JullianRecords and Nashville-based indie-rock sextet Waker are excited to announce the band’s long-awaited debut album, Fresh Out (stream and purchase). Produced by Lincoln Parish, former lead guitarist of Cage the Elephant, Fresh Out is the story of an American road band in the year 2020 and the trials and tribulations they’ve had to endure along the way. The product of years of hard work, touring and perseverance, Fresh Out is an uplifting album for the current times with an encouraging message to keep your head up however you can. Stream Fresh Out in its entirety on all platforms HERE.
A six-piece ensemble from Nashville, Tennessee, Waker’s sound spans the American musical spectrum. The group combines the spirit of classic rock, the pathos of Motown soul, the restless experimentation of jam band music, and the songwriting acumen of the best indie rock that results in a wholly original and stirring aural gumbo.
The road to Fresh Out, the band’s debut album out now, was long but ultimately it was a rewarding one. Its narrative stretches back to the mid-aughts, when frontman Chase Bader and Conor Kelly (electric guitar) met as classmates in fifth grade. After playing in various high school bands together and learning from each other musically, Chase moved back to his native Alabama his senior year. The two remained in close touch and eventually ended up together at Belmont University in Nashville.
Forming a unit and adding bassist RyanLadd, percussionist RyanMcClanahan, and sax player AlMathews to round out the group, the band played house shows in Nashville before touring the Southeast and the West, playing everything from frat parties to festivals. Some time later, the guys brought on drummer DaveCzuba to cement the band’s lineup.
Most of the new album was cut live in producer Lincoln Parish’s home studio, which contain songs filled with the vibrancy and verve the band has become known for onstage. Press play and the album hurtles out of the gate with the lead single “Waiting On You,” a song the band wrote late one night after finishing a marathon writing session. Recalling prime-era Dave Matthews Band, “Many Days Ahead” also holds a special meaning for percussionist Ryan McClanahan. “It has a ringing message which feels true today,” he says, “about not getting so caught up in what’s going on now.”
The album closes with a tune called “Small Song,” which showcases the more introspective nature of the lyrics. The last number written and recorded for the album, “Small Song” is a meditation on the vicissitudes of life and the hidden beauty found in life’s dramatic turns. “I really wanted that song to be the last song,” says Bader. “That song to me just says it all, that you can’t appreciate something until you’re away from it, until you’re outside of a frame and you can actually take a look.”
Waker now sits outside the frame of Fresh Out, and they like what they see. They’re eager to give it another life on stage, where it can grow in the hearts and minds of their burgeoning fan base. As Bader says, “the music of Waker is all about what’s possible, and ‘Fresh Out’ is chock full of possibility.”