Rocky Votolato’s music has consistently chased something universal — a perspective that connects us all, mysterious yet present, simultaneously humble and profound. Maturing over the course of eight increasingly accomplished solo albums, including the widely heralded records Suicide Medicine and Makers, he has spent the last two decades endlessly writing, recording, and touring. It is through this dedication that Votolato has become a mainstay within the indie-folk scene and developed a following of loyal and devoted fans who have been deeply impacted by his music.
With his first release in seven years, Votolato returns with Wild Roots, an intimate concept album inspired by and written for his family. At its core, the record is a collection of fifteen epistolary songs, each one a letter to a family member focusing on a special memory or a specific moment in time. While the record inadvertently constructs a narrative of Votolato’s own life, multiple themes and motifs emerge that resonate universally with listeners. “This is a storytelling album,” says Votolato, “But to me, this record is really about how family has nothing to do with blood, but more to do with who sticks with you and who learns to be good to you, and love and appreciate you for who you are.”
The production on Wild Roots is hushed, handcrafted, and warm — an intimate and personal experience that brings the nature of Votolato’s storytelling to life in very authentic and genuine ways. Produced, engineered, and mixed by Votolato himself, the record is a deliberate construction of his conceptual vision and new phase of his recording career. Additionally, the record features a stellar cast of renowned musicians whose contributions perfectly compliment the delicate nature of these songs — Abby Gundersen (William Fitzsimmons) on piano, string arrangements, and vocal harmonies, James McAllister (Sufjan Stevens, The National) on drums and percussion, Phil Wandscher (Whiskeytown, Jesse Skyes and the Sweet Hereafter) on electric guitar, and Marcel Gein (Perry O’Parson) on electric guitar.
In many ways, Wild Roots is not only a break in silence for Votolato, but the opening of a new chapter — one that feels rested and renewed. Whether discovering Votolato for the first time or adding another record to your collection, Wild Roots resonates on the most simple and important human levels — a sharing of experience that encourages us to keep believing in ourselves and in the magic of this life, no matter how harsh and difficult it can be.
"Votolato has stones like Bruce Springsteen and hand over wisdom like Paul Westerberg" - Alternative Press
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