Wilson Marks

Wilson Marks: “Isolation Town”

When we last spoke of Wilson Marks, it was just before Mother’s Day, and in fact for his newly-released song “Mother’s Day”. And wouldn’t you know it, when Wilson Marks sparks our interests yet again…it’s the day after Valentine’s. So while we won’t beleaguer you with delusional theories on causation versus correlation concerning Wilson’s releases and U.S. holidays, we will give you the rundown on what Wilson’s been working on since we last caught up.Just as planned, Wilson Marks did share another release late last year, but it ended up being the stripped-down EP they previously alluded to, Won’t Fit In a Song, instead of the trio’s next full-length as anticipated. Rest assured though, Wilson et al are still working on that LP and are looking at a drop date some time this spring. In the meantime, Marks has been making the most of a Monday night four-band residency at Sagebrush, continuing on the 19th – 8PM to midnight with opener Aaron Huff alongside closers Alex Riegelman & Friends and Virginia Creeper.Marks is definitely gonna be in good company for the remainder of that in-city, four-performance residency, and yet today he painted a very different picture with the upcoming album’s second single, “Isolation Town”. Between its bluesy trot, (breezy drum brushes and all), a real horse gallop of a woodblock pattern, some cozy chorus effects on the guitar, warm bass, wistful whistling and an oddly daunting second-person lyrical perspective and vocal character that both remind us of Roger Waters, “Isolation Town” channels that brilliantly wonky kind of early Pink Floyd-era psychedelia that almost borders on exotica.

Wilson Marks: “Mother’s Day”

When it comes to songs about holidays (at least here in the U.S.), the most popular is of course Christmas, followed by Halloween, and perhaps…St. Patrick’s Day coming in at third? Either way, it’s a rarity to hear a “holiday” song that doesn’t lean into the Hallmark hokeyness.

But if there’s one thing that Wilson Marks does on any day of the calendar, it’s subvert expectations. On top of his life as an enthusiastic music educator and prolific sideman, this Austin singer-pianist-guitarist brought us two dozen genre-bending tunes through his first full-lengths, 2015’s What Was Made for Weathering and 2018’s Peregrine. By the time Wilson’s third dozen arrived in October 2020 with True Beauty Is in the Random, he’d established his own set of hallmarks: slick witticisms and lighthearted reflections on the flaws that unite us, instrumentation that’s carefully modified to capture a unique timbre, and an accessible style of pop that’s informed by folk and Crescent City jazz.

Marks and his backing band plan on releasing yet another full-length closer to the turn of Winter, padding out the inter-seasons with a more stripped-down EP. So with what may be your final reminder for Mother’s Day before the weekend, Wilson Marks shares one of his slinkiest singles to date. Rooted as always in true storytelling that doesn’t skimp on emotion, the simplicity and sincerity of “Mother’s Day” is shoe-in to mom’s heart, especially if she’s a fan of Graceland. And if you really want to wow her with a belated Mother’s Day date, consider taking her out to see Wilson Marks Trio live next Wednesday at the Elephant Room.