Unwed Sailor

In an era of outward-facing presentation, the line between the authentic and the performative can be difficult to untangle. With access to ever-present edit buttons and a collective pressure to curate experiences, genuine expressions of such are becoming increasingly rare, as is the determination to commit blindly to unknown pathways. While some may lead to forms of truth and others to reflective consequence, somewhere between that balance of risk and commitment lies a deep level of authenticity.

The journey of Unwed Sailor began in Seattle, WA in 1998, shortly after Johnathon Ford departed critically praised bands Roadside Monument and Pedro the Lion. While working within those projects, Ford began writing instrumental music after listening to Tortoise, Pullman, and seeing bands like Physics perform live. "I grew up listening to classical music," says Ford, "so I think that had a subconscious effect on my decision to start writing and playing instrumental music." After recruiting Dave Bazan (Pedro the Lion), Casey Wescott (Fleet Foxes), and Melissa Palladino (Danielson Famile) to play on the now classic Firecracker EP, Unwed Sailor was born.

Two decades and seventeen releases later, Ford has continued to rely on the band as a device for personal exploration and emotive storytelling. "Unwed Sailor is my purest form of communication," says Ford. "I love it dearly and find it impossible to give up on it even in the dark times. It’s a voice that I need to express, and if I am not actively working on it and nurturing it, I don’t feel my total self, and feel a bit lost actually."

Unwed Sailor is my purest form of communication. I love it dearly and find it impossible to give up on it even in the dark times. - Johnathon Ford