If you ask Lula Wiles about their self-titled debut album, they’ll be quick to tell you it was a long time coming. Self-released on May 27, 2016, the album is Lula Wiles’ first creative statement, an exploration of their sound. The band is deeply rooted in traditional folk music, but equally deep is their devotion to modern songcraft. The songs span from heartbreak-drenched acoustic ballads to honky-tonk swagger to contemporary grit and back again, all anchored by rich vocal harmonies. Their lyrics are fiercely honest, littered with reinvented folk tropes and evocative images – a rainy field of daisies, a dusty bar lit by Christmas lights, an unmade bed. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan calls the record “a stunning collection of self-penned songs about love, loss, and drinking – the perfect blend of modern and timeless.” The three band members swap instruments and frontwoman duties, with six songs penned and sung by fiddler/guitarist Ellie Buckland, four by fiddler/ guitarist Isa Burke, and one by bassist Mali Obomsawin. Onstage, the band gathers tightly around a single microphone for a spirited live show that resonates like a whiskey-slap to the heart.
Though the band is young, all the members of Lula Wiles have spent their lives grounded in songs. Born in Maine to musical families, they began playing music together as kids at Maine Fiddle Camp, and eventually each made their way to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music. When Lula Wiles performs, the band’s many years of friendship are clear from their effervescent vocal blend and electrifying musical chemistry. Now based in Boston's thriving and close-knit roots music community, Lula Wiles have performed at premier festivals and clubs throughout the East Coast, including Club Passim, the Sinclair, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Fresh Grass Festival, and Green River Music Festival. They were also selected as Official Showcase Artists for the 2016 Folk Alliance International conference. Roots authority No Depression predicts Lula Wiles “will be a huge force on the Americana scene for years to come.” All proficient vocalists, multi-instrumentalists, and songwriters, the three women of Lula Wiles are each uniquely powerful in their own right; but combined, they are a force to be reckoned with.
“Strikingly beautiful, distinctive and exhilarating, with expressive vocals that will find a way into hearts and minds” (No Depression), Ari & Mia reference the styles of Southern and Northeastern fiddle music and the early American songbook to create a realm where their own compositions cross paths with older traditions. Their stylish and sophisticated music honors the sounds of Appalachian cottages, rural dance floors, and urban concert halls. Combine this with their innovative approach to songwriting and the result is a captivating sound.
“Ari & Mia are not creating a new music; they are taking it to another level and exploring areas that have not been attempted in decades. Their all-acoustic, pure and honest approach has significance. Treading the edges of traditional folk in a more faithful manner, they share the lyrical wizardry of 70’s bands Steeleye Span, Tir-na-Nog, and the Incredible String Band, with searing harmony as good as The Beach Boys. The sisters sing in unison like two violins,” continues No Depression on the review of their most recent release, Out of Stone. Together, the sisters have toured all across the U.S and Australia and are both graduates of New England Conservatory. Their two previous albums, Land on Shore and Unruly Heart, ranked high on the national folk radio charts. Mia’s song “Across the Water,” won the 2010 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the folk category.