THE WILDER (2013)

Luray is helmed by Washington, D.C.-based singer/songwriter Shannon Carey who creates banjo-inspired indie rock fused with classic country and folk on the debut The Wilder, available on August 27th. Recorded in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with her brother/producer Sean Carey (of S. Carey and Bon Iver), The Wilder became a family affair with the addition of brother Colin Carey (vibes, drums) and husband Gabriel Wisniewski (electric guitar).

The Wilder creates strange and lovely bedfellows of sound - banjos, vibes, pedal steel, and ambient vocals make up this once bluegrass-picking songwriter's newly roused approach to making music. The end result is somewhere between the likes of Iron & Wine and Emmylou Harris. Inspired by her travels, Luray is named after the Virginia town at the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains. I am a wanderer and a traveler by nature. I resonate with certain places and become quicly attached. Luray was like that,” Shannon explains. “It's tall grass, wildflowers, and rolling green hills hit me at a time when I was experiencing a lot of change and loss. I discovered these songs were within me, and was coaxing them into form. The lush life in the Shenandoah Valley in early spring helped convince me that the songs were worth writing.”

With roots in a musical family, Shannon Carey began writing songs at an early age. Though originally from Wisconsin, she rediscovered her love of music and took up the banjo while living in Northern California in 2006. The banjo's rich history in bluegrass provided an immediate tradition from which to draw inspiration, and the community of musicians that came with it offered fertile ground for collaboration. First featured on backing vocals for S. Carey's debut album, All We Grow, Shannon soon returned to songwriting and performing full-time. Taking the banjo beyond bluegrass and into moodier and fresher territory is at the heart of her soon-to-be released debut album, The Wilder.

Luray live includes Shannon Carey on banjo and vocals, Sarah Gilberg on keyboard and backing vocals, Gabriel Wisniewski on electric guitar, C.J. Wolfe on drums, and Brian Cruse on bass.

PRESS:

...beautifully lush album.

NPR All Songs Considered

...the standouts are Carey’s radiant voice, which fluctuates between soothing and soaring, and her melodic banjo strumming.

The Washington Post

The Wilder is an exquisite collection of post-bluegrass Americana and chamber folk that is both delicately refined and, thanks to the prominence of Carey's rich banjo backing, unpretentiously rustic.

Direct Current Music

..very earthy and organic in sound, with spacious keyboard soundscapes and electronic pop undercurrents blending with warm vocals and acoustic instrumentation.

WXPN

rolling banjo and sweet, earthy vocals...

CMT Edge

The sounds of Luray’s first album, The Wilder, are both ethereal and earthly...

The Deli Magazine

like Joni Mitchell with more bite...

Washington City Paper

Haunting, ephemeral, and just a little rustic...

Utne Reader

Luray has stepped gracefully into the world of indie folk with this debut album

Acoustic Guitar Magazine, December 2013 Issue

Carey embraces the banjo, using it to infuse her folky tunes with a bluegrass tinge...

Muzik Discovery

On the magical, glorious title track Carey sings in subdued style.

Entertainment Realm

there may indeed be no other band doing more for reinventing traditional folk sounds to a modern audience right now

Culturefly UK

there are few bands casting the banjo in such a beautiful light as Washington, D.C.-based Luray

The Total Scene - Chicago

a beautifully airy, sincere and unadorned modern Americana roots record

OnMilwaukee.com

Carey blends soaring ambient vocals over an artistically sparse melodic accompaniment to give the music a dreamy, ethereal quality while still maintaining the Americana roots

