Yolk In the Fur, the second album from New York City’s Wild Pink, was one of rock’s tiny masterpieces of 2018. It didn’t make the upstart trio a household name, but the stunning LP earned a rep for leaving a profound impression on whoever gave it the time. Plenty of indie rock’s current powerhouses toughed it out for years before earning magazine covers and the big type on festival lineups; Wild Pink’s third release in as many years is further affirmation they’re onto something special.
This time it’s an EP, featuring three remixes of Yolk In the Fur tracks and two previously-unreleased (and unheard) songs left over from the those sessions. It’s (appropriately) titled 5 Songs and it’s out Friday (March 1) on the indie imprint Tiny Engines. “Coaches Who Cry,” one of the unreleased songs, is premiering today (Feb. 25) on Billboard.
It’s packed with homemade grandeur, with mood-setting acoustics and crytpic lyrics leading to a dramatic finish. If you’re already familiar with Wild Pink, you know there’s plenty more where this came from. If not, well, the two old LPs are well worth catching up with.
Find “Coaches Who Cry” below, followed by Billboard‘s recent conversation with frontman John Ross. The Q&A reveals work on Wild Pink’s third album is well underway; for now, 5 Songs is up for pre-order here.
How do you think these Yolk In the Fur songs lend themselves to remixes? Rock typically isn’t the most “remix-able” genre.
While our lineup is pretty conventional with guitars and drums, I don’t think of these as typical rock songs. That might be splitting hairs, but most of the songs on the record don’t have a traditional rock song structure. There are also lots of layers in each song, so you can open the door to some new ideas when all those different elements or audio stems are isolated. It was exciting to see how different all the remixes came out. None of the three sound similar in any way to each other.
You’ve mentioned “Coaches Who Cry” is inspired by your childhood in Virginia. How does it take you back?
The ending is about a memory I have of being really young, when on one particular Thanksgiving, all of our family, friends, and neighbors smoked turkeys in a smoker in our yard. It was snowing pretty hard and everyone seemed to be having a great time. I grew up in a town that was small at the time and had a strong sense of community. Which I think informed the person I’ve become.
What kind of community have you experienced in recent years, being with the label Tiny Engines?
Being with Tiny Engines has given us an audience we never would have found otherwise. I feel really grateful to have released Yolk In the Fur and the self-titled album with them. They’ve been supporting this project since the beginning and that experience has given me the confidence to grow as a songwriter.
Wild Pink has been pretty persistent with new releases lately. Is there any news to share regarding your next LP? What do you think your new music might sound like?
I’m almost finished writing the third LP and I’m really excited about it. It feels like a natural progression from Yolk In the Fur and I can’t wait to record it. Hopefully we’ll be in the studio this summer or fall.
Wild Pink strikes me as a band that’s got a lot of momentum going for it right now, laying the foundation with touring and releases. Are there more established bands or artists you look to as models for the what you’d like to accomplish in the coming years?
I like Ratboys’ approach to being a band. They tour relentlessly and are the sweetest people. I also look up to Pile for the way they consistently release good albums just about every other year. Honestly, I’d love to write a record that connects with a ton of people the way [Titus Andronicus‘] The Monitor or [The War on Drugs‘] Lost In the Dream did — [those] definitely meant a lot to me. The War On Drugs had a long, steady road before they got there. I just want to keep releasing albums and continue to tour.
Here are Wild Pink’s upcoming tour dates: (with Active Bird Community *; with Strand Of Oaks ^)
March 1: Comet Ping Pong – Washington, D.C. *
March 2: Bowery Ballroom – New York, N.Y. *
April 22: Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, Cali. ^
April 23: The Independent – San Francisco, Cali. ^
April 25: Mississippi Studios – Portland, Ore. ^
April 26: Neumos – Seattle, Wash. ^
April 27: Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, British Columbia ^
April 28: The Bartlett – Spokane, Wash. ^
May 8: The Sinclair – Cambridge, Mass. ^
May 10: Union Transfer – Philadelphia, Penn. ^