The Way Down Wanderers is a five-piece band from Peoria, Illinois. On the band’s first two albums, they won well-deserved fans and critical praise with their musical virtuosity and impressive harmony vocals.
More Like Tomorrow is the third album from the band that remains rooted in Americana. However, the band goes far beyond bluegrass and folk for a sound that defies easy description.
Of the album, band member Austin Krause-Thompson said, “I think more so on this record than ever, the songs are just more direct, with acute meanings in our own situations. Each’s song’s story is less broad. I think, at least for me, writing is definitely growing more and more personal.”
The beginning of “Codeine. Rest, and Loneliness” has a slow tempo with great harmony vocals and a vibe similar to Nickel Creek. Toward the middle of the song, the melody builds. Then it becomes some good foot-stomping, hand-clapping bluegrass that has the energy of a song by Yonder Mountain String Band.
Bluegrass is a significant part of the sound of the album. Part of that is the instrumentation. “Two Parts, One Heart” features some good banjo picking and an upright bass that is standard for bluegrass. Another part of that is the harmony vocals that are amazing throughout the album.
Still, you can’t really call it a bluegrass album because the band embraces a variety of sounds. With the piano and the harmony vocals, “The Wire” has some similarity to The Band. “Love Is My Gospel” is a soulful song. The harmony vocals (fittingly, for the title of the song) sound like a choir. There is also something of a jazz component in the middle of the song when the upright bass comes to the forefront and sounds like something in a song by The Wood Brothers.
“Everything’s Made out of Sand” begins with clapping and vocals. The a capella parts of the song are reminiscent of Carolina Chocolate Drops. In between those parts, the tempo picks up with the upright bass as the driver. This one also features some good picking on the banjo and mandolin.
More Like Tomorrow by The Way Down Wanderers is a fine example of songwriting and storytelling. It’s also a fine example of how a band can benefit by going beyond the limits of one genre. The album was released on September 10 and is available everywhere now. https://thewaydownwanderers.com