The latest from Marauderville is a wonderfully strung together country record that really touches on all the classics both instrumentally and vocally alike.
The Osmanthus album boasts some outstanding guitar and lap steel as melodies float through songs and swim around you while vocals tell detailed stories that can get personal but all paint vivid pictures in your head.
There are some great effects used all over this record to give it that extra edge and it really works as songs come through alive and breathing.
Now, the record isn't without its pop sensibility as songs have some great fuzz-tonality to them but are played along side string sections and banjo.
The use f instruments is really smart and helps the record push the envelope just a bit more as it certainly but subtly breaks barriers.
Plenty of cinematic elements play a factor on the release and at times, this even has the feel of a live performance. Like the players are feeding off of each others energies.
This was quite a massive record with quite a lush soundscape all without leaving that true country undertone behind, but instead, taking it on adventures.
With such a huge release, we wanted to touch base with Marauderville to talk shop about the record and more.
Here's what happened.
BuzzSlayers: Okay so let's start with the Osmanthus EP. This record feels almost like a concept album with some sure fire southern soul. Where did it come from?
Osmanthus is the species name of a flower/bush that grows in my hometown of Camden, SC where I was raised. I was born in Cincinnati. Locally, Osmanthus Fragrans is referred to as the "Tea Olive Tree," or "Sweet Olive." Its scent is incredibly pungent. Kind of like smokey and citrus, or even tobacco and citrus. It doesn't grow anywhere else outside of Greece or Asia.
BuzzSlayers: I'm hearing quite a few styles on the EP so far. Who are some of your biggest actual musical influences?
I have a wide range of influences, but specifically to this album and what I was drawing from, in no particular order: Jason Molina, Mark Kozelek (specifically Sun kil Moon), Will Oldham (specifically Bonnie 'Prince' Billie), The Volebeats (Detroit alt-country band), Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Townes Van Zandt.
BuzzSlayers: So how did all of this start for you?
The pandemic and consequent lockdown in March of 2020 spurred the recording process. I primarily spent my time as a stage actor in Chicago, which kept me very busy pre-covid. I wrote and played in private for many years, but had no extra time to finish my material and actual find musicians to start a band. The lockdown period solidified my commitment to getting the album done. It was intended to be a full fledged 10 song LP, but was widdled down to 6.
BuzzSlayers: What are you performing on the record aside from vocals?
Aside from vocals, I play all guitars and bass on Featherweight, the closing track.
BuzzSlayers: You act as well right? So did films inspire his EP as well?
Cinema was definitely present in the writing process. Hitman was inspired by the show "A Very British Scandal." I play guitar while watching tv/film quite alot. It frees me up. Sometimes I unconsciously score what I'm watching and the relationships and/or situations conjure some interest chord progressions or melodies.
BuzzSlayers: Who are you listening to right now?
I'm listening to: Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds with Gram Parsons, The Maldives, the new Vetiver album, Gary Stewart, Chavez, Warren Zevon
BuzzSlayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I'm still an actor. I'm currently in Mexico City shooting a commercial. I am working on a play adaptation of an Irish novel I'm obsessed with. I recently started Bouldering.
BuzzSlayers: How do you write your songs? Is it lyrics first or chords maybe? How does it work for you?
Typically it is music first and a single line. Some line I feel is provocative where there maybe a story behind it. That is the way it has been in most cases. Some songs were written in full before instrumentation.
BuzzSlayers: This EP seems like a pretty big undertaking. What kind of advice would you have for other artists out there?
The advice I would have would be, don't give up. It will be maddening and hard, but the good moments, when things begin to make sense and harmonize, bring about incredible joy and validation. Also, accept that what you're hearing in your head is not what it's going to be, it's the seed that begins the work. Trust that not knowing what the end product sounds like is better than knowing.
BuzzSlayers: What's next for you as an artist? Anything in the works even now?
Marauderville is transitioning into being a band with regular members. We're bring the old songs to life, they're changing, and the way I write songs is changing as well because of it.
BuzzSlayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Everyone that has supported me in this journey hold a special place in my heart. I wrote and recorded this album during an incredibly isolated and dark time. I don't if I would have finished without there support.