against Objects Of Desire, Vol II.

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[...]Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire, Vol II. sounds like the first sure strides past hesitation’s boundaries. - Caitlin White - Stereogum

Gabriel Birnbaum’s resonant, booming voice proves itself to be in a class of its own, but this EP is the sound of a great singer-songwriter finding his ideal band. They blast through apocalyptic jams with aplomb and in taking over lead vocals in a number of tracks, Katie Von Schielder provides a beautiful counterpoint to Birnbaum. The EPs are both of culmination of everything Birnbaum has aimed for, but also the start something really special. - David Dekeyser - CMJ Best of 2015 (so far)

With lyrics seeping in heartbreak and bitterness and a chorus that rises up to the heavens, it’s the kind of classic sound that instantly makes you weak in the knees. - The Wild Honey Pie

No amount of positive praise can really capture the magic that is present in this song and the others on the album. The only thing left to do now is just press play (right now, do it). - Wordkrapht

You’ll want to sing along to it again and again. - Folk Radio UK

Selected Press for Everyday Crimes Against Objects Of Desire, Vol I.

"8.3...A fulmination of raw talent and professional struggle expressed in swerving jags of jazz-blazed, high-rise folk" - Nathan Huffstutter, Paste Magazine

A piece of roaming beauty, placing the alluring enticement of “Hope Springs” in the beginning, the half-eyed bleary sleepiness of “White Knucked On the Wheel”, the evocative, gorgeous, funereal closer, “Love = War”; built around the richness of the centerpiece song, “Zion." - Sjimon Gompers – IMPOSE

This is lovely music, finely detailed and plush, easy to warm up to, but then the delight of sharp nettles beneath keeps you picking away at it. - Jayson Greene - Wondering Sound

Deeply cathartic...equally weathered and self-assured. - Dusty Henry - Consequence of Sound

Underneath the polished sheen of the track’s production lies a thoroughly original and twisted approach to songwriting that sets Wilder Maker apart. There is pop magic for sure[...]but there are moments of quirkiness that jolt the listener as well: bars with odd time signatures, brief dissonant chord changes, vocal harmonies soaked in dub-reggae inspired echo. Wilder Maker is clearly committed to challenging the increasingly inflexible alt-country idiom." - Aputumpu

Selected Press for Year of Endless Light

A remarkable album, richly conceived and remarkably, wildly played…a river of American sounds…bizarre and original. – Jayson Greene – eMusic Best of 2013

Wilder Maker’s sprawling second album, Year of Endless Light, concentrates at those drop-everything arresting moments, the type of holy fuck jolts that spur a compulsion to rewind/replay: listen listen listen and maybe if you listen just one more time you’ll finally get your head around some hidden secret. – Nathan Huffstutter, The Fiddleback

Recommended highly for fans of heavy folk/country/rock like Bonnie Prince Billy, Richard Buckner and Neil Young, this album is just about overwhelming in its scope and breathtaking in its execution. - When You Motor Away

An incredible breadth of vision that defies musical genres.  - Folk Radio UK

What might sound like a normal folk-influenced rock record to begin with gradually reveals itself to be a multi-layered tour de force, drawing on elements from widespread and disparate genres. - No Ripcord