A notable trend has been making a blip on my radar over the past few months: members of popular modern rock bands forming alt-country supergroups, all of whom cite Wilco as a major influence. First there was the Gary Lightbody-helmed Tired Pony, featuring (eye-catching) collaborations by R.E.M’s Peter Buck and She & Him’s Zooey Deschanel, then Mt. Desolation (a Keane/Killers members-led project), and, most recently, Foo Fighter Chris Shiflett’s The Dead Peasants (“Son Volt, Wilco and Ryan Adams, I love all that stuff”). As any longtime 24B reader knows, we too love Wilco, Adams, et al., but it’s still pleasantly odd to hear them mentioned as influences for new projects by bands boasting arguably greater mainstream success.
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, in particular, Wilco’s breakthrough masterpiece, is the benchmark I keep hearing with regard to these new groups, and the opening track off Tired Pony debut The Place We Ran From brings that point home in spades. Check out the Snow Patrol frontman’s “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”-esque intro song “Northwestern Skies” below: