The Wilderness – Phawker review and interview

Here’s another excellent review of the album. For the full article and a very good interview with Margo please click here. You can pre-order the album today and make sure that you check out our upcoming Tour Dates.

Something about the Cowboy Junkies just seems right lately. Maybe it’s the fact that they’ve been writing and recording music endlessly for the past 25 years. After a quarter of a century, the Junkies have perfected their oddly soothing take on folk-rock, contrasting the ethereal and the distorted. The masterfully focused energy of the just-released The Wilderness is remarkable, considering this is the Junkies’ fourth release in 18 months. The album’s opening track, “Unanswered Letter,” foreshadows everything that will be heard in the 42 and a half minutes to come. Singer Margo Timmins’ hauntingly angelic vocals waltz between a flurry of disorienting soundscapes. Strangely, the track is loosely held together by noteworthy lyricism – a wonderfully constructed illusion – until comfort sets in with an upbeat rhythm almost halfway through the track. “Idle Tales,” driven by Peter Timmins’ slow-marching snare and elevated by a buried angelic hum, belongs on a sleepy-time playlist or the background score of a movie scene where the tragic hero has a life-changing epiphany after a punishing bout of depression. “Fairytale” sounds like the band found the lyrics scribbled on some parchment, almost imperceptibly peeking out from a bookshelf in the remnants of a long-forgotten abbey. Michael Timmins’ guitar work brilliantly accompanies his sister Margo’s gentle lullaby vocals. “The Confessions of George E” is an entrancing narrative, with lyricism reminiscent of early 70s Dylan, one of the band’s favorite songwriters. The instrumentation however, is pure Junkies, while Margo’s delicate vocals gradually summon a sense of urgency. The Wilderness concludes with the upbeat rockin’ track, “Fuck, I Hate The Cold.” I can only imagine how glorious this song must sound live with Michael wailing on his axe and Margo entering powerhouse mode. Phawker got to speak with Margo on one of her free afternoons and it should be noted – she is just as kind, affable, and genuine as her vocals. She talks to us about her family, the band on the road, her favorite albums, and how the hell the Junkies managed to do in 18 months what takes other bands 10 years to do. – TONY ABRAHAM