By Nicole Rosenthal, Staff Writer
It is truly unprecedented to witness the three-dimensional depth–and sheer youthful talent–that is found in The Accidentals’ musicianship. Born out of friendship, a history of familial musical backgrounds and an after school music program, Michigan-based genre defying three piece The Accidentals have been stunning audiences for nearly six years. Vocalist and guitarist Savannah Buist’s gentle acoustic guitar strums coupled with vocalist and cellist Katie Larson’s melodious strings blend together in perfect harmony, evoking blissful, humble indie-pop goodness. Fresh off the release of their third studio album and major-label debut “Odyssey,” The Accidentals are currently in pursuit of sharing their genre-defying, multi-dimensional symphonies across the nation.
“The album itself is a culmination itself of the past six years being a band,” Buist told WSN regarding the band’s latest effort. “There’s some songs on there that are three or four years old that we’ve played thousands and thousands of times at different gigs, and then there are some songs on there that are really brand new, but all of them find a way to tell the story both from the past and in real time. We picked the songs that best reflect the journey we have taken on in the past six years…we recorded between the election, the legendary Cubs game, Christmas, Halloween–we were in this basement while the world was shifting and changing around us. It’s kind of crazy, when we came out of the other side, the world felt a little bit different, I think. Now we have this album that represents what we sound like, all these songs we’ve had for years you finally get to hear it in recorded format which is cool, and it’s really unlike anything we’ve ever done because, one, it’s our major-label debut with Sony Masterworks, and two, it’s very authentic and organic to who we are.”
The three-piece indie rockers have been defined in the past as everything from indie folk and pop to jazz, bluegrass, rock and classical. Buist and Larson exchange and swap out instruments routinely during live performances, including (but not limited to) violins, violas, ukuleles, pianos, mandolins, kazoos and musical saws.
“When you go on the road you see listening rooms and these amazing storytelling concerts, and I want to be like, ‘I want to write this cool Americana stripped-down song,’” added Larson. “Then we see a funk band in New Orleans and I’m like, ‘alright guys, time to get a horn section, let’s get some cool lighting and write a disco song,’ so I feel like the traveling is as much inspirational as anything else. What’s really cool is having [drummer] Michael [Dause] in the picture now because some of the songs on the album were arranged when we were in high school, so now that we’re moving forward with a new idea of what we can do onstage.”
In their most recent release, The Accidentals have fortified themselves as both writers and musicians, coupling grounded, poetic verses with cinematically powerful choruses. Consistently, their album “Odyssey” features themes of growth, struggle and the strength that comes from it.
“I’ve been pretty passionate about Greek mythology since I was a little kid, and also I’m currently writing a novel where a lot of that is tied into it,” continued Buist. “The song “Odyssey” is more about personal journeys and finding your own voice and moving forward despite obstacles. For a while, I thought a way to do that was just to power through things, like, ‘just get through this one tour’, or ‘get through these five mechanical breakdowns’, and process it later, but I think what is more important is that you learn to be vulnerable first, and I think that is where the true strength actually lies. That’s why it sums up our album pretty well: there’s a lot of vulnerability in [the song], and at the same time we feel like it’s the strongest representation of our voice we’ve ever put out. It really tells the story of where we’re at, where we’ve been and where we are going.”
You can find “Odyssey” on all major streaming services.