Andy Fitts just announced the upcoming release of his debut album, Smoky Wilds. And while you might not know who Fitts is, you have likely heard his work.
The Seattle musician has lent his multi-instrumental skills to numerous outstanding Northwest bands, including the David Bazan band, The Long Winters and Say Hi, earning (along with drummer Alex Westcoat) the title of “Barkline,” “because we were the rhythm section for...Barsuk bands.”
It’s not a surprise, then, that Smoky Wilds has quite the pedigree, with mastering work from former Pedro the Lion drummer TW Walsh, artwork from Damien Jurado producer (and great musician in his own right) Richard Swift, and production by Yuuki Matthews, a former member of Crystal Skulls who has played with Bazan, Sufjan Stevens and the Shins, but who has not, as far as I can discern, helmed the production of a recording other than his solo work.
Smoky Wilds is actually not a Barsuk release, landing instead on the label run by the closely related Undertow Collective. But the first single, “Roll My Chair” sure sounds like a Barsuk release, falling somewhere on the spectrum between Say Hi and David Bazan with its warped instrumental textures, infectious melodic lines and melancholy vibe (bolstered by the found-footage video above, which should really be watched in its entirety). The rhythm is pronounced, of course, as I’m sure it will be on the full-length (due out September 3).