La Crosse Tribune

Full Press Page

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LYRICS

The Wilder

two weeks and ten thousand miles

if i could fly i’d think it over

if i could see the landing ground

you saw the side of me that’s red

i just got tired of all the nodding

it’s more than talking to myself

is there anyone who knows the places we go, the path that we made

the wilder below reminds me of home, he’d follow us in

never knew the calls of birds

weighed the size against the flora

found there’s more than room for two

there’s talk and i just get lost

and all the words i’ve ever heard of

just get caught up in my chest

is there anyone who knows the places we go, the path that we made

the wilder below reminds me of home, he’d follow us in

make it all make sense make it all make sense

is there anyone who knows the places we go, the path that we made

the wilder below reminds me of home, he’d follow us in

What Becomes

here in the quiet of the oldest thing we know

still in the science of the wider sea below

what becomes

what becomes

what becomes

here in the solid arc too broken for a view

still in the shadow of the frozen pose of you

what becomes

what becomes

what becomes

here in the purest form the robin sails so low

still in the knowledge of the hush before the close

what becomes

what becomes

what becomes

Luray

there were dreams and stumbling awake

and lines on a page where it all makes sense

there were times when i was afraid

and you were afraid, can we make it okay

throw your arms around

throw your arms around

don’t leave me there

don’t leave me there

there were signs and snakes in the grass

and phone calls that end without a word

let’s say that i’ll pack the car

and you’ll find a small hideaway

throw your arms around

throw your arms around

don’t leave me there

don’t leave me there

ginny flower pick it up for me, carry it for me, keep it safe for me

purple bonnet pick him up for me, carry him for me, keep him safe for me

do you think we’ll ever go home again

throw your arms around

throw your arms around

don’t leave me there

don’t leave me there

there were times when i was afraid

and you were afraid, can we make it okay

Kalorama

at the end of the week it’s easy to fall

for an invitation to pack it in and lay low

in kalorama

we’ll take our time to settle on

overpriced furniture let’s put it on the credit card

in kalorama

we’ll make a stockpile of firewood

ignoring all the locals who don’t even think it’s cold

in kalorama

five miles as birds fly the leaves fall in pieces

times i can still feel the crush of your fingers

the way that dreams leave behind

in kalorama, we’ll make it alright

in kalorama come down from the fight

take cover from the darkest night

driving around there’s never enough

parking on the sidewalk someone’s got a spot for me

in kalorama

the hardware store hasn’t opened since

1982 and somehow that’s the way things are

in kalorama

five miles as birds fly the leaves fall in pieces

times i can still feel the crush of your fingers

the way that dreams leave behind

in kalorama, we’ll make it alright

in kalorama come down from the fight

take cover, take cover, take cover from the dark

take cover from the darkest night

The Reins

i gave you an army to fight, the best i could gather in time

but now that they’re falling in line i’m second guessing

i gave you an army to fight, the last battle fresh in my mind

i’ll try not to tremble in fear at all

the last time i showed any fear at all i faltered

i don’t wanna know what the use is, i don’t wanna know who was right

i don’t wanna know what the truth is, the best part’s a secret

i’ll know when it’s time

we’ll walk up the drive hand in hand, your face with the usual dread

you’ve already said your goodbyes to happy endings

the day we drove west you could smile, like times when the song writes itself

you’ve already seen where the bottom lies,

you’ve already gone to the darkest i’ve imagined

i don’t wanna know what the use is, i don’t wanna know who was right

i don’t wanna know what the truth is, the best part’s a secret

i’ll know when it’s time i’ll know when it’s time, i’ll know when it’s time

i gave you an army to fight, the best i could gather in time

but now that they’re falling in line i’m second guessing

Promise Of Lakes

what survives is the on-time

throwing knives and battle scars

ten degrees and getting cold, getting cold

jesus christ and a hundred eyes

want it all

little star in the wrong hands

want it all

you can ask me how could i reach out for a clean start

you can ask the stars with a speck of doubt from a deep starve

the reason why we stay

is the promise of lakes

and the sun on your face

the reason why we stay

to your right is the dancing bear

good advice but the source unfair

where we are is our last stop, the last stop

passerbys get a stone stare

want it all

tender leaves feel the smallest tear

want it all

you can ask me how could i reach out for a clean start

you can ask the stars with a speck of doubt from a deep starve

the reason why we stay

is the promise of lakes

the reason why we stay

is the promise of lakes

and the sun on your face

the reason why we stay

Tidalground

beneath this tidal ground, i’ll follow you around

beneath this tidal ground, i’ll follow you around

feet moving i’m swimming against the grain

cut the line to the source and i’ll float away

i’ve tried it before and somehow i never learned to pray, pray

beneath this tidal ground, i’ll follow you around

beneath this tidal ground, i’ll follow you around

upon a sea of reeds that wasn’t here before

there is a sea of reeds that wasn’t here before

there’s no telling when spring’s gone and summer’s come

watch the moon to keep track or just write it down

i’ll keep holding on for someone to tell me we were wrong, wrong

new eyes will see lightning strike a tree at the perfect time

bright eyes will see saturn in the east and will count its rings

beneath this tidal ground, i’ll follow you around

beneath this tidal ground, i’ll follow you around

upon a sea of reeds that wasn’t here before

there is a sea of reeds that wasn’t here before

Already There

it’s the first night of the run i’m the only one who called

the race seems won and i’m behind the gun

your eyes sweeping round the room seems the burden falls on you

the night is young and i’ve a long way to go

it’s not the last point in the sky where i stop and stare

trick of the eye the passing of time and i’m already there

which direction to plot along i can only follow what comes

trace a spiral and bend the arm of calm

take the measure of a town, you can only gather what’s found

the day is young and i’ve a long way to go

it’s not the last point in the sky where i stop and stare

trick of the eye the passing of time and i’m already there

i return where i belong, try to capture the way that i longed

for a foothold the winning vault arms aloft

here’s a quiet building om for the first time i go it alone

my heart is young and i’ve a long way to go

it’s not the last point in the sky where i stop and stare

trick of the eye the passing of time and i’m already there

Crying

mama said to take off your shoes

you’ll get sand all over

to tow the line it wasn’t easy

the way that she scolded

you gotta get over it

crying is not allowed, it breaks you down if you wanna be a man

like rain in the salty sea, your swollen tears are wasted on me

fell down and that’s what she told you

be a good soldier

don’t let your blood get all over

the wash was done sunday

you’ll understand one day

crying is not allowed, it breaks you down if you wanna be a man

like rain in the salty sea, your swollen tears are wasted on me

some days we’d find mama tired

her face was all cloudy

we’d hurry out the back before she noticed

picking wildflowers

she loved wildflowers

crying is not allowed, it breaks you down if you wanna be a man

like rain in the salty sea, your swollen tears are wasted on me

Lullaby

the sounds of this house are strange at this hour

it’s so hard to get quiet

you start to drift off and i shift you awake

we’re back at the hardest part

here in the south when the junebugs are out

we lay side by side

and every year on the longest day

find no sleep at all

even out here on our quiet street

the city’s halo shines

i curse the light and turn to you

i feel your hand on my side

here in the south when the junebugs are out

we lay side by side

and every year on the longest day

find no sleep at all

lying in bed i can feel you awake

your fickle heart pounding

i must admit i find solace in this

you’re there to have and to hold

here in the south when the junebugs are out

we lay side by side

and every year on the longest day

find no sleep at all

Album Credits

Banjo, ukulele, vocals: Shannon Carey

Keyboard, percussion, vocals, vibes: Sean Carey

Guitar: Gabriel Wisniewski

Percussion, vibes: Colin Carey

Bass: Jeremy Boetcher

Guitar: Nick Ball

Pedal Steel: Ben Lester

Vocals: Mike Noyce

All songs written by Shannon Carey

Produced and recorded by Sean Carey

Mixed by Zach Hanson

Mastered by Brian Joseph

Album art by Katy Cowan (photo by Elizabeth Gramm)

Album and website design by Nick Ball

www.luraymusic.com

Thank you, Sean, for giving so much to this project and for your love and patience. Thank you to my family and friends who played on the album; to Elizabeth, Nick, Zach, Brian, Kyle, and Katy; to Colin, Lisa, Laura, Stantonio and to my family; to my bandmates; and finally- to Gabriel.