Wilder’s reputation as a talented multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter emerged in the Brooklyn indie rock scene of the late 2000s, where he joined his bandmates in painting on the eclectic palette of synths, strings, and harmonies that defined Yeasayer’s acclaimed psychedelic worldbeat and swerving electro-pop experiments. With I Don’t Know My Words, Wilder torques his multi-instrumentality away from electronica and global genre-hopping and makes it a lonely lockdown challenge. Ten songs, in braided strands of English folk revival, Topanga Canyon jangle, and desert blues licks, offer taut documents of a gloomy hour of collective confinement, but also elegant proofs of folk rock songcraft’s inexhaustible machinery. Wilder reveals vulnerable moments of pandemic panic and addresses the challenges of love and dedication as he follows New York’s path through the worldwide emergency, and as he confronts the personal, political, and professional reckonings that spanned it.
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